Prince George to Rupert

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Prince George to Rupert

Postby cnr1949 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:56 pm

I'm considering doing the PG to PR trip this winter. It should be spectacular through that country when there's snow on the peaks. Has anyone done this trip recently? Is there any food service on the train? Any suggestions for hotels within walking distance of the stations at either end of the trip?
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby jp1822 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:24 am

There is a Sheraton or Crest/Coast Hotel in Prince George. I can't recall any luxurious locations In Prince George. But in Prince Rupert, I've taken a cab from the train station to The Crest Hotel.

Just make sure the train is running. I saw it bustituted a lot last January (2015) when I was in Jasper. Food service is limited to the Park Car or coach car. Ideally VIA should run baggage, coach, and Park Car. But this even varied. Keep in mind that daylight is limited.

BUT, if all aligns and you are get a train with the right cars, it's a spectacular trip in winter!
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby cnr1949 » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:29 pm

Thanks for the warning about the "bus". That would be a terrible disappointment.
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:04 am

Is there a way to get from Prince Rupert down to Vancouver on rail [without backtracking to Jasper] or by ferry?
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby Nicholas Chen » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:45 am

No trains aside frrom going back to Jasper, and the only ferries go to Port Hardy (on Vancouver Island but a long way from Vancouver) or up north towards Alaska.
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby NorthWest » Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:23 am

You can take the Alaska Marine Highway ferry down to Bellingham, WA (about 50 miles south of Vancouver) and take Amtrak Cascades up to Vancouver. The ferry terminal and train station in Bellingham are essentially adjacent.
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:05 am

I appreciate that. It appears that one has to go north from Prince Rupert to either Ketchikan or Juneau, change, then go back south. Add a room and it comes to about $900.00 plus food. Not too cheap!
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby jp1822 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:32 am

You can fly between Vancouver and Prince Rupert. There used to be like two flights a day through Air Canada. RDC's - no not in operation on this route. I would just call VIA or try to call the Jasper train station and see if they have any info on whether the trip to Prince Rupert has been a "train" or a "bus."
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby Mark0f0 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:43 am

Did the trip last summer. Food is minimal in Economy, but you can buy a beer, a few liqueurs, and a few random snacks from the menu. Hit the Save on Foods in Prince George and pick something up if you arrive before closing time. Its not that bad of a walk from the station/downtown.

Jasper hotels are a dime a dozen and unfortunately can be extremely pricey. Rupert hotels really aren't 'walking distance' especially at night (they use the ferry terminal for arrivals/departures, not the old train station which is not that far from the hotels/downtown, unfortunately). But a $10 cab ride takes you anywhere in the city pretty much. I stayed at the "Prince Rupert Hotel".

If you're going in the winter, and anticipate arriving in the Terrace area after dark (which would usually be the case in the winter), I highly suggest that you find your way back to Terrace on the train to finish things up, and then fly out of Terrace. The Skeena River is spectacular in daylight. I'd almost say that you're probably better off, in the winter, to do the trip eastbound, so you get to see the highlights, instead of just travelling in pitch black If you arrive in Burns Lake, Vanderhoof, Prince George in the dark eastbound, its not a big deal.
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby Tadman » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:35 am

Has there been any ridership feedback since the train dropped sleepers in favor of an overnight pause at Prince George? I'm curious if ridership has seen any losses.
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby jp1822 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:29 pm

Tadman wrote:Has there been any ridership feedback since the train dropped sleepers in favor of an overnight pause at Prince George? I'm curious if ridership has seen any losses.


I remember some literature coming out after VIA made the conversion, advertising that it was a more "successful" train as two daylight runs than leave Jasper at 4 pm and be in the Prince George area post-midnight) and then Prince Rupert by 12 noon the next day. Even as an overnight train in the 1990s, it was one coach, diner, and Chateau sleeper. Train still carries at least one coach and Park Car year-round, but expands in summer to take on a new crowd - the tourists. So it likely gained a new audience and became more passenger friendly timing for Prince George. Those heading "all the way" to Prince Rupert though have a longer trip. I think that got offset by the fact that VIA can market the train for its daylight scenery......and then also the Panorama Car.

I've often wondered - should it be a a two day daylight train say May through October (expanding the peak season a bit perhaps), but then since daylight is at a premium October through April on this route for the most part, does it make sense to revert to the old overnight schedule? Not sure. But even in the 1990s, VIA was just carrying one ex-CP Budd Chateau sleeper on this train.......

Overall, love taking this train in early peak season with Panorama Car! It needs to be extended to Edmonton now though to try and get more traffic.
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby Mark0f0 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:00 am

jp1822 wrote:I've often wondered - should it be a a two day daylight train say May through October (expanding the peak season a bit perhaps), but then since daylight is at a premium October through April on this route for the most part, does it make sense to revert to the old overnight schedule? Not sure. But even in the 1990s, VIA was just carrying one ex-CP Budd Chateau sleeper on this train.......

Overall, love taking this train in early peak season with Panorama Car! It needs to be extended to Edmonton now though to try and get more traffic.


For the first time in a long time, it is possible to do an official same-day connection between The Canadian (out of Edmonton), and #5. Thus avoiding an overnight hotel stay in Jasper.

How well it ends up working, or if VIA ends up paying for a lot of hotel rooms in Jasper for broken connections remains to be seen.
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby Tadman » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:19 pm

If Via encourages passengers not to schedule flights home the same day as 1/2 arrival at endpoints, they would be smart to discourage or drop same-day connections between the Skeena and the Canadian.
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby marquisofmississauga » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:37 am

It should work well on a Friday departure from Edmonton. The Canadian number 3 is the local Edmonton – Vancouver train. It is more likely to depart on time than #1 which comes from Toronto on the other two days a week. Departure from Edmonton is 00:01 with arrival in Jasper at 06:30.

Sleepers are rather expensive, though. A lower berth costs $545 plus tax at the discounted rate and $830 at full price. A cabin for 1 (roomette) is $748 or $1139.
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Re: Prince George to Rupert

Postby dowlingm » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:05 pm

Not Skeena related other than it impacts Jasper, but everyone is aware of the new 3/4 trains (Vancouver-Edmonton) starting end of April, right? I only heard about it recently.

https://www.viarail.ca/sites/all/files/ ... couver.pdf
https://www.viarail.ca/sites/all/files/ ... oronto.pdf
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