Needless to say, timetables are a valuable adjunct to railway history research.
Some researchers specialize in their collection, especially of employee timetables.
There are two basic kinds of timetables: public and employee.
As the description implies, those are timetables available to the public, and these come/came in three formats:
- Originally published in newspapers on a regular daily or weekly basis to advertise the railway and its services
- Timetables provided in brochure form by the railways, either gratis or for a nominal fee
- Those produced commercially, such as
- The Official Guide to Railways in North America, published since 1868 and known simply as "the Guide" (click here for an example), and the
- Canadian Official Railway Guide, published since 1866.
(In the UK, "Bradshaw's" became synonymous for ultimately authoritative railway timetable information, and was in fact a household word for "railway timetable".)
These were detailed timetables issued to employees of the railway that included rules of operation and other topics of "need-to-know" to railway servants. These are especially informative to the researcher, but may come at something of a premium, especially if in good condition, because it was a standing order with all railways that out-of-date timetables be destroyed to prevent confusion that could become a serious safety issue.
An excellent article appeared in CN Lines Vol. 9, Number 4 (published by the Canadian National Railways Historical Association), on Interpreting Employee Timetables, by Ian Wilson, noted author of the "CNR Steam" Series books, published by Canadian Branchline Miniatures.
Old public and employee timetables are available (by chance) in antique and collectibles stores, on the internet, at model railway shows and swap table meets, and in all levels of public archives. (A search of any 19th century newspaper should produce railway timetable advertisements.)
Timetables offered here:
1. Any reader who may be willing to contribute a Canadian railway timetable, please get in touch.
2. This webpage has been prepared with the assistance of Art Clowes.
Public - newspapers
1836 Champlain & St. Lawrence Rail Road
1857 GWR Galt & Guelph branch (courtesy Art Clowes)
1857 GWR Preston & Berlin branch (courtesy Art Clowes)
1857 GWR Harrisburg Guelph (courtesy Ken Chrysler)
1872 Toronto & Nipissing Ry Jan to Midland Jct. (Lorneville)
1872 Toronto & Nipissing Ry Dec to Coboconk
1873 Toronto & Nipissing Railway
1875 Midland Railway
1898 South Norfolk Railway and other trains out of Simcoe, Ont. (courtesy Dave Rusnak Sr)
1899 Trains leaving Delhi, Ont. - Delhi Vindicator Friday Dec 29 1899 (courtesy Dave Rusnak Sr)
1915 South Norfolk Railway and other trains out of Simcoe, Ont. (courtesy Dave Rusnak Sr)
Public - railway timetable and Guide extracts
1858 GTR GWR L&PS Montreal & Champlain Ottawa & Prescott B&LH OSHU E&O (courtesy Dianne McIntosh)
1861 GWR (courtesy Dianne McIntosh)
1863 GWR (courtesy Dianne McIntosh)
1865 GWR (courtesy Dianne McIntosh)
1857 GTR Montreal-Toronto Division (courtesy Steven Manders)
1870 Cover Eastern provinces Eastern area or adjoining US railways GTR and connecting GWR (Traveller's Guide)
1872 Midland Railway of Canada
1876 Intercolonial Railway
1877 Lake Simcoe Jct. Railway
1877 GTR Western Division (courtesy Dianne McIntosh)
1880 Grand Trunk Railway (courtesy Dianne McIntosh)
1880 Prince Edward County Railway
1881 N&NW, TG&B, T&N, PEC Railways (The Canadian Timetable & Tourist Companion J.P. Clougher)
1883 Credit Valley Railway (only the timetables)
1883 Credit Valley Railway (complete with map and advertisements)
ca 1883 Ontario & Quebec Ry Teeswater and Elora branches
1884 Ontario & Quebec Railway CVR and TG&B
ca 1885 SER NNW WPPR MR PDLH SLH
1886 GTR Midland Division
1892 CPR annotated:
Cover Mtl - Que Short Line Transcontinental: pp 12 21 22 31 32 41 42 52 The Lake Route 53 58 The GTR connection to the Transcontinental 59 60 Condensed Transcontinental pages 62 63
