Diane MacDonald


(posted on 2 Dec 2019)

Having flown east over this expansive beautiful country, the romance of a return journey by train  - not quite
coast to coast, but from Toronto to Vancouver in four days and four nights - was too tempting to resist.


Leaving the skyscrapers of Toronto, The Canadian departs downtown from (normally bustling) Union Station.



Passengers are shown their respective sleeping quarters - tiny roomettes with seats that 
are replaced by bunk beds at night.


The challenge of photographing through windows covered with rain, snow, and ice was wonderful, 
and began as soon as we boarded on a soggy Toronto morning.


The Canadian is a well appointed, comfortable train operated by Via Rail. Shown below: the 
"caboose" club car, one of three dome cars - a place where coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and 
snacks are always available.



Meals are served in the elegant dining car - always on white table cloths, always with 
attentive service and excellent food.


So the journey begins - miles and miles and miles ! of Ontario with ample evidence of the rocky
outcroppings of the Canadian Shield - that is before blankets of snow conceal it's beauty.


For me, a highlight was attempting to catch glimpses of and through ice that accumulated
on the surfaces of the dome car front windows.


Another of the challenges of taking photos from the train was the inevitable presence of the
reflection of interior train lights - I tried to embrace rather than erase them!


Some random prairie shots - I hoped to catch the loneliness and chill of the frozen life of 
winter in much of Canada. 




Other photographic challenges included quick decision making, motion, and curved windows.



Snow accumulated between train cars, making transit from car to car a slippery venture.


Disembarkation in Winnipeg to stretch legs, catch a breath of air and see the remarkably 
modern station bedecked for Christmas:



Via employees wash windows as we head for the mountains - not an entirely successful endeavour
as (to my delight) ice forms quickly in the minus 20 degree temperatures.





Mt. Robson- the peak unusually visible in sunshine - the highest of the Rocky Moutains, reaching
a towering 9,760 feet:

We were fortunate to traverse the major mountain ranges in daylight; unfortunately the train
journeys through the Fraser Canyon in darkness and we awoke on the final morning to find
ourselves disembarking at Pacific Central in Vancouver.  Without a doubt, a journey to remember.