Montreal-Portland 'Passenger Specials'

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Montreal-Portland 'Passenger Specials'

Postby NS VIA FAN » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:19 am

It’s 50 years ago this month since the last Passenger Specials to the Maine Beaches ran on the 295 mile CN-Grand Trunk route between Montreal and Portland. After regular service was discontinued in 1960…..Passenger Specials continued during the summer for another 7 years.

The Maine beaches were close for Quebecois wanting to escape a hot and humid summertime Montreal. (And it continues today to Kennebunk and especially Old Orchard Beach where you’ll find hotels and restaurants offering service ‘en francais’…..but they’re travelling by car now or a round ‘about way on the Adirondack and Downeaster!)

1: Summer 1956: Trains 16 & 17…..daily except Sunday in each direction with connecting bus service to the beaches.
2: Summer 1963: Passenger Special with a late Friday evening departure from Montreal, an early morning arrival in Portland and return to Montreal on Saturday afternoon.
3: Summer 1967: And the last timetable: An early Saturday morning departure from Montreal with an afternoon arrival in Portland. A quick turn and back in Montreal before midnight.
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Re: Montreal-Portland 'Passenger Specials'

Postby NS VIA FAN » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:21 am

There were no sleepers when the trains ran overnight….but there was reserved seating and Buffet Palour Ainslie provided café service.
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Re: Montreal-Portland 'Passenger Specials'

Postby highrail » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:37 am

A great piece of history that I had not been familiar with! Thanks!

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Re: Montreal-Portland 'Passenger Specials'

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:23 am

What was the "Railiner"? Was that CN-speak for an RDC?
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Re: Montreal-Portland 'Passenger Specials'

Postby NS VIA FAN » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:05 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:What was the "Railiner"? Was that CN-speak for an RDC?


Yes it was
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Re: Montreal-Portland 'Passenger Specials'

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:20 pm

The weekly summer passenger trains between Montreal and Portland operated as extras although they were in the CN public timetables of the period. They did not skimp on this one. I rode it in the early 1960's and it was a high class ride in every respect. The best coaches that CN owned, a dining car with excellent food and great crews.
This train existed to provide transportation for Canadians who like to vacation on the Maine Coast mainly at Old Orchard Beach. They brought them down one week and took them home the next week. I still have the stubs from that trip. Took movies out of the rear car, still have them too on video tape.
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