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Via Rail Canada Youth 150 Pass Trip


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#1 FreeskierInVT

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 01:48 PM

Hey Everyone,

 

I've finished the first leg of my month long Youth 150 Pass trip across nearly the entire Via Rail network. I arrived into Edmonton, Alberta yesterday morning, arriving from Montreal and Toronto. I did not keep notes during my trip on the Corridor train, but below is a summary of my trip on the Canadian. I'll be posting more updates as my trip continues through the rest of the month!

 

The sixty hours I spent onboard was by far the best times I have ever had while travelling. The sights were incredible, especially from the dome car, but the people I met on board turned my trip so far into something truly special. I realize the atmosphere on board, especially in the coach cars, must be very different than normal with at least 90 percent of passengers part of the Youth 150 pass. Everyone seems to be having a similar wonder about them, with this being the first overnight train trip for nearly everyone, and the first train trip at all for some. The shared experience of everyone going through the same thing, having the same excitement of seeing the vast country for the first time and enjoying the same amazing sights, and being completely disconnected from the outside world for many hours at a time was something I don’t think could be experienced if I was travelling in sleeper class or even in economy class outside of the Youth 150 pass. Not showering for days and sleeping in a seat were minor inconveniences; the experience I’ve had so far has been far beyond incredible, and I can’t wait to continue it in a few days.

 

 

My itinerary for the rest of the month is the following, all in economy class.

Canadian, Edmonton-Vancouver

6 days in Vancouver/Whistler

Canadian, Vancouver-Jasper

Overnight in Jasper

Skeena, Jasper-Prince George/Prince Rupert

1 day in Rupert

Skeena, Prince Rupert/Prince George-Jasper

4 days in Jasper

Canadian, Jasper-Toronto

1 day in Toronto

Corridor, Toronto-Montreal

Ocean, Montreal-Moncton

1 day in Moncton/Bay of Fundy

Ocean, Moncton-Montreal

 

I'll also be posting photos once I begin to go through the ones I've taken so far tonight.

 

=========

 

Part 1: The Canadian, Toronto to Edmonton.

 

2 locomotives, 26 cars

Consist (Toronto-Winnipeg)

Locomotive 6428

Locomotive 6451

Baggage 8616

Coach 4112

Coach 8104

Skyline Dome 8502

Coach 8127

Coach 8106

Coach 8135

Skyline Dome 8515

Baggage 8612 - off at Winnipeg

Skyline Dome 8501 (Touring Class Only)

Diner A 8410

Manor 8317

Manor 8326

Manor 8342

Manor 8305

Manor 8338

Manor 8332

Manor 8336

Manor 8321

Chateau 8201

Chateau 8205

Skyline Dome 8507

Diner B 8408

Chateau 8226

Chateau 8210

Laurentide Park 8709

 

Passenger Count at Winnipeg: 308 in Coach, 143 in Sleeper, 451 Total

I couldn't get an updated consist or passenger count after Winnipeg from the new crew.

 

 

We boarded The Canadian at about 10:45pm on Canada Day, Saturday, July 1st in Toronto Union Station. The train was scheduled to depart at 10:00pm, but because the inbound train from Vancouver arrived into Toronto at 3:30pm (scheduled for 9:30am), it was delayed because of the time it takes to prepare the train for departure.

 

I had returned to the station to retrieve my carry on bag from the baggage check, where I left it for the afternoon after arriving on my train from Montreal. The baggage agent said I needed to be back around 9:00, and when I returned from the CN Tower at 9:10, there was already a lengthy lineup of Youth 150 Passholders waiting to board the train. I decided to skip the fireworks at the Harbourfront, and joined the line. I began chatting with a traveler from Montreal and two from Toronto, all of whom had taken Via before, but only between Toronto and Montreal. The Canadian would be a new experience for all of us, but our new formed group was broken up during boarding since we were going to different destinations. I was placed in the Saskatoon, Edmonton and Jasper car, and they were placed in one of the Vancouver cars.

 

The boarding process was amazingly smooth considering the drastic increase in economy passengers. I sat next to a student from Toronto who was visiting Jasper, who began working on a Canada 150 crossword puzzle from the Globe and Mail newspaper. This thing was massive, taking up an entire double fold page with over 600 clues. He worked on the puzzle as we departed Toronto at 11:11pm, 1 hour and eleven minutes late.

 

Many passengers, myself included, were a bit perplexed by the train moving backwards for nearly a kilometer outside Toronto. The crew realized this and made an announcement saying it was normal – the train just needed to back onto the main line. My seat mate and I both settled in for the night as the train departed Washago, Ontario at 1:45am.

