Strathcona Park on the rear of the Canadian in 1965.

(Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Park series or Park car is a fleet of lightweight streamlined dome-sleeper-observation cars built by the Budd Company for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1954. Sixteen of the cars were named for a Canadian national or provincial park, while one was named for a wildlife reserve, and one was named for what was at the time a private park owned by Canadian Pacific subsidiary Dominion Atlantic Railway, but is now one of the National Historic Sites of Canada. Via Rail acquired the fleet from Canadian Pacific in 1978 and the majority of the cars remain in active service.


The observation lounge looking forward towards the staircase to the dome section with

the map of Algonquin Park above the writing desk. June 1979.

(Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The cars were constructed of stainless steel; save for a Tuscan red letterboard bearing the name "Canadian Pacific" they were unpainted. Each car was named for a Canadian national or provincial park; CP assigned numbers in the 15400-series, but the cars did not carry them. The interiors were largely plastic, including the handrails up to the dome area. Inside at the front of the car were four private rooms: three double bedrooms (D, C, and B) and one drawing room (A). A single corridor on the left hand side of the car led past the 12-seat beverage room or "Mural Lounge" (under the dome), and led to the 13-seat observation lounge at the rear of the car; a short flight of stairs was located centrally at the front of the observation lounge which led up to the dome, with seating for 24.

An initial proposal for each car to have its own decorative scheme was rejected on cost ground; instead there were two schemes: "O" and "P"; both of which were developed by Harbeson, Hough, Livingston and Larson, a firm of architects in Philadelphia frequently used by Budd. Additionally, a leading Canadian artist was commissioned to produce two murals for the beverage room: a main mural 81+3⁄8 by 41 in (2,070 by 1,040 mm) for the front wall, and an auxiliary mural 163 by 45 in (4,100 by 1,100 mm) for the right hand (window-side) wall. In addition, they were asked to provide a 3 by 5 ft (0.91 by 1.52 m) decorative map for the observation lounge which was mounted above the writing desk to the right of the dome staircase. Both related to the Park the car was named after. At the time of their construction in 1954 the listed capacity throughout the car was 54 persons. Via removed the murals in 1986. Via rebuilt the cars in the early 1990s, converting them to Head End Power (HEP), and renumbering them into the 8700-series. They also added a panel of clocks to the observation lounge showing the different time zones in Canada.


Interior of Algonquin Park in 1978.

(Barry Lewis, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



Budd delivered 18 Park cars for the Canadian Pacific in 1954 as part of a massive 173-car order which equipped the new transcontinental Canadian and re-equipped the Dominion. The first car to enter service was the Banff Park. Fundy Park was wrecked in a collision on the Dominion at Gull Lake, Saskatchewan, in 1959. Via Rail acquired the remaining 17 Park cars from Canadian Pacific in 1978. As of 2015 14 remain on the roster. They are always assigned to the Canadian and the Jasper – Prince Rupert train, and can also be found on the Ocean and the Winnipeg – Churchill train. The three cars listed in the Preserved section below were in service until VIA converted the ex CPR Budd equipment to HEP in the early 1990s. They were stored at Ottawa station for many years until disposition by VIA.



Several Park cars are no longer in regular revenue service:

  • Algonquin Park is leased to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • Sibley Park is at the Canadian Railway Museum in Saint-Constant, Quebec.
  • Riding Mountain Park is owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society and it is currently undergoing mechanical restoration.


Fleet list

Table of cars

CP No. Via No. (1979) Via No. (HEP) Name Park Decor Artist Notes
15401 15501 Algonquin Park Algonquin Provincial Park P A. J. Casson Leased to Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
15402 15502 8702 Assiniboine Park Assiniboine Provincial Park O George Franklin Arbuckle
15403 15503 8703 Banff Park Banff National Park P Charles Comfort
15404 15504 8704 Evangeline Park private park, now Grand-Pré National Historic Site O Harry Leslie Smith
15405 Fundy Park Fundy National Park O Lawren P. Harris Wrecked in 1959
15406 15506 8706 Glacier Park Glacier National Park P Adam Sherriff Scott
15407 15507 8707 Kokanee Park Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park O A. Y. Jackson Featured in the 1976 film Silver Streak
15408 15508 8708 Kootenay Park Kootenay National Park P George Pepper
15409 15509 8709 Laurentide Park Laurentides Wildlife Reserve O Albert Edward Cloutier
15410 15510 8710 Prince Albert Park Prince Albert National Park P Frederick James Finley
15411 15511 8711 Revelstoke Park Mount Revelstoke National Park P Robert Pilot
15412 15512 Riding Mountain Park Riding Mountain National Park P William Arthur Winter Owned by Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society
15413 15513 Sibley Park Sibley Provincial Park O Yvonne McKague Housser Owned by Canadian Railway Museum
15414 15514 8714 Strathcona Park Strathcona Provincial Park O Walter J. Phillips
15415 15515 8715 Tremblant Park Mont-Tremblant National Park O Edwin Holgate
15416 15516 8716 Tweedsmuir Park Tweedsmuir Provincial Park O E. J. Hughes
15417 15517 8717 Waterton Park Waterton Lakes National Park P Llewellyn Petley-Jones
15418 15518 8718 Yoho Park Yoho National Park P Thomas Harold Beament


In service: 1954–present
Manufacturer: Budd
Constructed: 1954
Number built: 18
Number in service: 14
Capacity: 3 double bedrooms, 1 triple bedroom
Operators: Canadian Pacific (1954–1978), Via Rail (1978–present)
Car body construction: Stainless steel
Car length: 85 feet (26 m)
Width: 10 feet 3⁄8 inch (3.058 m)
Height: 15 feet 10 inches (4.83 m)