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Glacier.JPG 64k Glacier NP Canada was our first train watching spot in Canada. Our vacation began 25 Aug. 2000 when we landed in Spokane, WA. We did some BNSF on our way up. CPR runs pretty much along the Trans-Canada Highway, Rt. 1. This shot is near the entrance to the park. The scenery pretty much overwhelms the train here in Canada. See the complete guide online here.
Grain.JPG 66k A grain  train heads West out of Field. It is just preparing to pass under Rt. 1. We saw alot of grain trains moving. Our trip was planned for mixed activities. We hoped to get in some train watching with our visit to Canada's parks. As it turned out, we did more train watching than planned due to certain unexpected events, including the bad weather. It was often too wet and cold to even railfan. Can you imagine that?
Before we settle into Field, lets chase westbound Number 9669 through an historic area just East of Field. We picked the train up just East of West Lake Louise. This actually was our first day in the area and we were on our way to Golden from Cranbrook. We took the scenic route through Radium, Kootenay Nat. Park and Lake Loiuse instead of the direct route up 95. This is when the weather turned nasty. W. W.Lk.Louise.JPG 64k W. Lake Louise is a beautiful spot to watch trains. It is right on the highway and there is a lodge, resturaunt and gas station to my back. It is just a couple miles East of Field. There is alot of horse power on this train, four GE AC4400CWs. We got use to this lashup, but there were not usually four motors.
9669.JPG 65k Number 9669 continues its journey at historic Spiral Tunnels. The tunnels are in Yoho Nation Park as is all of this sequence of 9669. The tunnels were built in 1909 and reduce the original 4.5% grade to 2.2%. The crews will call Cathedral near this point for Cathedral Mountain. There is a pull over and info at the spot but it was closed for renovation. The train has come out of the upper tunnel and is headed for the lower tunnel. This is one of my favorite shots because of the clouds.
Field.JPG 58k Field will be our home base for 3 nights. It is a beautiful spot nestled in the mountains. We actually got a few minutes of nice weather our first morning there. This pair of locos sat there idling for 24 hours before being placed on an eastbound grain train. This AC4400CW and SD90MAC lashup was also very common.
Hoppers.JPG 62k An eastbound covered hopper train pulls into Field. Field is a crew change point so all the trains stop there. There is a railroaders hotel for the crews. Speaking of hotels, we stayed at the Kicking Horse Lodge which is right on the tracks. It was helpful due to the bad weather. I could hangout in the room or on the porch until my scanner announced an arrival. Then I could dash out and get my photo or video without getting too wet. This is where our Ford rental car died. I could watch trains while I waited for a swap.
Meet.JPG 64k Westbound covered hoppers pull into Field for the crew change. As luck would have it, the eastbounder was still there so we had a meeting of the covered hoppers. There was also a cut of cars left in the yard. That's what you see on the left. You can see an off-going crewman inspecting the train as it leaves. This was common practice. It was also interesting to note that CP doesn't blow for grade crossings in towns. I know American roads do and people on the lines really complain.
Meet.JPG 68k Midtrain helpers were also a common sight. There are lashed in as distributed power, e.g. they are controlled by radio and have no crews aboard. After driving through these mountains it is easy to see why they would need them. This unit was on the westbound grain train above.
Rock Mtn.JPG 64k The Rocky Mountaineer shows up in Field. It also stopped for a crew change. We will see this train several times in Field as well as in Jasper and Canmore. This train goes through some great country. I understand they treat you great and you stay in some beautiful hotels built and owned by CPR. But it is VERYexpensive! You can take a look at the hotels here. They are part of Canadian rail history. If you don't want to spend the money to stay there, you should at least stop in and check 'em out. Unbelievable!!
W. LK. Louise.JPG 63k Begin the chase. OK, let's chase another train near W. Lake Louise, which is where this photo is taken. The clouds were actually high enough to see the top of the mountain. We have just left Field heading East to Lake Louise on our way to Jasper. We stopped for gas an encountered this train. The chase West was on!
Spiral Tunnel.JPG 69k Lower Spiral Tunnel is our next stop. The train is just heading into the tunnel. This is below (west) of the shot of 9669 above. This shot is from the Spiral Tunnel observation pull-off. The shot was taken with a 105mm lens.
Avalanch Shed.JPG 64k Avalanche Shed This avalanche shed is just after the track passes under the highway. There is a nice pull-off that gets you off the road so you can shoot pictures and video without getting run over by a truck. Rt. 1 is REALLY busy.
Tunnel.JPG 61k A tunnel quickly follows the avalanche shed. I guess those short model railroad tunnels are prototypical after all. This is our last shot of the CPR. From here we head to Jasper for a different railroad.

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CN.JPG 65k Canadian National just east of Jasper about a quarter mile. This was a great spot. I pulled into a picnic area to park, crossed Rt. 16 and walked up to the tracks. I found a rock with a nice seat in it and spent the day. Unfortunately I was unaware of the camera problems and lost most of the shots.
CN.JPG 67k CN This shot is farther East about 5 miles. I caught an east and westbounder. What great scenery! Canadian National trains ran with much less power than did CPR. I guess they are operating in a flatter area.

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Last Update: 09/23/2000