Trans-Canada Rail Trek

Day 8 - October 14, 2007 – Sunday – On Board The Canadian

After a clickity-clack night crossing the western Canadian plains we woke up before the sun. We had a restful night sleep and in spite of our small quarters, the beds were relatively comfortable.

We were the first ones in and out of the shower and then went to the dining car for breakfast. While we were gone, our porter Pamela folded up our bed and tidied up our compartment.

We returned for our cameras and books and went up to the observation car where Gennie was greeted by a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday! Rosalie presented her with a book of photos of the Canadian Rockies.

We entered into Manitoba from Saskatchewan and changed our watches to Central Daylight Time. It was not long before they called the first seating for lunch at 11 AM. We passed on lunch as we will eat dinner at 5 PM!

While I worked on pictures and updated a few old journals we enjoyed the scenery of the flat farm land. We saw herds of cattle, fields of sunflower, and wide, wide expanses of wheat. Very seldom did we see a little town because the whole countryside was very barren.

The train pulled into Winnipeg at about 1:30 but our hour stopover had been shortened to 20 minutes because of our delay in Jasper. Everyone chose to get out so they could service the train and to walk a bit.

We went right to the Blue and Silver Lounge where we were able to get online as the train station had WiFi service for all passengers. Gennie received and responded to a few birthday greetings, I checked the sport scores and downloaded a few messages.

I went out of the station to take some photos and bought Gennie a bag of popcorn for her birthday. As they serviced the train and changed crews we had just a few minutes to explore. It was beautiful today, 60 degrees and 62% humidity with clear sunny skies in the city.

After a very fast turn-around, the train was cleaned and washed and we were ready to leave the station. We pulled out of the station at 2:10 to continue our trek east through the province of Manitoba.

Very quickly, we had to stop and wait for a freight train to pass. The dollar rich routes of the cargo train have priority and passenger trains like ours are very few and far between. They are not as lucrative to the Canadian National RR as the cargo line.

As we left the city of Winnipeg, we sat up in the domed observation car so we could have a bird’s eye view of this flat land. It was not long until we left the prairies behind us and the terrain changed as we got into the lake country.

We saw large stands of aspen, pine, and larch pine; these turn golden brown and drop their needles in the fall. We also saw several golden eagles soaring over the lakes and granite rock outcroppings.

Our dinner was the first seating and Rosalie joined us for a little birthday celebration for Gennie. Everyone on the train was so kind – it made turning “39” ever so pleasant for her!

After dinner, at 7 PM, we went back to the activity car where we found an empty table and an electrical outlet to write the journal of our journey across Saskatchewan, Manitoba and western Ontario.

We finished the journal, talked to friends and waited for our room to be made over from sitting to sleeping at 9 PM. People stopped by to see how we were doing, the check out the pictures and wonder how we were going to upload it this evening. We told everyone we would wait until Toronto as there are not stops or internet access on the train.

When we stopped at Sioux Lookout we got off the train and walked back and forth between the station and the cars. We got some exercise, took in some fresh air and had a chance to chat with several people before making our way back to our room, now a sleeping compartment.

The Canadian (B, L, D)


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Trip Map

Trip Map

Train View from Observation Car

Train View from Observation Car

Fellow Passengers in Observation Car

Fellow Passengers in Observation Car



As We Leave Winnipeg

As We Leave Winnipeg

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