Author Topic: BC mountains and the old CPR line  (Read 4922 times)

skdadl

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BC mountains and the old CPR line
« on: May 18, 2008, 07:28:36 PM »
Can anyone tell me? When you ride the old CPR line from Vancouver to Banff (or I guess the reverse), there is a point deep into the mountains in BC when the train does a very long and extended kind of S-curve to get up a steep grade, so you are going back and forth and back and forth staring at the same utterly terrifying enormous mountain across the way from different angles for quite some time. I think that is a classic experience, and someone must know the name for it -- for the valley or for the mountain, but damned if I can remember.

Anyone?

Toedancer

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2008, 08:19:06 PM »
Oh. My. That sounds positively terrifying yet exciting.
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jrootham

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008, 08:26:14 PM »
Do you mean the spiral tunnels at the Big Hill?

skdadl

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2008, 09:37:47 PM »
That must be it, jr, although I don't remember the tunnels so clearly -- what I remember is the sight of that vast mountain across the way (would that be Mount Stephen or Cathedral Mountain?), and then I do have some vague memory of seeing part of my own train going in a different direction.   :mrgreen:

It's a great experience. Och, but I wish we could have the old CPR line back, all across the country. I wish that so much. God damn Brian Mulroney and all who sailed in him.

PS: Thank you very much for knowing, jr.   :)

ETA: I've just been looking at the enlarged drawing of the tunnels -- that must be it. What a magnificent thing to have done.

anne cameron

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2008, 11:20:23 AM »
And a dead chinese worker for every mile of track.

skdadl

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2008, 01:26:50 PM »
Yes, I know that, anne, I know that, and the thought even crossed my tiny mind as I was reading the article and staring at that diagram last night.

It is a horrible story, and yet it is part of our culture, in so many ways. There isn't a whistle-stop town on the prairies that doesn't have at least a small Chinatown (although they're probably mostly fusioned-up these days), and that is a legacy of the railway, 'way back to the C19, one of the most humanizing factors in the kinds of places I grew up.

And beyond that, I can't help being awestruck by the engineering achievements of that line driven through the Kicking Horse and beyond, down the Fraser Canyon too. I don't know whether we have the people any more, either brains or sweat labour, tough enough to do that. It belongs to a whole different time.

And I want that railway back! I want it for passengers, and I want it cheap! It's ours!

arborman

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008, 01:01:18 PM »
We're planning to take the train to Edmonton (from Vancouver) for Xmas this year, if we can afford it and I can get the time off.

Time to start walking my enviro talk, basically.
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Croghan27

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 01:08:04 PM »
Quote from: arborman
We're planning to take the train to Edmonton (from Vancouver) for Xmas this year, if we can afford it and I can get the time off.

Time to start walking my enviro talk, basically.

The last time I took the train, from Vancouver to Calgary, most of the travel was at night ...missing the spectacular aspects of the trip.

I hope they have adjusted their schedule now.
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skdadl

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 01:17:21 PM »
I don't know what the schedule is now, but when we did Vancouver to Calgary, we left Vancouver about midday, a little later, maybe, and the downside of that was that by the time we were in the Fraser Canyon, which is spectacular, it was getting dark, so we missed that.

But we awoke to the Cascades and the Kootenay valley and then the Rockies, which are even more spectacular, so I figured that was probably the best the railway could do, given how long the trip takes. It's about 24 hrs from Vancouver to Banff, so you've got to miss something.

The great thing about the trip to Edmonton is Jasper. Oh, I would love to go back to Jasper. I guess it has been overcommercialized now. It was such a wonderful place back in the fifties (when Marilyn Monroe was there).

anne cameron

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2008, 01:33:56 PM »
Don't know if it's true or not but I was told by a worker on the train that the trip is deliberately scheduled and the speed monitored at a particular rate so that it is dead dark when the train goes through the most extreme parts of the route.  Otherwise people might freak right out because there are places where it looks as if you're hanging out over nothing-at-all.

Might be a myth.  I remember the worker grinning and saying there were places would make a mountain goat feel faint.

HeywoodFloyd

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2008, 03:16:58 PM »
Quote from: Croghan27
Quote from: arborman
We're planning to take the train to Edmonton (from Vancouver) for Xmas this year, if we can afford it and I can get the time off.

Time to start walking my enviro talk, basically.

The last time I took the train, from Vancouver to Calgary, most of the travel was at night ...missing the spectacular aspects of the trip.

I hope they have adjusted their schedule now.

There is no scheduled passenger service on the Vancouver-Calgary line now. Rocky Mountain Railtours operates an excursion service with an overnight in Kamloops so that all travel is done during the day.

skdadl

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2008, 03:19:44 PM »
Quote from: HeywoodFloyd
There is no scheduled passenger service on the Vancouver-Calgary line now. Rocky Mountain Railtours operates an excursion service with an overnight in Kamloops so that all travel is done during the day.

Which is a CRIME, Heywood, a crime, and it is a CONSERVATIVE CRIME. Your f'n party trashed Canadian history and the Canadian economy and ordinary Canadian people when it killed the old CPR route. *rrrrrrr*   :twisted:

deBeauxOs

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2008, 03:35:26 PM »
Quote from: HeywoodFloyd
Quote from: arborman
We're planning to take the train to Edmonton (from Vancouver) for Xmas this year, if we can afford it and I can get the time off. ....
There is no scheduled passenger service on the Vancouver-Calgary line now. Rocky Mountain Railtours operates an excursion service with an overnight in Kamloops so that all travel is done during the day.
Oh.  That's weird.  If I go to the VIA website, I can book train travel for various destinations, including Toronto to Vancouver with stops in Capreol, Hornepayne, Sioux Lookout, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper, and Kamloops - presumably to take on passengers, but also to give smokers an opportunity for a drag.

jrootham

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2008, 04:00:56 PM »
I would presume that Kamloops is where the CN and CP lines merged.  The CN lines still carry passengers, the CP lines do not.

You will note that Calgary and Banff are not on the stations list.

HeywoodFloyd

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2008, 04:05:27 PM »
Quote from: skdadl
Quote from: HeywoodFloyd
There is no scheduled passenger service on the Vancouver-Calgary line now. Rocky Mountain Railtours operates an excursion service with an overnight in Kamloops so that all travel is done during the day.

Which is a CRIME, Heywood, a crime, and it is a CONSERVATIVE CRIME. Your f'n party trashed Canadian history and the Canadian economy and ordinary Canadian people when it killed the old CPR route. *rrrrrrr*   :twisted:

I agree. Completely.

 

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