1893 GTR N&NW Division, Official Guide
1894 (pre) GTR Georgian Bay & Lake Erie
1897 CPR Toronto-Hamilton (courtesy Dianne McIntosh)
1897 Hamilton Radial Electric Railway (courtesy Dianne McIntosh)
1899 GTR Midland Division, Kingston to Kingston Jct., Beeton - Collingwood
1902 GTR Buffalo-Goderich, Port Dal-Niag Falls-Buff, Ham-Southampton, Durham-Palm, Buff, Niag Falls - Port Dal.
1904 GTR Southwestern Ontario (partial)
1907 Central Ontario Railway No. 26
1908 GTR (excerpted from the International Guide) pp Mtl-Portland: 2 6 Other Quebec: 7 10 Other Quebec, Ottawa Div., Mtl-Tor: 11 13 Midland Div., Tor-North Bay: 14 18 Former NNW: 19 20 SW Ont.: 21 25 Southern Div: 26 27 Tor-Ham: 28 Other roads running rights: 32 34 (courtesy Art Clowes)
1910 (The Official Guide) Cover CPR GTR pp 1 to 8 9 to 16 Canadian Northern Railway Quebec Central Intercolonial and PEI Irondale, Bancroft & Ottawa Reid Newfoundland Bay of Quinte Thousand Islands Oshawa Ry Dominion Atlantic Alberta Ry & Irrigation
1912 GTR Buffalo-Toronto-Montreal, Toledo-Saginaw-Muskegon Div., Palm-Kinc, Tor-Strat-Lon, Wiar-Ow Sd-Pt Dover, Brantfd-Elmira
1916 GTR Toronto - Pboro - Port Hope - Midland, Lindsay - Coboconk
1919 CNR/CGR Intercolonial Transcontinental PEI Rys (courtesy Art Clowes)
1919 GTR Toronto - Montreal, Midland Division, Kingston to Kingston Jct., Pembroke - Golden Lake, Victoriaville - Three Rivers, Richmond - Levis - Quebec
1919 CPR Eastern Lines (Partial)
1921 GTR Mainline Montreal-Toronto- Peterborough-Lindsay Tables 50 to 69
1921 GTR Stouffville - Jackson's Point, Kingston - Kingston Jct., Pembroke - Golden Lake, Victoriaville - Three Rivers, Richmond - Levis - Quebec
1923 GTR Southwestern Ontario (partial)
1923 CNR Tables 81 through 97 - former GTR Midland Division - former CNoR lines Tor - Cobourg, Trenton - Howland, Bannockburn - Tweed - Yarker - Kingston.
1924 CNR Tables 81 through 98 - former GTR Midland Division - former CNoR lines Tor - Cobourg, etc., and Ontario Car Ferry Service.
1924 CNR Tor-Wpg, Stouff-Jack Pt, Tor-Pboro-Pt Hope-Mid, Bellv-Mid, Whit Jct-Man Jct-Lind, Coby-Lind, Pboro-Bellv, Madoc, Pboro-Lake
1927 CNR Southwestern Ontario (partial)
1930 CPR Ott-Mani-Waltham-Prescott, Renf & Eganv, Laks Timis & Kipawa, Tor-Linds-Bob, Tor-Elora, Tor-Ow Sd, Orange-Teesw.
1932 CNR Lindsay, Ont. area Tables 470 to 480
1935 CNR Tor-Sarnia, Car Ferry, Ft Erie-Stratford, Lon-Pt.Stanley, St'ville-Jarvis, St. Thom-Alvin, Ham-Pt. Dover-Pt. Rowan-St. Thomas
1937 CNR Toronto - Lindsay - Peterborough - Midland - Belleville, Ont.
1942 CNR Tor-Sarnia, Car Ferry, Ft Erie-Stratford, Lon-Pt.Stanley, St'ville-Jarvis, St. Thom-Alvin, Ham-Pt. Dover-Pt. Rowan-St. Thomas, Niagara, St. Cath &Tor Ry
1943 CNR Tor-Sarnia, Car Ferry, Ft Erie-Stratford, Lon-Pt.Stanley, St'ville-Jarvis, St. Thom-Alvin, Ham-Pt. Dover-Pt. Rowan-St. Thomas, Niagara, St. Cath &Tor Ry
1945 TT CNR tables 188 Palm Durham 189 190 Kitchener Galt Elmira (courtesy Mark Hymers)
1951 NYC St. Lawrence and Ottawa Divisions (Courtesy Craig Stevenson)
Cover Condensed Schedules Tables: Newfoundland 1 to 6 Halifax to Montreal 8 to 48 Quebec Portland Boston 49 to 75 Toronto Chicago Buffalo Allandale Northern Ont. 80 to 99 Southern and Northern Ontario 100 to 126 Transcontinental Service 130 to 136 Western Region 137 167 168 215
