Spring is here and so is our grand daughter.
Opa couldn’t wait to invite her out to the garden to play with the trains.
After all we did name it Opananaland in hopes that we would soon have grand children.
Opa started up the engine and set it on its way as the little one approached.
She couldn’t wait to get a close look at it.
And check out the cargo: little people, the right size for her hands.
Off the train chugged until it reached the pennisula, which is the perfect height for her to interact with it.
She would walk around the pennisula to watch the train come back.
Then Opa would stop the train so she could check on the passengers.
She’d watch the passengers continue on,
but sometimes little fingers would get excited and cause a derailment. No problem. Opa was there to get it back on track.
Opa’s new partner in ‘train’ing.
For the past 5 weeks we have been discovering old trains and stations across Canada. We’ve met many wonderful people and learned about rail history in our country.
Our trip was a celebration for our retirement, our 35 years of marriage and Canada’s 150.
It’s great to be home, back in Opananaland, with lots of memories.
Thank you for following along and sharing in our adventure.
We had a bit of time in Vancouver before heading back to the island so why not check out the old train station in Port Moody.
The Port Moody Station was completed in 1908 and was a live-in station, home to the station master and his family.
It was moved from it’s original location in 1945 and then to this location in 1978 after it was officially closed in 1976.
The museum is full of local history as well as information on the station master and his family.
Outside they have a sleeper/diner car that you can wander through.
Opa and I were curious to see what may be different from this old car to the one we slept in on The Canadian.
Other than the inside of this train being all wood there isn’t much difference.
Visiting Port Moody brought our cross country train search to a close. It fit to end here as in 1879, Port Moody was selected as the Western Terminus for the Trans-Canada Railway.
Since we’ve left Winnipeg the train has been getting farther and farther behind schedule.
We knew that VIA is low priority on the track, whereas freight takes priority and that could set us behind. We soon learned that freight trains were backed up west of Edmonton because of a derailment that happened about a week ago.
That was the reason why we were getting farther off schedule. Often our train would pull off on a siding to allow freight to go by as they cleared away the wreckage. Today we saw what was left of the clean up.
When we arrived in Edmonton we found it humorous to see this sign about moving trains. It definitely didn’t apply to The Canadian.
But that was okay because back on the train we…
enjoyed fantastic food,
sang along with the entertainment,
and did more window watching. Great views down the Fraser Valley.
We even met the author, John Shaske, and learned more about what we were looking at along the way.
Ten hours late we finally arrive in Vancouver.
As our four days pass on the train we spend a lot of time looking out the window. Here are some of the sights we saw.
roads that are endless,
historic stations and museums,
trestles over rivers,
tracks behind us,
miles and miles of open space,
This morning we arrived, bright and early, back in Winnipeg.
We were told by several people that a place to visit is The Forks and it’s an easy walk from the station.and that it was just across from the train station. Little did we know that there are two entrances to the station and we left through the opposite one.
Oh well after a brisk walk we found the market called The Forks.
It is similar to Granville Island Market, in Vancouver, but you’ll find trains! It was just opening so we continued our walk along the Red River.
As we walked along the river we discovered The Forks National Park and another set of red chairs. Here we are taking in the view to the Museum of Human Rights.
Walking farther along was a display showing the various means that people traveled the waterways.
Looking through each telescope you will see a form of water transportation that helps you imagine what the river would have looked like with canoes, York boats, steamboats, motor boats, kayaks and water taxis traveling on it.
After 3 hours of walking around we were ready to get back on the train but the train wasn’t ready for us. So we passed the time over a hot drink.
We learned that there was a delay with the east bound train and we had to wait. We were finally allowed to board but still waited another couple of hours before pulling away from Winnipeg.
We boarded the train around 10pm so our berths were already set up as beds and after a short introduction and safety briefing we were free to go to the Dome car or to bed. It had been a long day so we opted for bed.
In the morning we awoke to see that we had traveled a good portion of Ontario and we’re already past Sudbury.
Our ticket included all of our meals and we were looking forward to see what was to be on the menu. We were not disappointed. Each morning there was a choice of traditional breakfast, omelet, pancakes or a continental breakfast.
After breakfast we headed up to the Dome car. The Dome is the top part of the lounge car and the ceiling is full of windows so you get a great view.
Our berth had been made up into chairs for the day so we spent time reading and gazing out the window. It felt the train was clipping on fairly well.
We were going so well along that we were ahead of schedule. So the train made an extra stop in Foleyet which is close to Chapleau where we once lived. The break was great to get out, stretch our legs and learn more about the train ride from the staff.
The stop gave us a chance to learn the name of our car and the history behind it.
The rest of the day was spent eating, meeting people, reading and looking out the window.
We’ll be in Winnipeg in the morning.
After making our way to the east coast and back to Ottawa we’re finished our driving portion of this trip.
It’s time to ride the train! Opa is so excited to take the train back across the country to Vancouver.
As we take our first train from Ottawa to Toronto we familiarize ourselves with the safety procedures.
Then sat back to enjoy the four hour journey. We packed lunch and there’s wifi so it passed comfortably.
Arriving in Union Station we checked our bags and checked into the business lounge where we will wait to board The Canadian later this evening.
Since we had about 7 hours to wait we went for a walk and took in the sights. We are both looking forward to enjoying the trip back home.
Today we visited Fred at the Ironwood, Peter’s Pond and Western Railroad Company.
This is in Fred’s backyard but he explained to us that the Ottawa Valley Garden Railway Society meets there every Saturday morning.
Fred gave us a tour and said that up to 30 or more members from the OVGRS can be operating at any one time.
You may have noticed that there is a lot of needles and leaves on the tracks and that is because they closed it all down last weekend. It would have been very interesting to watch an operations session. Opa is already making plans to visit again.
There are still some evidence of the fun that happens during their operating season and Nana had fun finding it.
Opa was fascinated with the many of the ingenious homemade pieces that make the running of the railway go smoothly.
In the main building at Exporail you will find an HO model train layout. We loved it. They have created wonderful detail in each of the scenes. Take a look.
One thing I loved about this model train set up was the involvement for children.
At their level, with buttons to push.