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Canadian Railroads > Anything to see in the Okanagan?

Date: 08/28/23 18:12
Anything to see in the Okanagan?
Author: BobE

Folks, I'm loading my head with contingencies, and please help.  I'm flying to Spokane, Washington in a week, and wil go where the sun is from there.  If the weather in the US is &^^&)^&, then I'll head as far north as the CP main.  Of course, between Spokane and Kamloops or Revelstoke is the Okanagan Valley.

I know the Okanagan Valley and Kelowna Pacific are both gone.  Did the track revert to CN/CP?  Other operators?

Even if it's just a stop for roster shots where stuff sits, itll break up a long drive.  Getting something running wold be a plus but not necessary.



Date: 08/28/23 19:40
Re: Anything to see in the Okanagan?
Author: BoostedFridge

The rail operations in the Okanagan valley are currently run by CN.  The L588 job heads south out of Kamloops, early in the morning on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday to Lavington.  Early the next morning (~05:00 - ~7:30) the train will depart Lavington, and work its way back to Kamloops as L587.  Power is regularly 3 Dash-9's.  If temperatures exceed 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees F) there will be speed restrictions on the line, making the train much easier to chase.  The most scenic part of the line in my opinion is the section from Armstrong north to the junction with the CP main at Campbell Creek.  If temperatures reach 30 degrees, the train will be running at 10mph there, making it possible to get lots of shots.

If you are planning to come north of the border, be sure to bring your passport of course.

A much shorter drive from Spokane, and a more interesting operation if you're into short lines, would be the operations of the Kettle Falls International Railway, and the Grand Forks Railroad it interchanges with, or the St Paul and Pacific Northwest Railroad, and Nelson & Fort Sheppard Railway which it interchanges with.  Both the KFIR and StP&PNR operate out of the Kettle Falls area in Washington State, and run north into Canada to Grand Forks, BC, and Columbia Gardens (Trail) BC respectively.  There each line interchanges with some very small short line operations. 

The KFIR is currently running on an as needed schedule, typically with one or two runs from Kettle Falls up to Grand Forks per week, with a return the following day.  The Grand Forks Railway operates every morning for a few hours from about 06:00 to ~08:30 on its three mile section of track in town, bringing cars to and from the interchange point with the KFIR.  The owner of the KFIR, Omnitrax, has been threatening to shut the Canadian portion of the line down for several years now.  This spring, an agreement was apparently reached between Omnitrax and the shippers in town that will keep the Canadian operation open for the time being at least.

The StP&PNR operates a much more regular (daily?) schedule north into Canada.  I can't speak to their departure times, but the train typically arrives into the Trail area in the late morning/mid day period, switches for an hour or two, then departs back south.  The N&FS operates intermittently, bringing cars from Fruitvale BC to an interchange point with the StP&PNR, and switching a transload there.

Also in the area are CP's operations between Trail, Castlegar, and Nelson.  CP operates a daily train on a fairly consistent schedule departing Nelson mid morning, turning in Trail around mid day, plus a Trail switcher, and a switch job that runs from Trail to Castlegar.

If you're interested in visiting this region, I would suggest reading the threads listed below for relatively recent operational notes and photos.

KFIR & StP&PNR info




CP Operations from Nelson - Trail info



1) The KFIR in Grand Forks BC, at the interchange point with GFR at the wye at Carson.  16:23 Wednesday, April 26, 2023.  The train departed the following morning back to Kettle Falls.

2) The new and old power of the GFR.  April 24,2023.  The SW8 has been donated to the Canadian Rail Historical Association on Vancouver Island, but has not departed Grand Forks yet to my knowledge.

3) The N&FS switching one of the transloads near Columbia Gardens, BC.  11:45 Wednesday, April 26, 2023


Date: 08/30/23 22:29
Re: Anything to see in the Okanagan?
Author: gmd1

Excellent Post! Thank you for all the operating details :-)

Posted from iPhone

Date: 08/31/23 17:35
Re: Anything to see in the Okanagan?
Author: Train611

If you head towards Kelowna-Summerland area you may want to visit the Kettle Valley Steam Railroad. They operate a steam train with ex CP3716.
Check their website for location and schedules.


Posted from iPhone

Date: 08/31/23 21:29
Re: Anything to see in the Okanagan?
Author: P

I don't have my map in front of me, but if you're going towards Revelstoke, the town of Cranbrook is on the way and they have a lot of old equipment sitting around including numerous passenger cars and a nicely painted set of 1st generation diesels. Perhaps FM Trainmasters? It kind of looked like there was a museum there, but the stately depot there was locked up on our visit.
Of course, in Revelstoke there is a nice museum there that we were able to visit and it sits right on the mainline to Vancouver. Its a bit of a haul from Spokane, but that's the way it is out West- and where we flew into on our trip to BC. A passport snafu prevented us from flying into Calgary as intended, so we drove a lot of miles on the trip

Posted from Android

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