If you are of a certain age you probably remember the old school service centers on the 401 between Montreal and Toronto. In our case The Colonel is of an age that we think he remembers, he is with us this morning. Lets see what he has to say.
Q: Colonel Good Morning you are looking well, and we know you are a busy guy.
A: Guys Thank You, and yes very busy with all sorts of stuff.
Q: You surely remember the old service centers on the 401.
A: Yes...been travelling on the 401 for a few decades.
Q: What is the difference between the old and the new...not the architecture.
A: Guys...several decades ago it was a bit of an expedition travelling by car between Montreal and Toronto.
Q: Cars were not as reliable and service centers were primarily car oriented offering service for cars.
A: Precisely the service centers catered to people with washrooms but primarily to cars. They were big gas stations with service stalls.
Q: It was a car oriented stop, and probably Kingston (the mid point) was the busiest as a rest / car stop.
A: Go back enough decades, many cars needed gas to travel the distance, did not have air conditioning, were not as comfortable. Usually at the half way point the folks in the car needed a break, the car needed gas.
Q: Perhaps the car developed ailments and or strange sounds while travelling on the 401.
A: Yes...the reason the service centers had garage doors, service stalls, tow truck.
Q: Back then folks also brought their own food.
Q: How about trucks
A: They were also a truck stop, with a good number of trucks idling away back in the day
Q: With time as cars became more reliable/comfortable the centers became more people oriented.
A: Precisely, now they service people, and sell gas.
Q: With better cars are folks travelling faster on the 401.
A: Imagine way back in the day with a 6 cylinder, windows opened (no air conditioning), wind noise, bias belted tires, going down the 401 at 60 MPH...it was a tiring, noisy, windy experience.
Q: So with better cars...
A: With better more comfortable cars the speeds ramped up, and the police activity also ramped up.
Q: Now there are bright people oriented service centers, reliable, comfortable cars/SUV's, and the speeds are not much higher than decades ago.
A: Precisely, folks are trading speed for comfort, and keep in mind that trucks are also going slower today than decades back.