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Passenger Trains > Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff


Date: 08/04/22 08:17
Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: WrongWayMurphy

Tuesday I put you to sleep with my first half trip report on our Rocky Mountaineer trip.

Today, be prepared to be lulled adrift with the second half.

Before wandering Kamloops to Banff I should state we took the Canadian Toronto-Vancouver
about 6 years ago and these two trips could not be more different, save for being in Canada.

The RM is a very leisure trip through the Canadian rockies with little opposing traffic and little on-line
industries and towns to pass through.  There is no overnight travel and all passengers were tourists
put up in hotels in Kamloops.  On the other hand, the Canadian was 4 days and nights of constant train
riding, a mix of tourists and Canadians going somewhere to be somewhere else, lots of towns large and
small to bisect, and a lot of meeting of freight trains.  The cabins in the Canadian were very tight and it was
good that my travelling companion is a petite little thing.  The Canadian had short domes whereas the RM
were full length dome cars.  I can offer without question that the Canadian was the more desireable trip,
should the reader consider one or the other. Now, back to the trip report :

Photo 1 is the commisary at the Kamloops yard.  The train is cleaned and stocked here for the second leg of the trip.

Photo 2 is the diesel shop.  Most employees lines the departure track as we left and waved to the customers.  This act
seemed kind of cheesey to me but hey, they were glad that the customers are back after 2 years shut out and I imagine
all are glad to be back to work.

Photo 3 is a pair of CN enclosed motor cars, presumabely for transport of maintenance workers during inclimate weather.








Date: 08/04/22 08:27
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: WrongWayMurphy

A good part of this half of the trip saw east and westbound lines rather close to one another, as opposed
to earlier on opposite sides of a river, AKA Oregon-Washington UP/BNSF Colombia Gorge.  Meets with oncoming trains
we hard to record due to the close proximity of the second track.  I noticed a lot of snow removal equipment at
various locations.  The yellow caboose was familiar as a member of our local Tyler TX round-robin model RR
group is from Winnipeg and he brought over a model of this caboose to my house once to run on my pike.

 








Date: 08/04/22 08:30
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: amtrakbill

The employees waving might seem cheesy but develops a customer center culture that goes a long way.

Brightline does this too when the train leaves the station and all employees who are on the platform will waive to the train.  Buildis customer loyality and employee pride, 



Date: 08/04/22 08:35
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: WrongWayMurphy

The next 3 shots were from our assigned seats. Not a bad place to sit from a foamers
perspective, and better than 99% of the other seats.  I had a hard time balancing spending
time with Mrs Murphy and spending time on the vestibule.  Fortunately we were traveling with 
2 other non-railfans so she could chat with them while i ventured outdoors.  I noticed one
dude playing Candy Crush on his IPad most of the day, and a couple others got hammered,
what with the unlimited drinking policy on board.








Date: 08/04/22 08:36
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: hoggerdoug

Image 3, sure looks like the equipment (Rail Bus) used on the Koaham Shuttle on the former BC Rail. The shuttle runs between Lillooet and Seton Portage on the BC Rail Squamish sub. I do not know if the Koaham Shuttle is still running.
Shane, perhaps post a cross link to the Canadian forum of this posting and your previous RMR trip report.
Doug



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/22 09:44 by hoggerdoug.



Date: 08/04/22 08:47
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: WrongWayMurphy

Here is the bartenders view of her coach.  Our seats up front on left side.

I regret I don't recall the name of this town.  The water tower is no doubt from the 
days of steam.

At this point in the trip the ladies in our party lost both mens to the vestibule.  Me for
the trains and my old college roomate (left in photo 3) not only found another texan,
not only was the Texan a fellow raiser of Angus cattle, but he was also an Aggie.  Here they
are comparing the pros and cons of Massie Ferguson vs Deere hay balers.  I get it as I would be
doing the same with discussing the benefits of Baldwin VO switchers over the SW7.








Date: 08/04/22 08:53
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: WrongWayMurphy

Here are three random Canadian scenes from the RM.  Location .... well, Canada is all I got.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/22 08:53 by WrongWayMurphy.








Date: 08/04/22 09:11
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: WrongWayMurphy

The highlight of the trip is supposed to be the serpentine loops near Lake Louise
but really one cannot see any of it from the train and riding through in a tunnel is anti-climatic
given the hype from the RM crew.  

This plaque was affixed to our car end.

​Here is a CP train in the hole at Field BC

Another vessel, this at Field BC

The arrival into Banff was non eventful, we were loaded into busses like sheep and delivered to our post trip hotel.
The crew was done with us and prepping for a full Banff-Vancouver train the next day.  We spent 5 days in Banff
and really enjoyed all that area has to offer.  The locals sure do like riding their bicycles !

