• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Across Canada

Dave Bath

master brummie
Hi Sakura,
I have had the same dream for so many years. I want to make the journey from East Coast to West Coast by train and then travel back leisurely by car before I "kick the bucket". There is a country song written about the train - Canadian Pacific (carry me 3000 miles) - that's a bloody long way!!
My other dream is to fly in a hot air balloon. Maybe after The Wolves win The Premier League - don't think I can last that long? (Wait for the comments, lots of hot air, etc!).
Thanks for the links. The trip looks fantastic.
 

Arkrite

master brummie
Am I correct in thinking you can now only do this in Canada? I think that the equivalent line in the USA is either Goods Only or no longer complete.
Any Union Pacific fans out there?
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
I would love to do the Trans Siberian railway. Pete thinks I'm mad. I would be like you Tom the only means of transport I can sleep on is a train. Jean.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Arkrite
I'm not absolutely certain, but I think the canadian route is also normally just freight, and they fit in a few tourist specials between the freight trains
mike
 

Peter Walker

gone but not forgotten
I have ridden only one Canadian trains, one-way from Montreal through to New York - a day's memorable journey, first on the right bank of Lake Champlain and then on the east bank of the Hudson River, moreorlesss hugging waterside a lot of the way.
In the States we did a memorable trip from Chicago to Kansas City (20 hours) where we stopped off, then a 14 hour trip to Salt Lake City - this was fantastic scenery from the source of the Colorado River, winding along the gorge, sometimes 300 feet above the tumbling river. Then overnight to Seattle, a very civilised town, and two days later a daytime trip on to Seattle, also very comfortable and not touristy. Two days there and back to Chicago in 21/2 days, in good time for Barbara's niece's wedding in 1985. We bought a two-week rail ticket giving unlimited travel for 2 weeks, but had to book reservations a day or two in advance, so we were constantly having to use the phone.
Peter
 

Arkrite

master brummie
Thanks Mikejee. The idea of going from coast to coast behind a pair of Big Boy locos is my idea of heaven. Mind you it would probably cause some massive forest fires.
Everyone is in to much of a hurry these days. Some years ago my mrs treated me to Ashford / Lille then Lille / Bordeaux by Eurostar and the TGV. Those French know how to run a railway.
As someone said " Sometimes it is better to have travelled than to have arrived". They had never travelled by modern public transport in the UK.
 

jennyann

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Staff member
I know many people have taken the train all the way across Canada and enjoyed it very much. I haven't, my husband has. It depends how much you like train travel and how much you can afford. It's very expensive these days. If you board the train in Toronto and head out West you are going to be travelling hundreds of miles through country as flat as a billiard table! Nothing much to see until you reach Calgary and head west through the Canadian Rockies.

My Father wanted to do the cross Canada trip when they came for our wedding in Vancouver in 1974. We persuaded him to fly to Calgary with Mom and we hired a very nice motor home in Vancouver, collected them in Calgary and drove them through the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver. Took ten days in all. It was the holiday of a lifetime they said.

The Trans Siberian Railway sounds very interesting to me as well Jean
 

Sakura

master brummie
Mikejee - It is a very popular passenger train and as Jenny says expensive. Believe me you are not stuck in the middle of freight cars. The one coach has a glass dome to view the scenery through. My brother and his wife did the journey from Toronto to Lake Louise and then took the coach to Vancouver and loved every minute of it.
The train route from Toronto to Montreal or Ottawa gets booked up fast and if you want a seat you have to think ahead, you can't just turn up at the station. It is a big country and train travel is popular as the other alternative is flying in many cases. The northern routes were closed which was sad and there is still hope they will be opened again sometime.
Mikejee the train you are referring to would be the train that used to go to Moosonee but in 2007 that changed it and the freight and passenger trains are now separate.
I like that song Dave. There is another song called 'This Land is My Land' that I like. It has Canadian words and also an American version.

Glad you all enjoyed you short trip. :)Mo
 

john knight

signman
Morning all,
Slightly off thread, but same theme, in 2003 I drove the US equivalent by car Route 66.
The most fantastic holiday I have ever had.
A lot of the old road has gone now and you have to use Interstate 40 but it's still a great drive.
Canadian Pacific has always been a dream of mine --GO FOR IT.
 

jennyann

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Staff member
Hi John: I also did the road trip version through the US from coast to
coast in l968. There was quite a lot of Route 66 left in those days but it was being bypassed. It was the most amazing adventure starting in Michigan and ending in Spokane, Washington.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sorry Sakura, I didn't make myself clear. I didn't mean that the pasenger coaches were literally in the middle of the freight, just that there are virtually no long distance passenger services other than the tourist trains like the one described. I wouldn't deny any of the descriptions of the trip itself and would love to travel on it myself. I was really regreting the decline in passenger services which has occurred in canada and the US.
Mike
 

Arkrite

master brummie
I remember watching a programme not so long ago about people who travel the freight trains of America because they like to travel that way. Most were retired people in search of adventure and affordable travel. Their version of doing The Dream. One old gent was a engine driver who found retirement boring and traveled all over to see his mates. He said security was lax because the rail companies could not afford the manpower to chase hobos. They caused the companies no trouble anyway.
I bet their sons and daughters think they are as bad as kids. All power to their elbow I say.
 

Sakura

master brummie
We have done some driving in the States and just loved it. We have not done the coast to coast, just mainly the east coast and the Smokey Mountains. :)Mo
Slightly off thread, but same theme, in 2003 I drove the US equivalent by car Route 66.
 

Arkrite

master brummie
Sakura, back in the 70s ? I had an LP by a singer called George Hamilton 4th who had a hit in this country with " Canadian Pacific ". I think the songs were all about the Canadian railway travel. Will have to see if I can find it on the net. George had a really easy listening type voice.
Your post has uncovered the trainspotters, you will have us exchanging engine numbers.
 

jennyann

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Staff member
Hi Arkrite: You can hear a bit of George Hamilton IV's Canadian Pacific
here: https://www.last.fm/music/George+Hamilton+IV Very popular singer.
I like the words to "Canadian Pacific". You can hear Hank Snow sing it on
Youtube. Thanks for reminding me about this song. Also, don't know if you have heard of Gordon Lightfoot, a Canadian folk singer who sings about the Big Steel Rails and the Great Canadian Railroad Triology. He's on Youtube too.
 

Sakura

master brummie
I really like that song as well Jenny.
The train spotters on here might enjoy this.
https://www.lantz.ca/moosoneetrains.htm

When I was young we used to go on our bikes to Perry Hall playing field and sit in the middle of the bridge taking train numbers and getting the driver to sound their horn. Probably get arrested if kids did that now. Then we would do a bit of 'scrumping' on the way home as someones apple trees hung over the fence. I can't believe my parents let me go so far just with some friends.:)Mo
 
Top