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Canadian Railroads > The "Skeena" at Prince George late 1970's

Date: 05/15/20 16:48
The "Skeena" at Prince George late 1970's
Author: photobob

I know it wasn't called the "Skeena" then but I like the name. Here it is making a late evening stop at Prince George on its run from Prince Rupert to Jasper. I was on this train and it was a long slow run.

Robert Morris
Dunsmuir, CA
Robert Morris Photography

Date: 05/15/20 20:40
Re: The "Skeena" at Prince George late 1970's
Author: exrtc

Thanks.  Lovely photo, lovely memories.

Chris Rye

Date: 05/15/20 20:47
Re: The "Skeena" at Prince George late 1970's
Author: jp1822

A long slow run for sure, but it at least has some great scenery along the way! And as the photographer and others know, it left Jasper in the evening and then arrived in Prince Rupert the following late afternoon/early evening. Overnight and then full day on the train.......VIA tried a number of schedules with this train - mostly originating it in Edmonton, running it solo or attached to the Super Continental, and then connecting it largely with the Super Continental at Edmonton before splitting it off at Jasper for the eventual run up to Prince George and Prince Rupert. In all the schedules I've seen, it always had a passenger friendly calling time at Prince George. But it ranged anything from a westbound late evening arrival/departure from Prince George to an early morning arrival/departure from Prince George. Nearly the same flip-flopping schedule would take place heading eastbound too. I always found it neat to see what schedule the Skeena would take on with the release of a new VIA schedule. It even ran out of Vancouver for a while (overnight to Jasper) and then out to Prince Rupert, but I forget the time frame involved in that - post 1990 after the Canadian was moved over to the northern route and this gave VIA 6x week service that it wanted from Vancouver to Jasper??? Then of course VIA decided to make it similar to the Rocky Mountaineer and turn it into a "see the Rockies by Daylight" train, and the overnight stop in Prince George took place.  

As of a few years ago the crew for the Skeena was still considered to be based out of Vancouver...... Kinda makes sense. VIA tried in the early 2000's (after launching the Totem AND Totem Deluxe Class) to get the Skeena extended back to Edmonton, but CN wouldn't go for it. VIA was also fighting to get 6 day per week seasonal summer service in place Jasper to Vancouver too. I would have thought winter would work too so as to avoid the drop/pickup of sleepers in Jasper, but that too was nixed. The Edmonton extension supposedly came close to reality. Ski train for a couple of seasons from Edmonton to Jasper, then dropped.

VIA did operate the Skeena four days per week for a couple of seasons after launching the Totem Deluxe Class with the Panorama Cars (Ultra Domes acquired from BC Rail). Was on one of the first trains that they launched this, and back then it offered a REALLY nice food service. Was still building ridership, so it was like we had our own private car for part of the journey. Everyone was friends when we reached Prince George (some departed there to take the BC Rail to North Vancouver) and especially Prince Rupert. 

This train has certain been through a few iterations!  

When it was operated privately by CN, I don't think the train every really had a "name." Just nicknames the "Rupert Rocket." Called by train number only by CN. Certainly had a cool assortment of equipment over the years too, even when CN ran it! Always loved to see pictures of this train!!!

Thanks for the photos down memory lane!!!

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