For a Summer vacation I had quite the opportunity to do a once-of-a-lifetime trip. That would be riding VIA Rail’s train 1 “The Canadian” the whole route from Toronto, Ontario to Vancouver, BC. A total of 4 nights and 5 days on one of the last great streamliners in the world. Our train (which left Toronto the evening of 7/12/13) had two locomotives leading a total of 19 cars.
After leaving the city lights of Toronto, it’s not long before day 2 rolls around. Most of day 2 is though the heavy forests of Northern Ontario. The “big” station stop of the day is the tiny town of Hornpayne. The town itself couldn’t have had more than 300 people, yet they did have a wifi connection that was available from the train as we were stopped there.
The following morning we find ourselves fast approaching Winnipeg, MB. Which is touted as the big half-way point on the Journey. This is also the point where the entire crew with the exception of the crew chief is changed. That includes the sleeping car attendants and dining staffs. Normally a 4 hour station stop, but due to being late we didn’t have as much time as originally planned. However I did get to visit the Winnipeg Railway Museum before getting back on the train and continuing west.
Day 4 probably consisted of the most action caught on camera. First we had arrived into Edmonton, Alberta. This is the spot were the VIA Rail Panorama sightseeing car would be put on for the run through the Rockies. Unfortunately most of the trip though the mountains was plagued by gloomy skies and more than occasional rain shower. Beyond Jasper we continued down though the mountains towards Kamloops. During this time I got a sampling of the on-board entertainment. First, during dinner, the train’s crew chief Fabian (who’d been aboard since Toronto) serenaded the Dining Car for it’s last dinner of the trip. The small segment in this video is his playing of the Oasis song Wonderwall. Also, up-and-coming musician Megan Twist played a few “gigs” during the journey. Featured here is a piece of her playing Old Crow Medicine Show’s version of Wagon Wheel.
Day 5 bought us the sights and sounds of Vancouver, and bought to a bittersweet end of an unbelievable trip. The train has brought together new friendships and unforgettable memories. No matter what happens, I will never forget my first experience riding VIA number 1.
We have more Canadia footage, so stay tuned!!!
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