Kato N scale Canadian National 'Transcontinental' passenger train set

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If you’ve been itching to relive the glory days at the end of Canadian National passenger service, Kato is here to help with its “Transcontinental” seven-car set and matching Electro-Motive Division (EMD) F7A and F7B locomotives.

The prototype. Canadian National’s transcontinental train was the Super Continental. Its competition was Canadian Pacific’s Canadian. Of the two, the Super Continental was considered less luxurious. When the Super Continental debuted 1955, it hauled coaches from Canadian Car & Foundry, and sleepers, diners, parlor cars, and buffet-sleepers from Pullman Standard.

In 1964, CN purchased six used Super Domes and six Skytop lounge-sleepers from the Milwaukee Road. This served to close the luxury gap with CP’s Canadian, which was dome-equipped from its inauguration in 1955.

Despite investments in better equipment, passenger rail travel was declining in Canada due to competition from airlines and better roads such as the Trans-Canada Highway, which opened in 1962 and was completed in 1971. The Super Continental survived into VIA Rail Canada in 1978, where it was the second-tier train to the Canadian.

The Super Domes continued in VIA Rail service, and at least two are still operated in tourist train service, one on the Napa Valley Wine Train and the other behind refurbished ex-Milwaukee Road steam locomotive no. 261. None of the Skytop lounge-sleepers are still in operation.

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