Search Trains

Train Details
In-Coach Catering/Pantry Car
Rake Reversal at Any Stn
With RSA
# Halts: to 
Trvl Time: to  (in hrs)
Distance: to  (in kms)
Speed: to  (in km/h)

Departure Details
Include nearby Stations:      ONLY this Station:
Dep Between:    
Dep PF#:
Rake Reversal at Dep Stn

Arrival Details
Include nearby Stations:      ONLY this Station:
Arr Days:
Arr Between:    
Arr PF#:
Rake Reversal at Arr Stn

2-month Availability Calendar
Full Site Search
Thu Jan 18, 2018 04:08:05 ISTHomeTrainsΣChainsAtlasPNRForumGalleryNewsFAQTripsLoginFeedback
Thu Jan 18, 2018 04:08:05 IST
PostPostPost Trn TipPost Trn TipPost Stn TipPost Stn TipAdvanced Search
Travelogue VIA Rail Canada  
1 Answers
Aug 31 2011 (09:05)

Entry# 702     
Travelogue VIA Rail Canada

Aug 31 2011 (09:02)
News Entry# 36293  The Romance of the Rails - Exploring Western Canada With VIA Rail  
Posted by: rdb*^   Added by: rdb*^  Aug 31 2011 (09:05)
Travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux once said that it was one thing to be happy, but to be aware of the happiness at that very minute is a unique experience. On March 20 I was happy. I had just awakened in my own personal sleeping car on a VIA Rail Canada train journey from Vancouver, BC enroute to Jasper, Alberta, after having been gently rocked to sleep by the sound of the wheels on the tracks. I opened the shades and before me was my own private viewing of the pristine beauty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. As I pulled my comforter to my chin, I basked in a winter wonderland of snow clad mountains, frozen lakes, little farmhouses and elk feeding on grass. At that moment there was no place in the world that I'd rather be. I could have stayed in bed forever. If it were not for...
the thought of a trip to the dining car, followed by a morning in the glass domed observation car, I might still be there.
The birth of the Canadian railway system forged an essential coast to coast lifeline across Canada. The historic train route introduced the world to a new land of unsurpassed beauty. Settlers poured into the area, creating towns and businesses. In 1977, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau led the creation of VIA Rail Canada to organize intercity passenger train services, reducing costs and improving service.
Our journey began in Vancouver, BC -- voted the "Best City in the Americas" for 2004, 2005 and 2006 by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine --- for a night of elegant accommodations at the iconic Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. It was fun to see all the changes as the city prepares for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Dinner was at Brix, a must-eat restaurant and wine bar, featuring modern Canadian cuisine, located in trendy Yale Town, the former warehouse district located on the edge of downtown.
We boarded the train at dusk for our journey that would climb from sea level to over 5,000 feet through the Canadian Rockies and Continental Divide. I sat in wonder in the observation car, as the railroad cut through a landscape once inaccessible by any form of transportation. The car was packed with railroad enthusiasts who were all living their own collective railroad dream. A VIA Rail specialist was among us, answering questions and encouraging everyone to take part in the dialogue. Trips to the white linen-clad tables of the dining room focused on local food products: Alberta beef, wild salmon and award-winning Canadian wines. Sipping on a glass of BC ice wine, I could feel a return to the era when the journey was as important as the destination.
There was a sense of excitement as the train pulled into Jasper National Park. I'd have been happy to stay on the train, but was told there was royal news awaiting us.
The Outlook Cabin.
Jasper, Alberta is located in Jasper National Park, a designated United Nations World Heritage site. The group spilled out of train station where we were met by an array of restaurants, souvenir shops and sporting goods shops with the adventure traveler in mind. We were also met by a Jasper Park Lodge representative who informed us that our group would be staying at the Outlook Cabin, the 2005 accommodation of choice for Queen Elizabeth ll.
The view from the main lodge at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Until the arrival of the railroad in 1921, the Jasper Park Lodge was just a few tents on the shores of Lac Beauvert. Today the four-star resort consists of the main lodge building and 56 adjacent cabins, along with ten restaurants and lounges, shopping promenade, salon and spa, outdoor activity center, golf course and year-round outdoor heated pool.
A quick shuttle ride took us to Outlook Cabin. When Elizabeth ll visited Alberta to celebrate the province's 100th Anniversary, her stay at Outlook was not part of her official function, but a place to just recharge the batteries and relax by the fire. Her presence is felt everywhere with photographs of the Royal Family placed throughout the Great Room, dining room and six bedrooms. Once again, I felt I could have stayed there forever, but was told there was one thing one must do at the park, and I had packed every stitch of my heaviest clothing in preparation for it.
Maligne Canyon Icewalk
The Jasper Adventure Centre offers a once-in-a-lifetime trek into the deepest canyon in Jasper National Park. You actually walk on a frozen river for viewings of frozen waterfalls. Led by an informative guide we wore special cleats on our boots. It was 30 below Celsius. I was asked what that translates into in Fahrenheit and was told that means cooold.
A warm drink in the main lodge seemed the perfect way to end the afternoon. With the Rockies in the distance, I watched kids playing hockey on the frozen lake. Very much aware of my happiness, once again I didn't want to leave, but then remembered our train trip to Edmonton Airport included a farewell dinner.
Scroll to Top
Scroll to Bottom

Go to Mobile site
Disclaimer: This website has NO affiliation with the Government-run site of Indian Railways. This site does NOT claim 100% accuracy of fast-changing Rail Information. YOU are responsible for independently confirming the validity of information through other sources.