 

For most passengers, this was their first overnight on a train. Many didn’t realize how far their voice carries in a car carrying sixty people. Despite the noise, I got a decent night sleep. It was a bit hard to adjust to the positon of the seat, and it was a minor fight with the footrest to get it into positon, but I only awoke once or twice through the night. I awoke as the train stopped at Capreol, Ontario, which is an extended stop (roughly 30 minutes) where the train crews open the doors and allow passengers to stretch on the platform. As the two locomotives were refueled, I made my way outside before brushing my teeth, knowing this would be my last chance for some fresh air for a while. Some began hiking down an embankment to a small lake in the near distance but with the train about to depart, they didn’t venture far.

 

The Canadian continued onwards into the Canadian Shield region, and cell service ceased less than a kilometer outside of Capreol. For many passengers, this was the longest they’ve been without internet connectivity in a very long time. Cell service wouldn’t return until Hornepayne, Ontario a solid seven hours later.

 

After leaving Capreol, I washed up in the restroom with my “shower” supplies, which consisted of body wipes and no-rinse shampoo. While not the same as an actual shower, it did the trick and I felt refreshed.

 

The views were endless from the Skyline dome. Hot breakfast was available from the Café Express menu for $10, which many opted for, but I stuck with the snacks I had brought. The dome car attendants came through the train in the early afternoon to take reservations for dinner, which on the first night would be served in the lower level of each dome car over five sittings, just like in the dining car. For us economy passengers, the café express menu was served, which ranged from a cheeseburger plate for $10 to fresh salmon with mashed potatoes and vegetables for $12. I opted for the 6:15 sitting and salmon; crews collected payment from passengers at the time of reservation to speed up the service, and all five sittings were packed.

 

              Our next opportunity to venture on solid ground was in Hornepayne, Ontario, a town of about 1,000 in the Canadian Shield region. The train stopped for about 20 minutes, and many ran into the town’s small grocery store to stock up on snacks. After Hornepayne, the train entered into an extremely sparsely populated region, with only a few scattered settlements visible amongst the dense trees and wetlands. I enjoyed my dinner with two travelers from Montreal and one from Vancouver, all of whom were very curious about how I felt regarding the United States’ political climate. Nearly the entire meal was spent conversing about Trump’s policies and his healthcare proposals.

 

              I spent the remainder of the evening in the second dome car, with the first being packed with those seeking refuge from the uncomfortable seats in the firstmost coach car, which was one not normally used for overnight trips. The sunset was incredible, occurring at nearly 10pm as the train continued westward. After dark, we encountered a ton of freight traffic, stopping at nearly every signal for anywhere from 10 to 50 minutes at a time. I wanted to stretch once more at Sioux Lookout, the next extended stop, before going to sleep, but with the delays stacking up, I ended up dozing off in the dome car. I awoke in a very uncomfortable position with my neck bent at a 90 degree angle against the window about 15 minutes before stopping at Sioux Lookout. I brushed my teeth so I could go straight to bed after stopping, and stepped outside for about 10 minutes for fresh air in the small town of about 5,000 residents.

 

              I awoke the next morning still in Ontario. We had made up some time after Sioux Lookout, and were only running about two and a half hours late as we crossed the Manitoba border. The last call for breakfast and coffee went out a few minutes after I woke up, so I headed to the dome car to grab a cup, but held off on breakfast since I wanted to get something in Winnipeg.

 

              We arrived into Winnipeg at 10:30am, and nearly everyone disembarked to explore the city during the train’s extended service stop. The train had to be split into two for all 26 cars to fit onto the platform, and they did it so that sleeper passengers and economy passengers were kept separate. The stop was scheduled for 3 hours and 45 minutes, but staff told us to return to the station no later than 11:45 to reboard, for a noon departure which would be only fifteen minutes late. One baggage car, located between the second and third dome cars, was going to be cut off and left behind in Winnipeg.

 

              I went to the Forks Market, an indoor and historical marketplace with countless shops, restaurants and attractions. Formerly a fur trading post, it’s one of Winnipeg’s most popular tourist attractions, and was a great place to spend some time and to grab breakfast. I had two egg sandwiches and a “large” cup of coffee at Danny’s Homemade Breakfast. Somehow a large cup of coffee was only about eight ounces, so afterwards I found a Starbucks and brought another coffee back to the station when it was time to reboard. Winnipeg station had breathtaking architecture, and was designed by the same architects responsible for New York’s Grand Central Terminal. We reboarded at 12:05, but remained stationary at the platform for nearly two hours. Several passengers were unaccounted for, and the crew did not want to depart without making sure everyone made it back on board. We also had to wait for not one, not two, but seven freight trains to pass before the front section of the train could pull out of the station and reverse to recouple with the sleeper cars. We ended up departing at 2:02pm, two hours and 17 minutes late.