In summary, the trip was a visual extravaganza, the crew was very well informed and entertaining, the food excellent,
the drink was bottomless (though me and Mrs Murphy are good for a glass or two of wine daily, and thats about it).
Yes it was rather pricey but not a bad value for the US dollar.  Would I do it again?  No, because I have now done it
already but I would recommend it to one that has not made the trip.

Shane Murphy

Tyler, Tex.



 








Date: 08/04/22 12:23
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: sarailfan

hoggerdoug Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Image 3, sure looks like the equipment (Rail Bus)
> used on the Koaham Shuttle on the former BC Rail.
> The shuttle runs between Lillooet and Seton
> Portage on the BC Rail Squamish sub. I do not know
> if the Koaham Shuttle is still running.
> Shane, perhaps post a cross link to the Canadian
> forum of this posting and your previous RMR trip
> report.
> Doug

Those are certainly from the Seton Lake shuttle; I recall seeing pictures that they were replaced by a school bus modified with hi-rail gear. I don't know if it was a maintenance (parts availability) issue or end-of-life for the rail bus units, but the new equipment is much less interesting.

Posted from Android

Darren Boes
Lethbridge, AB
Southern Alberta Railfan



Date: 08/04/22 17:35
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: PHall

sarailfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> hoggerdoug Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Image 3, sure looks like the equipment (Rail
> Bus)
> > used on the Koaham Shuttle on the former BC
> Rail.
> > The shuttle runs between Lillooet and Seton
> > Portage on the BC Rail Squamish sub. I do not
> know
> > if the Koaham Shuttle is still running.
> > Shane, perhaps post a cross link to the
> Canadian
> > forum of this posting and your previous RMR
> trip
> > report.
> > Doug
>
> Those are certainly from the Seton Lake shuttle; I
> recall seeing pictures that they were replaced by
> a school bus modified with hi-rail gear. I don't
> know if it was a maintenance (parts availability)
> issue or end-of-life for the rail bus units, but
> the new equipment is much less interesting.
>
> Posted from Android

But probably a lot more useful since it can travel by both road and rail. IIRC aren't these used as a school bus in the area it runs in?



Date: 08/04/22 20:13
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: POW

Why did you say the Canadian was the more desirable trip when it had smaller rooms? The RM travels only during the day so you get to see more scenery. On the other hand checking in and out of hotels can be a pain. I used to market PV tours for American Rail Excursions and one of our biggest selling features was that hotel hassles were eliminated



Date: 08/05/22 04:22
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: railsmith

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> sarailfan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------

>> Those are certainly from the Seton Lake shuttle;
>> I recall seeing pictures that they were replaced
>> by  a school bus modified with hi-rail gear. I
>> don't  know if it was a maintenance (parts
>> availability) issue or end-of-life for the rail bus units,
>> but the new equipment is much less interesting.
>
> But probably a lot more useful since it can travel
> by both road and rail. IIRC aren't these used as a
> school bus in the area it runs in?

No, the Kaoham Shuttle vehicles seen above were not used for school purposes, and they didn't depart Seton Portage until 09:30. Some time before the shuttle started (in 2002, when RDC service ended), there had been a dedicated school train (loco and ex-GM&O coach 3052) with timings geared to the school schedule, with arrival at Lillooet before 09:00, but that ended when an arrangement was made for the students to board in Lillooet, in the 1990s.

That said, the new bus-type vehicle is more useful, though, because it can drive into the town of Lillooet to places that the reserve residents want to go -- stores, bank, medical appointments, and so on -- which are a fair walk from the railway station. The bus goes right to the main stores.

The shuttle vehicles were retired in 2021 and it wasn't until February this year that the hi-rail bus began operating. A glimpse of it might be possible for those riding the North Vancouver to Jasper route of the Rocky Mountaineer that passes through Lillooet.



Date: 08/05/22 18:37
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: WrongWayMurphy

POW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why did you say the Canadian was the more
> desirable trip when it had smaller rooms? 

Having the bags delivered to the rooms was a big, big plus on the Rocky.

I liked the Canadian better because I like the older cars, the short domes, the
continuous travel aspect, the "throwback" experience.  That the rooms were small
wasn't a deal breaker by any means.  Both had great meals and overall services.
Something about those Budd cars made for a really cool experience, and 
we both liked the continuous travel aspect, vs getting off train, bus to hotel, back on
bus next day to train, get off train to bus to hotel on the Rocky.  
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/22 19:06 by WrongWayMurphy.



Date: 08/06/22 00:55
Re: Part 2 trip report Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver-Banff
Author: railsmith

WrongWayMurphy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Here is the bartenders view of her coach.  Our
> seats up front on left side.
>
> I regret I don't recall the name of this town. 
> The water tower is no doubt from the 
> days of steam.

That's at the division point of Field, BC.



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