Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Winnipeg to Vancouver on VIA's Canadian, Oct. 1980

Before departing Winnipeg after arriving from Toronto, a quick tour of East Yard revealed rusting CN dome Fraser in need of repair, and VIA sleeper Greenwood with wreck damage:

Wascana, an ex-CP diner was added to our train. Once again aboard VIA No 1, departing Winnipeg at 1330 October 26, we met a four-unit CP Rail freight at Brandon with 30 stock cars, open auto racks of Datsuns and TOFC. The next morning, during the 0830-1200 Calgary station stop, a power swap was made. Old power at left, with CP 1413, CP 1964, and VIA 1418 at right:

Drew Makepeace photo showing the new locomotive consist:

VIA 1418 promptly died and was replaced after a 30-minute delay with a CP Geep, making it a completely CP power consist. Two CP freights eased by: 5601 - 5585 - 8613 - 5649 - 5778 with an eastbound at 0930, and 8424 - 8821 with a 61-car westbound at 0945:

West of Calgary, a smudge of exhaust shows that our power consist is working hard as it pulls us into the foothills of the Rockies. We met an eastbound freight with 5673 - 5791 - 5720 - 5566.

At Banff station, sleeping car passengers prepare to board:

At 1645, we passed a manned pusher station, with three units on the siding and five on the wye. Passing over the bottom portal of the lower Spiral Tunnel, our train will soon follow the track below westward at Cathedral, 45 feet below:

Very soon afterwards, leaning out the open Dutch door, two VIA stainless steel cars are entering the top portal of the lower Spiral Tunnel:

As light fades and mist descends on the mountain valley, our train exits a tunnel bearing the date 1908, as we approach Field, British Columbia, arriving in Vancouver the next morning.


Canadian Train Geek said...

Great story!

Drew Makepeace said...

That was a fun trip. I'll have to do some scanning from my photo archive.

Eric said...

Hi Andrew, I highlighted the railfan aspects of the trip, but I can also remember people climbing into coach luggage racks, and many people crammed into a double bedroom, until the porter came along. G.T.'s! And it was educational too. Look forward to your shots which may prompt me to do a postscript. Eric

Drew Makepeace said...

I see now that I commented in 2009 that I would scan some photos from my archive. Now it's five years later and I've actually done it! (Recently I posted a link to my photo of the BCH switcher on another of your posts.)

Today I uploaded my shot of the Canadian during the layover in Calgary, while on the epic ESS Band trip. It is likely taken within minutes of yours.

Eric said...

Well, better late than never, Drew! Thanks for posting the F photes! It was a foggy morning!