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VIA Canadian - Vancouver to Jasper

sunny 10 °C
View 2010 Around the World on greynomadm's travel map.

Day 25 - Sunday 10 October – VIA Canadian
Temperature 20 °C & Bright Sunshine

Right on 5:30 the special lounge opens and we found a table and chair on the patio (complete with outdoor gas heaters). Tea, coffee and water as well as biscuits – help yourself. An older bloke sets up a sound system and entertains us with key-board, guitar and saxophone, his voice is not too shabby either. At 8 pm the 'other' passengers are allowed to board and when they've cleared the 'platform' we 'sleeper class' are invited to board.
Live Music
The VIA 'Silver and Blue' Patio

Typical of North American country trains there are no raised platforms, steps fold down from the carriage and you climb aboard. The first step is a big one for little short ladies :-). We find our cabin and as the train rolls out at 8:30 PM and our attendant explains the features of the cabin. It is quite compact, it has a toilet and wash basin but very limited storage space. There are two arm chairs which fold down and store under the bed when made up.

We are encouraged to visit one of the three observation cars where they serve us champagne and canapes. There is a constant supply of tea, coffee, muffins and fruit. After an hour or so we return to the cabin and find the room converted to a double bunk bedroom. We turn in and try to sleep not easy when there's the constant noise of the train and the multi directional rocking as the train snakes its way up the mountains.

Day 26 - Monday 11 October – Aboard the VIA Canadian
Temperature ??°C & Fog clearing to Bright Sunshine

We wake up at 6 am at Kamloops North – 428 Km out of Vancouver. We head for the dinning car a little ahead of the 6:30 serving time – no big deal and when they open we're one of the first in. Good choice of breakfast options – Jenny chooses cereal and toast, I have eggs, sausage and hash-brown (sounds like the $4.75 breakfast at the Grove Inn, but presentation and quality are way better).

After breakfast we spend time in the observation car and see snatches of mountains on both sides of the train. Gradually the fog lifts and the train follows the river as we climb North East. Our lunch sitting is at 11 and after lunch we head back to the observation car. By this time there are views of distant snow clad peaks, the trees line the track and see glimpses of the river. Simply spectacular.
Obvervation Car
Another Observation Car
Distant Mountains
Distant Mountains
Distant Mountains

At about 1:30 the highest peak on the Canadian Rockies comes into view. Mt Robson is 3,954 m (12,972 ft) in elevation and stands out from the terrain by 2,829 m (9,281 ft). The train crew claim that a perfect view occurs only about 20 days per year – what luck, this is one of them.
We advance our clocks by an hour to go to US & Canada Mountain Time. We arrive in Jasper about 30 minutes ahead of schedule having travelled 886 Km from Vancouver. We disembark and retrieve our checked baggage. We sit and wait for the hotel shuttle which turns up at the 'normal' time.

Mt Robson

Jasper Station

The reason we were ahead of schedule is because of the Thanksgiving Holiday there were fewer freight trains. The freight has priority over our train and because there were fewer times where we had to wait for them to pass we arrived early.
Freight Train
Will report on the Fairmont Jasper Lodge in a separate entry.

Posted by greynomadm 19:41 Archived in Canada

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WOW. Those observation cars are so cool!

Glad you started the blog dad - the kids and us are loving it!


by DrTard

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