1957 CPR Folder B: Cover Condensed transcontinental schedule Eastern Canada Tables: 4 to 28 31 to 48 49 to 65
1958 CPR Folder C: Cover Western Canada Tables: 67 to 103 104 to 121C 122 to 156
1959 CPR Folder A: Cover Detailed transcontinental schedule
1886 GTR Southern Division No. 15 (courtesy Art Clowes)
1896 GTR Regular trains between Toronto and Scarboro Jct.
1904 GTR 8th, 9th and 10th Districts (Midland Division)
1910 GTR 8th, 9th and 10th Districts (Midland Division)
1910 GTR Midland Sub (courtesy Andrew Jeanes
1913 GTR Barrie Division, No. 1 (courtesy Art Clowes)
1914 GTR Barrie Division, No. 4 (courtesy Art Clowes)
1916 CGR Transcontinental Ry, No. 5 (courtesy Art Clowes) - Note: Pages 10, 12 and 13 are from the No 4. Timetable (1915).
1917 CNoR Ontario District Nipissing and Superior Divisions No. 11 (courtesy Art Clowes)
1917 GTR Lindsay - Scarboro Jct, Blackwater - Coboconk, Stouffville Jct - Jackson's Point.
1918 CNoR Ontario District Quinte Division No. 6 (courtesy Art Clowes)
1918 CNoR Ontario District Toronto Division No. 15 (courtesy Art Clowes)
1918 CNoR Ontario District Nipissing and Superior Divisions No. 13 (courtesy Art Clowes)
1920 GTR Ontario Lines Barrie Division No. 1 (11th to 14th Districts)
1920 CPR Havelock Subdivision (courtesy Andrew Jeanes)
1921 CPR Ontario District No. 45
1922 GTR Ottawa Division No. 45 (courtesy Art Clowes)
1922 GTR St. Thomas Division No. 8 (courtesy Art Clowes)
1929 CNR EE TT Madoc Haliburton Westport Tweed Irondale Subs
1930 CNR Lakefield Sub.
1930 CNR Uxbridge, Midland, Coboconk, Port Perry Subdivisions
1931 CPR Ontario District No. 72 (Cover page and page 2 missing)
1932 CPR Ontario District No. 72 Supplements 1 and 2
1938 CNR EE TT Haliburton Coboconk Picton Irondale Coe Hill Subs
1940 CPR Ontario District No. 91
1940 CNR Belleville Division No. 40 (Southern Ontario District) (courtesy Wayne Lamb)
1941 CNR Algonquin Sub (courtesy Brian Westhouse)
1942 CNR Uxbridge Sub Lakefield Sub.
1942 CNR Midland, Uxbridge, Coboconk Subdivisions
1947 CNR EE Uxbridge Sub.
1948 CNR EE TT Haliburton Irondale Subs
1951 QCR No. 188 (courtesy Carl Riff)
1956 CNR Midland, Uxbridge, Coboconk, Lakefield Subs.
1956 CNR Central Region Northern-Ontario District No. 16 pp 1 to 8 9 to 16 17 to 24
1957 CNR Toronto Terminals (Southern Ontario District) No. 38
1957 CNR Southern Ontario District London and Stratford Divisions-195710 27 (courtesy Chris Mawdsley)
1958 CNR Southern Ontario District Belleville Division No. 3 (courtesy Wayne Lamb)
1959 CPR Eastern Region No. 51 Smiths Falls, Sudbury and Schreiber Divisions (courtesy Wayne Lamb)
1959 CPR Mactier Subdivision No. 130 p 17 (courtesy Cliff Beagan)
1961 CPR Trenton, London and Toronto Terminals Divisions (courtesy Jim Little)
1962 CPR Smiths Falls Sudbury Schreiber Divisions (Courtesy Jim Little)
1967 CPR Havelock Subdivision TT No. 48, page 43
1985 CP Rail Pacific Region: Revelstoke, Vancouver, Kootenay, Esquimalt & Nanaimo Divisions No. 100 (courtesy Allen Greenwood).