Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V

  by mandealco
My wife and I are travelling on the Canadian from Vancouver to toronto in June. Apart from the actual train itself, which is the main highlight, what other locations of rail interest are we likely to see on the way? Places that I should have my camera at the ready?

Thanks for any info that may help.
  by labaienordique
My experience is limited to East of Portage-la-Prairie, but I'm almost certain the Mountains are spectacular.

- I really enjoyed the Downtown scenery in Winnipeg.
- The Wabakimi Provinical Park stretch (Flindt Landing-Allanwater Bridge-Collins) I found scenic with numerous small lakes.
- Longlac (near the Lake) has some nice picture opportunities.
- If the Canadien is late departing Sudbury/Capréol, you might be able to see the Parry Sound trestle bridge in Georgian Bay.
- You might be able to take pictures of the Westbound Canadien when your meet near Hornepayne.
- If you're traveling on Tuesday or Thursday (south of Capréol), there might be an opportunity to take pictures of the Northbound Northlander train when you meet between Washago & Toronto.

Hope this helps & enjoy!
  by labaienordique
You also may have the opportunity to see the Algoma Central train at Oba if both trains are on time.
  by Ken V
mandealco wrote:what other locations of rail interest are we likely to see on the way? Places that I should have my camera at the ready?
If I properly understand your inquiry, you are not so much interested in majestic mountains, raging rivers, endless plains, placid lakes, or other such scenery, all of which can be seen from the train, but rather wish to find out about railway specific points of interest.

Offhand I can think of a few such items like along the Fraser River Canyon after leaving Vancouver where the Canadian Pacific and Canadian Northern railway routes run on opposite sides of the river crossing each other a couple of times along the way. Unfortunately. with the present schedule, the Canadian traverses this portion at night. Another location may be in the Yellowhead Pass between Valemount BC and Jasper Alberta where there is a complex set of interchange tracks that once formed the junction of the Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk Pacific lines, now both part of CN. One more location would be Winnipeg Union Station that you should have plenty of time to explore. There are also numerous rail bridges, tunnels, trestles, viaducts, rail yards, etc. that you will travel through.

Sadly, the most interesting railway feature in Canada (imho). the Spiral Tunnels, is no longer on VIA's route, although I was fortunate enough to ride through these on the original Canadian many, many years ago.

I am by no means knowledgeable on this subject, but I do recommend obtaining a copy of the "Scenic Rail Guide to Western Canada" (Revised edition - 1985) by Bill Coo and follow the "Route of the Super Continental" description which describes today's VIA Canadian.
Note - it is important to get the revised edition and not the original as the original did not include the present routing
  by mandealco
Hi Ken
Thanks for the info. I do have the Rail Guide, which I bought here in the 80's, but it's the 1984 edition! Still useful, but as you said, minus the Super Continental route.

I'm also interested in rail facilities, places where I may see other railroads, such as CP. I've seen grain elevators with there own motive power, where am I likely to see any of these?

Google maps are great, just about travelled the entire route sitting with my laptop!