Long Train Running

Down around the corner
A half a mile from here
You see the long trains running
And you watch them disappear

Doobie Brothers

At 8.30am we boarded the VIA train in Prince Rupert for the 2 day journey to Jasper across some of the Rockies. We had really been looking forward to this with the opportunity to take in some truly spectacular scenery without the needs to keep stopping which we would have had to do if we’d been in a car. We could also kick back with the headphones on and Listen to the music (this really was turning into a Doobies trip).

We left on time. 2 hours later we were running 1 hour late and the scene for the journey was set. We were sitting talking as the train stood stationary and noticed a freight train passing in the opposite direction.

P/ Yes, you went to the westwoom and we were sorting our Canada Woad Twip playlist. You came back some minutes later with the coffees.

W/ And the freight train was still passing. It had been at least 5 minutes! Having noticed we watched carriage after carriage pass.

P/ Then the train manager came by to check we were alwight and make sure Chwis was settled.

C/ Yes, I don’t understand why he kept checking on me?

W/ Hmmm, I wonder. Anyway we asked if this was usual and he replied that most freight trains exceeded 2 miles in length. We thought he was joking but as the day would show, he was not. He then explained that the railway had been built for freight trains and therefore the passenger trains were usually required to enter a siding to let the freight train pass.

P/ So that’s why we won’t arwive at Prince George, our over night stop, until 8.00pm?

“No”, he replied. We would arrive at 8.00pm if we had no stops. He pointed to the small print in the initial booking.

C/ No one reads the small print!

W/ And now you know the consequences Chris.

So that’s how the day went. An hours travel followed by a 20 minute stop and a freight train. We counted 204 carriages on one train and lost the will to repeat the exercise then.

P/ We arwived at 1.00am in the end. Chwis of course had no problem sleeping laided out full length on a bench seat, snorwing.

W/ But that aside, we saw some great countryside Polie. Seated in a carriage with a glass dome we watched mile after mile of forest and mountain pass punctuated by streaming waterfalls and lakes. Add in the company of chilled laid back sounds and help yourself coffee and most of the day passed with a really good vibe.

C/ The only bummer was having to wake at 1.00am and walk to the hotel.

W/ Chris you’d already had several hours sleep! A five minute walk did you good I’m sure.

The next day started when we left at 10.00am from Prince George to travel to Jasper. More of the same with the mountains taking on a mantle of snow as we neared Jasper and we arrived, nearly on time with the hotel directly across the road from the station.

P/ Yes, and Jasper was such a pwetty town.

C/ And there was a Harley shop selling Harley merchandise with big bikes outside for hire.

P/ We had to dwag ourselves away.

W/ Only the promise of a brew got Chris back to the hotel. But we’ll ride when we return home guys.

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