Post by Ross Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Doesn't that require you to endure a very long stretch of uninteresting
scenery? In 1961 I went by car from Toronto to Vancouver (not USA, I
know, in case anyone feels like pointing that out). The first part
(until the approach to Winnipeg) was OK, except that there was a sense
of sameness all around Lake Superior (driving from here to Arles, about
100 minutes, takes you through seven very different sorts of scenery).
Likewise, from Calgary to Vancouver was OK. In between were more than
two days' worth of nothing very much...
The trick is to expect and appreciate that. Gives you a sense of scale.
Post by Ross
Depends what you're looking for. The old CPR three-day trip from Toronto
to Vancouver (which I was lucky enough to take a couple of times) gives
you a sense of the vastness of the country.
Post by Ross
There was a day of Ontario
nothing-muchness (pine trees, rocks), then the prairie nothing-muchness
(utter flatness, grain elevators on the horizon), then a day winding
through the mountains to the Pacific, which is the money shot. I think
some time in the 70s they discontinued everything but the Rocky Mountain
VIA Rail had to discontinue the CPR route due to reduced subsidy, but
they still operate the CNR route two or three times a week, and they
were smart enough to move the ex-CPR passenger cars, which were nicer
than the ex-CNR ones, onto it. (With that fact as justification, they
also transferred the CPR's train name "The Canadian" onto the CNR route.)
Here I'll describe things from west to east rather than east to west.
The trains on both routes used to split into two portions in Northern
Ontario, one to Toronto and the other to Ottawa and Montreal. Today's
"Canadian" only runs to Toronto, though.
The CNR route is Vancouver - Kamloops - Jasper - Edmonton - Saskatoon
- Winnipeg - Sioux Lookout - Capreol - Toronto; the CPR route was
Vancouver - Kamloops - Banff - Calgary - Regina - Winnipeg - Thunder Bay
- Sudbury - Toronto. In each case the Montreal portion split off at
the last place I listed before Toronto.
As far as Kamloops both routes run in parallel, on opposite sides
of the same canyon In fact, these days all trains -- freight and
passenger -- normally use the CNR track in one direction and the
CPR track the other way. So there's nothing to choose between them
as to scenery to that point. From there to Banff or Jasper, I think
the CNR route is scenic (I've done it by car but not by train) while
the CPR route was *more* scenic. The CPR route had a second scenic
advantage in that it ran along the north shore of Lake Superior for
a couple of hours after Thunder Bay,
What Ross is thinking of with his "except" clause is that a separate,
private company -- Rocky Mountaineer Railtours now operates its own
trains that travel only by day. The first day out of Vancouver they
go as far as Kamloops, and then the passengers go to a hotel. On the
second day the train is split into two portions, one to Jasper by the
CNR route and one to Banff (originally to Calgary) by the CPR route.
These trains are marketed as "land cruises" and you can only buy the
packages the company offers, rather than point-to-point tickets.
Mark Brader | "But how do you figure out whether the programmer
Toronto | knew what he was doing when you find his code
***@vex.net | after he's gone?" -- Roger Critchlow
My text in this article is in the public domain.