 

              Our next stop at Portage La Prairie, Manitoba ended up adding on more of a delay, as we had to wait for more freight trains to pass by. We were stopped alongside a city park with countless prairie dogs. Watching them made the time we were stopped pass by, and we finally departed the station nearly three hours late.

 

              The prairies of Manitoba were the flattest terrain I’ve ever experienced in my life, but it was stunningly gorgeous. Endless field of wheat, canola and flax extended as far as the eye could see, and the weather was perfect with sunny skies illuminating the yellow canola fields even more. I inquired about dinner reservations, but unfortunately the new crew who came aboard in Winnipeg weren’t planning to do another sit-down dining car style dinner. The same menu was offered in take out format, but still with an odd reservation system in staggered 45 minute intervals. No one came through the dome car to take reservations, so when I asked again around 5pm, they said they could only take my order right then or after 8pm since they had too many reservations for the 5:15, 6:00, 6:45 and 7:30 “sittings” already. I placed my order and brought my meal up to the top level of the dome car, which was the same meal as the previous night: fresh salmon with mashed potatoes and veggies, although it was a more generous portion but equally as delicious.

 

              After dinner, I played a round of Cards Against Humanities: Canada Edition with six of my fellow passengers. Each dome car had a selection of board games and card games available for passengers to use. The game was a blast, and being the Canadian version of the game, the different cards were hilarious and made for constant laughs all the way into Saskatchewan.

 

              We ran out of cards in the deck right as we arrived into Melville, Saskatchewan. While it’s not a scheduled extended stop, we were allowed off the train for about 10 minutes to stretch and catch a glimpse of the town of about 4,000. The sun was setting, but no one had a concrete idea of what time it was. Saskatchewan is always in standard time, and with some phones and watches automatically changing the time based on location, everyone’s devices said something different. My phone said 5:50pm, different crew members said it was both 6:50pm and 7:50pm, and others said it was 8:50pm. I reboarded the train having no clue how late we were, and went back to the dome car to watch the sun set for our third night on board.

 

              The sunset was incredible, but what was more stunning was a massive thunderstorm developing just to the south of the train. The land was still flat as can be, and visibilities had to be at least 25 miles in all directions. Others who had better cell phone reception than me said the storm had a tornado warning, and as the sun set on the right side of the train, the storm continued to become more ominous on the left side. It was a dream come true to see a storm like this from the dome car of a train, and as the skies got darker, the lightning became more and more frequent, and mammatus clouds began to poke out of the storm on its western edge. Found only in extremely severe thunderstorms, often ones with tornadic signatures, it was an absolutely incredible sight to see.

 

              With the sun fully set, lightning was still visible in the distance for hours. I grabbed a backwards facing seat in the dome and watched the lightning while chatting with a few other college students, including one from Arizona who was the only other American I have met onboard so far. Many curiously asked how I heard about and how I was able to get a Canada 150 Youth Pass, thinking it was only for Canadians. This, along with critical discussions about Trump’s presidency were the most common questions others have asked me so far.

 

              The train continued westward, and it hit me how we haven’t had to stop for a freight train for hours, the last being in Portage La Prairie. Freight trains were just as numerous, but they were stopping for us, instead of the other way around. With a better idea of what time it was, I calculated we were about two and a half hours late as we arrived into Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where I walked the length of the train on the platform with one of my fellow travelers who had gotten on at Winnipeg. The 25 cars ended up being about a kilometer and a half round-trip walk during the 40 minute stop at Saskatoon.

 

              I stayed up for a bit more in the dome car, watching the stars and chatting with other passengers. Before returning to my seat for the night, I asked the crew what time we were expected into Edmonton. We were expected to arrive about two hours late shortly after 8am, so I set my alarm for 7:30 to have enough time to wash up and get my belongings together.

 

              I ended up waking up before my alarm near Viking, Alberta, but didn’t try and fall back asleep. I brushed my teeth, washed up and got my duffle bag repacked before heading back to the dome car for coffee. An announcement was made that we were fifteen minutes away from the station, but we stopped shortly after for freight train traffic. The minutes ticked by, and we finally were on the move after a 45 minute stop. But we stopped again just a few minutes later just meters away from Edmonton station, this time not for freight train traffic, but because the engineer ran out of allowable time to operate the train.

