Rocky Mountaineer – Kamloops to Vancouver

Our train journey continued this morning – we were picked up from the hotel at 7.15am and delivered to the Rocky Mountaineer for our second day’s journey towards Vancouver.  We have several more carriages today – now 23 in total

We passed along beside Kamloops Lake and then past the ghost town of Wallachin that has timber flumes that carried the water to the town from a lake higher up in the mountains.

We slowly started to descend from around 4000 feet above sea level to Ashcroft at 2099 feet above sea level.  We continued to travel along the Thompson River and passed the Jaws of Death Gorge. The next point of interest was Avalanche Alley where we went through several avalanche chute sheds.  There were also horizontal wires 18 inches apart up beside the train and over the top of the train to detect any rock slides/avalanches – the wires would send a signal to Edmonton and from there they would turn the signals on the tracks red so that the trains would stop until the tracks were clear and safe.

We then passed the confluence of the Thompson River and the Fraser River and could clearly see the difference in colour between the two  – the Thompson River is clear and the Fraser River is muddier.

The next point of interest was Cisco Crossing, which is where the Canadian Northern line and the Canadian Pacific Line crossed over each other.  The Canadian National Line, which we were on, crossed the river on a bridge that has the largest single span bridge on the rail system in Canada and is 810 feet long and 220 feet above the water.

Next was Skuzzy Creek and then Hell’s Gate Narrows – 909,218,000 litres of water pound and surge each minute through the 33 metre gorge.  The United States and Canadian governments did a joint venture to build concrete ladders so that the salmon could swim up them and get back upstream to their spawning grounds.

We travelled through Hope, which is a town that is famous from the Gold Rush days in 1858. It is in the Cascade Mountains and is surrounded on 3 sides by mountain peaks and is at the junction of the Fraser and Coquihilla Rivers.  Logging and tourism have become the prime local industries.

We then travelled through the Fraser Valley and continued on to Vancouver after a long wait at one of the sidings because of congestion on the track ahead.

As we came into Vancouver we could see the Golden Ears Bridge and then went over the Port Mann Bridge.  As we crept our way into the Railway terminal, we had one last piece of fun when some of the people in our carriage presented the poems that they had written last night and the 4 crew members judged the winners – Fay and Melissa from our APT group and Fiona from Scotland all won “The Order of the Salmon” badges.

We have had a wonderful two days being spoilt by the Rocky Mountaineer staff and we had lots of laughter and time to get to know our other fellow travellers even better.

Today was a beautiful sunny day, which showed off all of the stunning colours of the Canadian countryside.  Richard spent a lot of time out on the vestibule (viewing platform) at the back of our carriage taking copious amounts of photos.  The meals on the train would leave a lot of first class restaurants for dead!  We thoroughly enjoyed our two days on the Rocky Mountaineer and would class it as one of the highlights of our trip.

We have travelled 441 kilometres from Jasper to Kamloops and then 460 kilometres from Kamloops to Vancouver.

When we arrived at the station, our bus driver, Steve, was there to meet us – he had been to the luggage depot and had delivered our suitcases to our hotel, the Fairmont Waterfront, and had collected all our room keys so that we could just go straight to our rooms without any mucking about and our suitcases would be there waiting for us.  We said our farewell to Steve as we won’t be seeing him again, but our Tour Director, Inge, is coming with us for the rest of the trip.

We had a lovely Farewell to Canada dinner put on by APT and welcomed two more Aussies to our group and they will continue on with us for the whole of the rest of our tour – we now have 36 in the group.

We will be boarding the Diamond Princess tomorrow morning heading for Alaska – very excited.  We are not sure how good the internet service will be so we may not be able to post our blog and/or our photos for a week until we get to Alaska.

One Response to “Rocky Mountaineer – Kamloops to Vancouver”

  1. Janet says:

    Love the photos Dad! I also love that you were all just standing around talking on the train 🙂 Nice to see some photos of you both too, not just the scenery. Good job 😛

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