Trans-Canada Rail Adventure
October 2 - 12, 2008
Grand Circle Travel
This travel adventure started with a
flight from Binghamton
to Washington Dulles. It was
uneventful until I checked
on to my flight to Toronto. I had a
ticket but no assigned seat.
The Grand Circle Travel Department
had messed up
again and neglected to secure a seat
assignment for me.
I got bumped! After an additional
four hour wait,
I was off to Toronto. I did receive a
ticket good for a year anywhere to the
USA. I arrived in
Toronto in the middle of a heavy rain
storm, not pleasant
experience for the traveler. My
suitcase decided that it
was drier and nicer in Washington. So
I started the first part
of my trip with no luggage other than
my carry on.
My suitcase arrived the next
On Friday morning we had the usual bus
Below is a photo of downtown Toronto
from the boat
we had our harbor cruise on. On our
drive we saw the
Rogers Centre, Parliament buildings,
Royal Ontario Museum
and the Canadian National Tower. I
would definitely return to Toronto
to sightsee as there were many
interesting sights to visit.
Our tour stayed at the Delta Chelsea
hotel which was first class.
After our morning tour we had free
time to explore
downtown Toronto. I walked the Eaton
a very active four story shopping
mall. I noted
that Levi's were $75.00 (Canadian) a
pair in Sears. Ouch!
Our harbor cruise boat.
Early the next morning our local tour
bus took us to the
Toronto Via Train Station. We had a
9:00 am train to board.
The locomotive that will pull our
Sudbury north of Toronto.
Typical Ontario scenery as we ride
along to our next stop.
We saw many lakes and the fall colors
were out in
prime fashion. When we boarded the
train we were
told that there would be a $100.00
refund to each of us
to compensate for having travel on a
different train than one
originally scheduled. It turned out
that our trans-Canada
train was held up by the derailment of
another train. So we
boarded our cross Canada train at
The service on the train from Toronto
was very good.
Boarding our Trans-Canada train.
Sitting in the dome
cars was a most pleasant way to see
Canada as were rode along.
We saw many beautiful lakes as we
across the province of Ontario.
We had a brief stop at Sioux Lookout
to change train crews.
We are heading for provinces of
Saskatchewan. We left the province
two days of travel from Toronto.
Our train ride took us across the vast
flat lands of
the middle provinces of Canada. This
part of the
trip was mainly at night with little
to see or
photograph. We did see fields with
large crops of corn.
The VIA station in Edmonton. We had
a chance to leave
the train for an hour to walk around
the station area. T
he it was off to Jasper, Alberta and
mountains. We are getting close to
Canadian Rockies at last.
Our train traveling along through
beautiful fall colors.
The Jasper Train Station. We arrived
on schedule at
mid afternoon. We left the CN Via
train here and
were bussed to a hotel in the village
Jasper for a one evening stay.
The Canadian Rockies surround Jasper.
They were capped with early fall snow.
As soon as we left the train, the crew
passengers for the remaining trip to
A local train crew was washing down
the train to remove
the dirt that would prevent seeing the
scenery along the way.
A Canadian National Steam Locomotive
near the Jasper train station.
On Day 6, October 7th, we had an early
to drive down the Icefields Parkway in
tour bus heading for Banff. The day
in the rain which followed us most of
Above is a photo of one of the
along the way to the Columbia
Snow clouds moving in!
We arrived at the Columbia Icefields
Center at 9:30 am. Our tickets were
purchased for our
trip up to the Athabasca Glacier
scheduled for 10:15 am.
About 9:45 am a heavy snow storm moved
in to the area.
In this photo you can hardly see the
glacier in the distance.
The Icefields Visitor center.
I made a new Canadian friend inside
the visitor center.
At 10:00 am our tour Program Director
Tim Kruz was
informed that the tours of the Glacier
due to heavy snow fall. We reboarded
our tour bus for the
trip on to Banff. It was a very tense
drive for the next
hour as we descended down the
parkway. Our trip steadily
dropped several thousand feet as we
the Icefields Visitor Center.
Snow capped mountains as we descend.
When we reached the valley below the
we stopped at a very pretty waterfall
Mountains along the drive.
Our next stop was at Peyto Lake. It
was cold and
slippery walking to this viewpoint.