 

A new crew had to be brought in just so the train could back up into the station, which resulted in another hour of delay. We finally arrived at 10:23am, four hours and one minute late. I said goodbyes to the travelers I had been hanging out with, and disembarked and watched my bags get offloaded from the baggage car. Hertz had sent a shuttle to pick me and five other passengers up, but there wasn’t enough room for all of us and our bags to be brought to the pick up location downtown, so we split up, our bags, myself and one of my fellow travelers in the shuttle, and the rest in a cab for the 15 minute ride into downtown.

 

We all picked up our rental cars, and for me, this was my first time driving a car that only had metric units. It was a little nerveracking, especially with the lack of speed limit signs I’ve encountered so far in Edmonton, and the extreme prevalence of speed enforcement cameras on city streets. Now I have a few days to explore the city, with plans for Elk Island National Park, the West Edmonton Mall, and a few sights in downtown.

 

 

I’ll have another update after the next leg of my journey when I arrive into Vancouver.


Routes taken: Vermonter (38), Ethan Allen Express (9), Northeast Regional (20), Acela Express (4; 2 BC/2 FC), Downeaster (11; 5 w/ Dome Car), Lake Shore Limited- Boston (1), Hiawatha (2), Lake Shore Limited- New York (1), Maple Leaf (1), Adirondack (3; 1 w/ Dome Car), Keystone (3), Pennsylvanian (1), Springfield Shuttle (6), Autumn Express (Nov. 3, 2013)

VIA Rail Canada: Canadian (4), Skeena (2), Ocean (4), Corridor (2) - Canada Youth 150 Pass 2017

 

Total Amtrak/VIA mileage: 28,812 // 2017: 9,496 // 2016: 2,702 // 2015: 362 // 2014: 7,858 // 2013: 6,154

Upcoming: Cardinal NYP-MAY, MAY-CHI // Empire Builder CHI-SEA // Cascades SEA-PDX // Coast Starlight PDX-SAC // California Zephyr SAC-CHI // Capitol Limited CHI-WAS // Regional PVD-NYP, WAS-WLY


#2 mcott

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 03:28 PM

Nice. I've done the Toronto to Vancouver in sleeper. A suggestion if you want a shower on your return trip. During the extended stop in Winnipeg, hit the Fairmont hotel. They should still be selling health club day passes for $10-20 CAD. When I did the trip, my at the time 85 year old grandfather refused to shower on a moving shaky train, so the Fairmont helped.



#3 OBS

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 05:55 PM

Great trip report! Thanks.



#4 oregon pioneer

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 07:46 PM

Oh my, sounds wonderful! Looking forward to more updates (and photos).


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#5 Bob Dylan

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 11:45 AM

Nice trip!😎Look forward to future chapters!

I too have only ridden the Canadian in Sleepers but talked with many people ( mostly youngsters😄) who rode in Coach all the way from Toronto to Vancouver and enjoyed the expierence. It's really a good deal if you can take so many nights in Coach and have gotten one of the dirt cheap Fares. ( Last time I rode in Feb of 2016 it was,$198 CDN!!!!😎)

They used to provide Pillows and Blankets in Coach, is this still the case?
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#6 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 04:28 AM

Great trip report....keep them coming. Looking forward to the next installment!

The Youth 150 Pass reminds me of the government sponsored programs of the late 60 and early 70s that encouraged youth to get out and see their country.... and it was mainly by rail travel. CN had two Transcons a day each way plus the long Maritime trains always heavy on coaches and always a party atmosphere! Over at CP....just the opposite: The old dowager Canadian was short on coaches with mostly a grey-haired bunch in the sleepers.

This map will explain the back-up move you encountered in Toronto. The train 'loops' through Toronto as there is nowhere to turn a train the length of the Canadian other than sending it on a 120km round-trip out to Bayview Jct near Hamilton to be 'wyed'Attached File  Canadian Route Thru Toronto.jpg   145.34KB   7 downloads

#7 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 11:27 AM

What a wonderful beginning to your trip--thanks for sharing it with us! :)

 

The views, the company, and the salmon dinner all sound great!



