Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Canadian rolls into Edmonton -- All Aboard

It's a historic ride in steel carriages built in the 1950s. For passengers, not much has changed. This leisurely and quiet journey allows time for reflection as well as for visiting with fellow travellers. Staff still call travellers to the dining car by tradition: "First call," and "Second call."

In spite of its name, a staff member told me not many Canadians ride this train. However, on my travels to Edmonton and back, I met folks from Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver Island and small town Ontario. Train buffs came from Germany, Australia, England and the US.

Some came to enjoy the ride and others to avoid flying. Among those who came all the way from Toronto to Vancouver, most were retired. After all, this is the air age. It's unusual to find working people willing or able to ride the train for four or five days.

When i was eight, our family moved from BC to Alberta in 1958. That unforgettable journey revealed my first view of mountains, not to mention bears, Dall sheep, elk, and deer. In those days, everybody took the train.

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