When I visited
this spot in August, I wore shorts and
a tee shirt.
I liked the visit in August better!
Our lunch break was at Lake Louise.
low cloud cover prevented a good photo
of the mountain
and glacier in the background. We had
a buffet lunch
in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise,
it was a terrible meal
with the buffet lacking food in many
places on the serving
table. I was very disappointed in
this dining experience
since I had heard many good
about staying at the Chateau.
A cold spot for a photo!
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Lake Moraine. We are continuing on to
Fall colors as we near Banff.
Mount Rundle greets us to Banff.
After arriving in Banff we had free
time and a chance to
settle into our Hotel for our two
night stay. The next
morning we had a bus tour of the area
Banff, during the drive we happened
upon a small
group of Elk on the Banff golf
course. Here are two
young Elks practicing the rutting.
It is early in the morning and they
playing on the golf course as we drove
Bow River Falls outside of Banff. The
through Banff. Last August, I had a
float trip down the
Bow River. No trips today!
The Fairmont Château Banff.
An Elk trimming the Chateau hedge.
It was breakfast for him.
Banff Mountain Scenery.
More Banff scenery!
A last look at Banff Mountains at sun
It is early in the morning of October
we board the Rocky Mountaineer Train
to complete our trip across Canada.
Above is first light on a mountain
from our hotel in downtown Banff.
Breathtaking photos as we ride along
Rocky Mountaineer. I am assigned to
rail coach with great views of the
We will travel on the train for the
next two days.
We will reach our final stop in
October 10th. Following are several
scenes taken from the train.
We are passing a east bound freight
on a siding. Many times we had to
wait on a siding
for an east bound freight train to
pass. Most trains heading
east were empty on their way to be
with grain in the middle plains of
Snow capped mountains, fall colors and
what more could you ask for?
The Thompson River.
A large log boom tied to the lake
A mountain water fall.
Powder snow resting on a mountain
being deposited over night.
Beautiful river scenes helped the day
A railroad snow plow waiting on a
siding for winter snow falls.
Beautiful falls colors!
The train round a curve. There were
over 700 passengers on this train.
More beautiful fall colors! We have
had a great
day of touring. Bright sun made
picture taking a breeze.
This was the most picturesque day of
the trip. There
were so many beautiful scenes it was
hard to keep
up with my picture taking. That is
the reason that
digital photography is so great!
As the day drew to a close we arrived
in the late afternoon where we would
the night in a local hotel. The Rocky
Mountaineer had a slick
operation at the station when we
arrived in town. Busses
delivered and picked us up the next
morning at our hotel
in downtown Kamloops to return our
our railroad car to complete our
travels to Vancouver .
Sunrise over Kamloops. Our day of
travel to Vancouver
promises bright sun light and fair
We continue heading westward to
The scenery is changing as we travel along.
We followed rivers all the way to
Into another tunnel!
Our train entering a snow shed. The
protect the railroad tracks from being
by snow slides in winter.
Farms now greet us as we travel
along. It was
interesting to see the changing from
forests to farm land.
An eastbound freight train
waiting for us to pass.
Fraser River log boom.
A small log tug boat working near a
large log boom.
End of the line! The Rocky
Mountaineer staff in
Vancouver on their station platform to
train in the late afternoon. The
train ride was
fabulous in every way. A once in a
lifetime rail tour.
Our Vancouver stay was a great way to
down from our train ride. We stayed
at the Marriot
Pinnacle Hotel in the downtown area.
My room was
on the ninth floor and had a wonderful
view of the harbor.
It was a great hotel in every way.
On Saturday morning, we set out on a
bus tour of
the city of Vancouver. Our first stop
was at the Glass Studio of
Robert Held. We saw a very attractive
glass bowl made.
The glass pieces on display were very
attractive. Our next
stop was in Stanley Park at their
large totem pole display. The park
is very large at is on the harbor.
Stanley Bridge in the background of
as were ride around the park.
Another view from the park.
Granville Island is located in the
harbor near downtown
Vancouver. It is a very interesting
shopping area with
many difference shops selling all
sorts of items.
There were also lots of places to
The next day we departed for home or
the post tour
trip to Vancouver Island and the city
I did not elect the post tour so it
was off the airport
and three fights before I arrived in
What a great trip, it was truly a
great travel experience.