Thursday, May 31, we walked across the street to board a different Rocky Mountaineer Train. The hostess was different and some of the passengers were different but some of them were from the previous trip. This train had two dome cars for the Gold Leaf passengers and several coaches for the Red Leaf passengers. Today, we traveled pass the Pyramid Falls, Mount Albreda topped by a permanent glacier and the Premier Mountain Range, which are named for several past Prime Ministers of Canada. We traveled along the North Thompson River before is meets up with the Fraser River. Again some beautiful scenery. Unlike in the US the Canadian passenger trains have the right away so most of the time we would pass freight trains that were on the sidetrack. About 2:30 or 3:00 pm we pulled onto a sidetrack and sat for quite a while. The word came down the chain of command that we had a mechanical problem. The air compressor that develops air pressure for the operation of the brakes and other things, was not able develops enough pressure. They were either going to send a new engine up from Kamloops or they were going to send some buses up from Kamloops to take us to Kamloops. So we sat there and waited. The train manager opened the bar for all those that wanted to an alcoholic beverage. That didn’t excite Carol or I, but it made a lot of passengers happy. Long story short, after 4 hours the new engine had arrived and they got the air pressure problem fixed but we sat there another hour waiting for traffic control to clear us a path into Kamloops. The train manager said they would through together a light dinner since we would not arrive in Kamloops until about 10:30 pm. We arrived at our hotel in Kamloops about 11:00 pm and waiting for us in our room was a couple little gifts for our trouble that day. Also, there was a letter stating that each person would receive $100 back on your credit card “as a small token for your patience and understanding for the delay in travel”. That was unexpected but nice.
Friday, June 1, the night before was a short night since the bus picked us up at 7:20 am. The train this morning was a combined train, one portion from Jasper and the second portion that was supposed to come from Banff and Calgary except for the Canadian Pacific strike. The train was now twenty cars long with six Dome cars. Our coach had the same hostess, same seat, same passengers but now our coach was third to last car in the now longer train. The route today started out in a desert like area but quickly turns into a mountainous canyon along the Fraser River after it is combined with the Thompson River. The Canyon had a rail for the Canadian National Railway (CN) on one side of the canyon and rail for the Canadian Pacific Rail (CP) on the other side of the canyon. At one point there are two rail bridges crossing the canyon at the same place, the Cisco Crossing. The CN’s orange colored arch bridge is 812 feet long, the longest single span bridge on the CN line.
That concluded our five days of train travel. After arriving back in Vancouver, Carol and I got on one of the transfer buses to a downtown Hotel. I chose a Hotel that would be the closest to our RV park. We then asked the doorman hale us a taxi for a ride back to our home on wheels at the RV park. It was a super train ride but it was nice to be back at our own RV, our own bed and our own shower etc. That was the longest time we had been away from our RV since it was purchased in March 2006. The next morning, Saturday (June 2), we left the metric world and headed back into the US.