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Silk Trains in Canada


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Replies to this topic must be well thought out and positive in nature.  In this topic I would appreciate discussing the importance of freight trains in the early 1900's and continuing on to present day.  Even though this topic is over One Hundred years old, I wish to discuss the investment of The Canadian Pacific Railways and The Canadian National Railways.  How tariff's work, competition, speed, accuracy, discipline, work ethic.  The Canadian Pacific Railways made a huge investment in building Silk Train Cars, purchasing Ships, buying coal from Japan to receive priority treatment.  These cars were specially built to withstand the high speeds that were required.  Trains consisted of a brand new steam locomotive (we will discuss types, psi, drivers, later), ten silk train cars and a Canadian Pacific Railways Caboose (later being replaced with a railway passenger car).  There were no speedometers on the early steam engines, an employee had to time the distance between miles to determine the locomotive's speed.  Silk Trains would cross the Prairies completing a mile in 45 seconds (75 mph).  We will discuss commodities transported from the Orient by ship, rail, ferry to the mills in New York, NY to make silk stockings and more.  Later on how the First World War, the Stock Market collapse, the Depression, the Second World War affected the Railroads.  How shipping charged lower tariffs than the railway and ultimately put an end to the Silk Trains.  In this time frame of one hundred years and more we also can discuss Passenger Trains operated by the Railroads.  How Passenger Trains were more important than freight until the early 1970's.  How Canadian Pacific Airlines provided an alternative to railway passenger travel.  TOFC competed with trucking.  Interprovincial Coach travel across Canada competition.  Introduction of Bulk Commodity transportation.  My reason discussing the last hundred years is how transportation has changed.  Special interest groups now dominate the picture, where previously the country catered to the majority.  My intentions are to create a polite, constructively positive discussion group on where transportation is headed in these very upsetting times.  How participants thoughts can be gathered to create one voice.  For example we can discuss 12,000 foot trains, huge tonnage and the reduction in human supervision.  Intermodal has taken over from TOFC.  Double tracking, two mile sidings, how Rail Traffic Controllers (RTC) with the aid of computers carefully calculate train speeds setting up meets and passes.  We all know Intermodal using well cars has changed transportation completely over the decades.  Just in time service is now paramount.  Intermodal has reduced pilferage to negligible values.  The above are only a few items I wish to discuss without any condescending behavior that upsets many people.  By creating a positive atmosphere where people exchange their well thought out comments, they will leave feeling better.  Thank you very much.

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  • Flalex72 changed the title to Silk Trains in Canada

Over the next year(s) I will be editing the above primary posting to expand further my intentions on how to create a positive discussion on railway transportation present and future.  As the topic title states "Silk Trains in Canada", once the last spike was driven in by Canadian Pacific Railways Sir William Van Horne, November 07th, 1885 with in two years raw silk from overseas began being transported across land reducing delivery times.  Canadian Pacific Railways for about thirty years profited, investors received huge returns on their investments.  The Panama Canal was not completed until 1914.  United States of America also had transcontinental railroads and both countries profited immensely.  Canadian Pacific Railways also began telegraph service in the 1800's as well.  Many members of this forum can "Google" Canadian Pacific Railways Silk Trains and become very well informed themselves regarding this topic.  Thank you very much.

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I have uploaded a .pdf of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules for members to view.  My apologies if any very well informed members have already memorized the Rules.  They are Retired Canadian Pacific Railways Employees who are more astute than I.  However if there are members who travel Passenger Trains and listen to the various Road Channels, they can become better informed and enjoy there travels more.  As stated above the reason for my Topic Title, Silk Trains in Canada was to grab a members attention as something new to read.  Some members may have subscriptions to publications for example "Trains" and are better informed than I.  Photography has changed over the last one hundred years.  To actually have a well exposed picture immediately is amazing now.  Being able to share these pictures quickly to others brings joy to people quickly.  Thank you very much.

Canadian Rail Operating Rules.pdf

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