#8 FreeskierInVT

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 03:43 PM

After a long delay, here's part two of my trip, Edmonton to Vancouver. I fell behind in typing up my journal, mostly because I lost my laptop charger in Edmonton (which was quite an adventure getting a replacement when I was in Vancouver). I hope to finish part 3 (Vancouver-Jasper), part 4 (Jasper-Rupert), part 5 (Rupert-Jasper) and part 6 (Jasper-Toronto) soon! I'm currently on my seventh leg of my trip, en route on a Corridor train from Toronto to Montreal to connect to the Ocean to Moncton.

 

=====

Part 2, Edmonton to Vancouver

 

After a 2-1/2 day stay in Edmonton, it was time for the next part of my Canadian trip. I hadn't gotten enough sleep on the train the night before my arrival, and so the day I arrived was more or less a "recovery day". I had a rental car so in addition to exploring the city, I was able to get out to Elk Island National Park, and saw some more bison after seeing a large herd from the Skyline Dome a few days prior. I also wanted to get a shot of the Canadian while I was in town, and got this shot of the eastbound train on Wednesday 7/5:

 

https://youtu.be/M7jvyxRovNw

 

In addition to Elk Island, I explored the West Edmonton Mall and the downtown area via a walking tour, which provided a ton of local history that I definitely wouldn’t have otherwise picked up without the tour. It was a hot few days with temperatures in the upper 20s (mid 80s F) so the fountains at Churchill Square were the place to be if outdoors.

 

Knowing that the train is almost always late, I was skeptical when phone agents told me the train would be on time when I called Thursday afternoon, before bed that night and again around 5am on Friday. From others posting in the Youth 150 Facebook groups I'm in, the train had left Toronto quite late, around 2am, and if it was anything like my train I'm sure they had their fair share of freight delays. The train ended up arriving into Edmonton at about 9am (2.5 hours late) and with the huge number of people getting on, it was a little hectic. 5 cars were being added, bringing our total count to 31 cars, the longest Canadian in recent history according to crews, and the longest it can be to fit into the track space in Edmonton. Every seat and cabin were occupied with nearly 700 passengers were on board, including more than 360 in coach, 300 in sleepers and over 40 in Prestige Class. 

 

I returned to one of the two Skyline Domes for economy passengers as we approached the spot about 90km west of Edmonton where I took the video of the eastbound Canadian a few nights prior. The changing landscape as we approached the Rockies was magnificent, with a very lively crowd packing the dome well beyond capacity. We were stopped by freight for just under an hour near Hinton, but after that, completely disconnected from the outside world with no cell service, the gasps and screams from the dome were loud as can be as we saw wildlife and amazing scenery at every turn. Moose, bald eagles and osprey were visible through this stretch, with mountain goats appearing later on in the Fraser Valley.

 

I stayed in the Skyline car, in and out of the dome until about 20 minutes before arriving into Jasper. We arrived about 3.5 hours late, and crews said we had an hour to explore the town as the train got serviced. I spent a few minutes taking pictures outside in the unusual mountain heat (temps were near 33C/92F) before heading off to grab what I thought would be dinner. With hundreds of others getting to food establishments before me, lines were out the door everywhere I went. I ended up grabbing a “personal pizza” at the Pizza Hut a short walk from the station for nearly $10, but with it only being slightly larger than an English muffin, it didn’t even survive the walk back the train never mind my appetite for dinner. After reboarding, it was too late to put in a reservation for dinner, so I ended up raiding the bag of granola bars and snacks I had brought on board through the remainder of the evening.

 

We departed Jasper at 6:25pm, or about 4 hours late. We would make no stops between Jasper and Kamloops, and with the dome cars again packed, crews began instituting a rotation system, where the entire dome was forced to empty out every 45-60 minutes to allow others an equal chance to see the remainder of the Rockies in the daylight. I was up twice during this rotation before traffic trailed off as the sun set, and empty seats were more and more abundant. I planned to stay up until Kamloops to take advantage of the fresh air stop, and spent most of the evening in the dome with other 150 passengers, chatting the night away and playing games.

 

We got later and later, and our ETA into Kamloops was approaching 4am. Nevertheless, I was determined to stay up despite the delays. Sleepiness began to get the best of me just after 1:00, as I was sitting in the lower level of the Skyline car, staring blankly into the darkness outside. Suddenly, a huge red glow flashed by, grabbing my attention as well as the loud gasps of everyone in the car. It was fire, and it made another extremely close approach to the train a few seconds later as everyone’s eyes became glued to the window. It was clear we had travelled into the middle of a wildfire, and it was as close as three feet from the train. The hills around us were all ablaze, and the smell of smoke began to infiltrate the train. Seeing the fire that close was quite scary and provided quite the shot of adrenaline, keeping me awake for a while longer. Eventually, tiredness got the best of me and I fell asleep some distance before Kamloops, which we ended up arriving into 4 hours late.

