Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Great Canadian Train Ride

An old VHS tape I found recently, destined for Mister G's library.  It was produced in 1991 and documents the history of the CPR's "Canadian", its rebuilding in the 1980's, and Mr. Jones trip on it.  This film, among others, is now available on DVD as part of the "Legacy Travelogue Project."

Doug Jones is an interesting guy.  Born and raised in Kansas City, he started producing travel films in 1968 and has since produced 18 feature-length films in this genre.  His "Great Canadian Train Ride" film sold over a million copies worldwide.  He also happens to be an avid pilot, having flown his twin Cessna on over 40 coast-to-coast solo flights.  He now operates an active stock footage business, Windoes Travelogues.  

As for the "Canadian," it is still in operation and between 2010 and 2012, Via Rail put more than $22 million into its modernization.

Today, the "Canadian" is not the only game in town. According to the Royal Canadian Pacific:  

"By the year 2000, Canadian Pacific Limited was the 2nd largest company in Canada. In 2001, CP Limited disbanded into five subsidiaries allowing Canadian Pacific Railway to get back to basics and focus once again on the business of freight management. In the early days of the railway in Canada, Canadian Pacific executives were assigned their own business car in which they would travel in style as they conducted official railway business across the country. As technologies changed the way we travel, these cars fell out of use and for many years sat dormant. In the late 1990’s a number of these vintage cars were fully restored and brought together to become the Royal Canadian Pacific – North America’s most exclusive luxury train. 

The Royal Canadian Pacific consists of 10 Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) 1920’s era business cars coupled to two 1950’s locomotives all of which have been restored to their original splendor. Period furniture, silver settings, brass accents, walnut paneling and open vestibules are the pinnacle of a bygone tradition of elegance."
Nice, if you've got the money for it.

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