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Did the CN TurboTrain Reach Speeds of 273 km/h in Test Runs?

New evidence suggest Canada's first and only high speed train went even faster than previous known in test runs.

Amazing TurboTrain photo by John Stewart 

What a shock to us at High Speed Rail Canada. We thought we knew everything about the CN Turbo Trains that used to run in Canada from 1968-1982.

It is a well known fact that the TurboTrain reached a well documented record speed of 226 km/h in 1976 speed runs. This record will stand even after VIA Rail spends $1 billion on new trains from Siemens. Please see previous blog POST for photo of certificate given to those on the historic run.

Recently we were reviewing our TurboTrain Footage on our Youtube page and found this amazing fact. On Part 1 of the three part documentary 1970 film on the Turbotrain by CN, it states at 6:08 into the video that, "These features helped Turbo to achieve speeds of up to 170 mph on test runs". (273 km/h)

The key words in the statement above regarding the speed is "of up to to 170 mph".

The only way to definitely prove  how fast the Turbo went during testing is to interview an engineer that was actually on the train during these test runs.There were definite limits on the speed of the Turbo due to quality of the track at that time of testing.

The TurboTrain is an amazing part of  Canadian passenger railway history. Whatever the top speed of the Turbo train was in testing during 1967-1969, the legend of the TurboTrain will continue to grow.


  1. There really is a simpler explanation. A UAC turbo train reached 170mph in 1967 in new Jersey.


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