 

I awoke the next morning only about 30km west of Kamloops. The train was stopped and had been stationary for hours according to train staff. A CN radio tower had burned down overnight, as did hundreds of kilometers of signal wire, stopping trains immediately across the region. With radio communication out and long backups of freight trains, it was slow going once we finally began moving at 7:15. Somehow we only lost another five hours as we creeped through darkened signals. Crews kept us well informed and announced they were already planning to prepare an extra dinner service, which if needed, would be free for all passengers.

 

We went through Ashcroft just under 9 hours late without stopping, but the hills were all charred. Seeing the Fraser Valley in daylight hours was an incredible treat, and I didn’t mind the fact we were so late except for the fact I was trading a day in Vancouver for the daylight views. We kept moving through most of the day with few stoppages except to swap crews near Chilliwack, but before then crews kept us well informed of sights to see. One highlight was Hells Gate, which Justin, our service attendant in the Skyline car, made an announcement saying we would be passing in two minutes. One Youth 150 traveler in the dome asked “is that two minutes real time or two minutes Via Rail time?”, to which Justin said after checking the location again “Via Rail time, it’ll actually be in about 40 minutes.”

 

 

The real highlight of this leg of the trip, in addition to having 300 or so other Youth 150 travelers, was the crew. Justin, the service attendant in the Skyline dome, was also onboard my previous train from Toronto to Winnipeg. Him, in addition to Ryan, who was in a service manager position, were both amongst the best train crews I have even encountered in my thousands of miles of train travel. Ryan had said he isn’t normally on board like this, since his permanent position is back in Montreal as Via’s senior manager of Train Revenue Management. Despite this, him and Justin, through their interactions and engagement with all of the economy passengers on board truly made this leg of the trip even more amazing than it would have been otherwise. Even with the delays, too-little sleep and demands from having hundreds of passengers on board, they kept cracking jokes, taking pictures and having an awesome time with us, and shared our excitement of being on board.

 

Granola bars were passed around to everyone on board around lunchtime, and of course, the flavor was maple. We were told dinner would begin being served at 7pm if we encountered any more delays, but we began approaching Vancouver just after 5pm. After passing a stored Rocky Mountaineer trainset, we slowly backed into Vancouver station at 5:15pm and were allowed to disembark at roughly 5:40, just about 8 hours late.

 

Baggage collection was a mess inside, with hundreds crowding the seemingly miniature sized baggage carousel. Eight or nine rounds of bags were placed on the carousel before my skis and suitcase finally showed up, and I made my way to the Vancouver airport to pick up my rental car at about 6:45. By 8:00 I had my car, which with Hertz points would be no charge for the week, even with the free upgrade to a Chrysler 300. Tired and sweaty, I checked into my hostel in downtown Vancouver and prepped for my journey up to Whistler the next day.

 

-          To be continued


Edited by FreeskierInVT, 28 July 2017 - 03:47 PM.

Routes taken: Vermonter (38), Ethan Allen Express (9), Northeast Regional (20), Acela Express (4; 2 BC/2 FC), Downeaster (11; 5 w/ Dome Car), Lake Shore Limited- Boston (1), Hiawatha (2), Lake Shore Limited- New York (1), Maple Leaf (1), Adirondack (3; 1 w/ Dome Car), Keystone (3), Pennsylvanian (1), Springfield Shuttle (6), Autumn Express (Nov. 3, 2013)

VIA Rail Canada: Canadian (4), Skeena (2), Ocean (4), Corridor (2) - Canada Youth 150 Pass 2017

 

Total Amtrak/VIA mileage: 28,812 // 2017: 9,496 // 2016: 2,702 // 2015: 362 // 2014: 7,858 // 2013: 6,154

Upcoming: Cardinal NYP-MAY, MAY-CHI // Empire Builder CHI-SEA // Cascades SEA-PDX // Coast Starlight PDX-SAC // California Zephyr SAC-CHI // Capitol Limited CHI-WAS // Regional PVD-NYP, WAS-WLY


#9 Bob Dylan

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 03:51 PM

What an adventure!😎

Looking forward to the next Chapter, thanks for sharing!😊
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#10 oregon pioneer

oregon pioneer

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:23 PM

Wow, exciting trip through the fire. I have seen video footage of trains and cars traveling through wildfire, but never done anything like that myself. Looking forward to more of your adventures!


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.





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