Canada – Along those lines.
At a transport bazaar in Newbury today, by chance I found a pamphlet handed out to passengers travelling on Canadian National railways (CN) coast-to-coast in the late 1960s. The service famously still runs. I wanted to share a few highlights with you, bear in mind we’re talking about a three day trip here…
“Diet problem… everything possible will be done to see that your meals are prepared with your diet in mind.
Dispensation… has been granted to Roman Catholics travelling by train to eat meat on Fridays and other days of abstinence, if they wish.
Fun times… for both youngsters and adults are feature attractions on this train. You will be advised of the time and location of Kiddies’Hour when our younger guests can play games and color books. After dinner there’s Bingo in the Dining Car.
Smoking… Smoke cigarettes anywhere… You’ll find ashtrays in convenient places. It is as unwise to smoke in bed on a train as it is at home.
Tables… for writing, working or playing games, are available in sleeping cars. Some are also obtainable in the coaches. Ask one of your train staff.
Rest rooms… for ladies and gentlemen are just a few short steps away in each car.
Radios… Here’s a little tip. For best reception, place your portable radio near the window. We do ask you, however, to be mindful of others…and keep the volume very low at all times.
Camera Fans… One of the best ways to avoid reflections is to hold your camera as close to your picture window glass as possible.
Telegrams… Thinking of sending a telegram? Your Conductor will do it for you.
Lounges… We invite you to enjoy your favorite refreshments in comfortable, congenial surroundings. May we remind you, however, that provincial regulations prohibit the consumption of personal liquor on this train.
Meals... Enjoy a snack or a complete meal, at popular prices, in a CN restaurant-on-wheels… and take-out service is also available.
Coach lounge… if you feel like reading, pocket books are available at regular prices.
Hospitality Hour… Here’s a chance for you to meet new friends over a complimentary cup of coffee in the lounge – each morning.
Lounge… Post-cards and stationery are supplied with our compliments.
Sleeping Accommodation… foam mattresses – liberal luggage space – personal control of heat, light and air-conditioning – mechanically cooled drinking water – toilet facilities – are just some of the features you’ll find in CN’s sleeping accommodation designed to give you generous, comfortable “Traveliving” space…
Shoe Shine… Leave your shoes under the lower berth when you retire. Private rooms have conveniently located shoe lockers. Your porter will pick them up and return them with a sparkling polish.
THANK YOU FOR TRAVELLING CN.”
So you rest easy knowing that the chef wasn’t trying to kill you, where possible.
That no-one’s going to be judgmental if go for the short-rib rather than the salmon.
That the kiddies have an hour a day especially for them, amuse yourself for the other twenty-three.
That you can happily travel in a smoke filled carriage, the windows obscured by hippies with trannies and happy snappers.
The outside world is just a telegram or postcard away.
That you don’t have to get off at every stop to use the facilities or start card schools on the floor.
That you can get a takeaway and a paperback and a free cup of coffee with strangers but don’t bring a bottle.
And there’ll be shiny shoes every morning and bingo every night.
You have to agree, this really was the best in “Traveliving“…