Thursday, December 30, 1937, Vol. 91, No. 44 The Northern Advance (Barrie) Page 2, col. 4

Canadian National has made substantial gains

The year has witnessed a fairly steady improvement in this country's affairs, and consequently in the position of the Canadian National Railways, as will be seen from the following comparison of system revenues for this and preceding years:

1933—Gross revenues, $148,500,000; net revenue from railway operation, $5,700,000.

1936—Gross revenues, $186,600,000; increase of 1933, $38,100,00, 26%; net revenue from railway operation, $15,100,000.

1937 (Est.)—Gross revenues, $199,000,000; increase of 1933, $50,500,000, 34%; net revenue from railway operation, $18,150,000.

How much better the picture might have looked had it not been for the unprecedented drought in Saskatchewan, may be judged from the crop figures. Canada's wheat crop for 1937 is estimated at 182 million bushels, as against 229 for 1936 and 567 for 1928. Saskatchewan's wheat crop is estimated at 32 million bushels for 1937 as against 117 for 1936 and 321 for 1928.

Turning to the forest products industries, it is encouraging to note the sharp rise in Canadian carloadings of lumber, pulpwood, pulp, paper and other items which, during 1937, exceeded by 20 percent or more the totals for the previous year. A similar 20 percent increase has taken place in Canada's tourist business, and a 15 percent increase in passenger traffic on the Canadian National Railways. Travel by rail has been rendered more attractive by the air-conditions of additional trains, and by an average reduction of 10 percent in regular passenger rates made in 1936. It is believed that these measures, together with the continued offering of frequent low fare excursions, have contributed materially to the population of railway passenger service.

Canada, in company with many other countries, is faced with a transportation problem arising from the rapid development of commercial transport, which makes use of the public highways. Certain other countries have, by more thorough regulation of highway transport, come closer to a solution than has this country. It cannot be denied that the failure of commercial motor vehicles to pay their fair share of the enormous cost of public highways constitutes a hidden subsidy to this form of transportation, at the expense of the private motorist as well as the tax-paying public. A Royal Commission, recently appointed, is now examining into conditions in the Province of Ontario.

Meanwhile the Canadian National Railways has been safeguarding its traffic by such practical methods as the improvement and extension of its pick-up and delivery service for less than carload shipments. This service has been provided for the past three years, but during 1937 having emerged from the early experimental stage, it has been put in operation over a considerably wider area and at a far greater number of points within the area.

Increased traffic, due to improved business conditions, necessitated the acquisition of new equipment, both passenger and freight. During the year the following freight equipment was purchased: 3,000 steel box cars, 400 gondola cars, 400 freight refrigerator cars, 200 automobile cars, 40 flat cars, 30 steel sand cars. Practically all of this equipment has been delivered. The balance will be delivered early in January.

Fifty air-conditioned first-class coaches of the latest design were also purchased. Each car has sufficient reversible-reclining chairs to seat 64 passengers. Individual prismatic lens lights, windows proof against frosting, and private smoking compartments for ladies, render these cars the last word in comfort. These cars have enabled the Canadian National to attain its objective of having all principal mainline fully air-conditioned.

Construction of the Noranda-Senneterre branch to serve the gold fields of Northern Québec has proceeded to the point where it became possible to open for service the 36 miles from Senneterre to Val d'Or. On November 29, 1937, train service was inaugurated on this section of the line.

Railways: C.N.Rys.