Canada: One Way to Run a Railroad

Toronto's usually crusty Royal York hotel has hired leotard-clad waitresses to serve customers in a new "Black Knight" room, and Quebec's courtly Chateau Frontenac has replaced some Victorian parlors with a smart new cocktail lounge. Is that any way to run a railroad? It seems to be, because these two changes are symbolic of a great transformation that is sweeping the owner of the hotels: the Canadian Pacific Railway.

A vital force in opening up the Canadian West, the investor-owned C.P.R. was long the slumbering giant of Canadian business. It took pride in being the "world's most complete transportation system," with...

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