By Greg Gormick, Special to National Post; March 5, 2020
In a recent column, Chris Selley argued that Via Rail’s transcontinental passenger train, the Canadian, should be axed. While I share some of his concerns, he misses some key points that are vital to any debate about the train’s future.
When it was launched in 1955, the Canadian was the pride and joy of the privately owned Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), as well as Norris Roy (Buck) Crump, who went on to become the company’s president. When I interviewed him during his retirement years, Crump criticized himself for spending $40 million — the equivalent of nearly $400 million today — to buy the train. But he quickly added that “his” Canadian had been one of North America’s finest and most popular long-haul trains — and it was.