Canadian Railroads

Photographs taken in Alberta and British Columbia in June 1999 and May/June 2004

(Click on any image to load a full screen version)

The Canadian Pacific: Canmore to Golden

June 9th, 1999 - Three photographs taken at 'Morant's Curve' on the banks of the Bow River in Alberta. On a gloomy day, a west-bound freight, headed by GMD SD40-2 locomotives #6012 and #5905 and SD60 #6043 makes its way along the Banff - Lake Louise section of the Canadian Pacific Railway before heading up to the Spiral Tunnels and over the Rockies to Golden



June 12th, 1999 - the weather has changed as a pair of GE AC4400CWdiesels #8538 and #8529 coast down towards Lake Louise from the opposite direction, having surmounted the 5,340 foot Kicking Horse Pass


At the same location, a west-bound freight powered by more AC4400CW units, #9627 and #8570 leading, (there is also a helper in centre of the train, not shown in this photograph) climbs the grade towards the Spiral tunnels


Later the same train passes through Field, beneath Cathedral Mountain, and is then held in the loop on the banks of the Kicking Horse River to await an east-bound freight, headed by GE AC4400CW diesels, #9617 and #8500


The local CPR depot in this part of the Rockies is at Golden, where #9650, #9653 and GMD/CP GP9u diesels #1535 and #1567 are stabled on June 8th 1999

Beyond Golden the line makes its way across British Columbia to Vancouver, paralleling the Canadian National Railway on opposite banks of the Thompson River. #9139 and #9142 head an east-bound freight up towards Kamloops on June 13th 1999; the CNR track can be seen clinging to the cliff on the other bank of the river.


The Canadian National: around Jasper

Jasper is an important staging point on the CNR routes from Edmonton and the east to Vancouver and Prince Rupert on the Pacific coast. As well as freight services it also hosts the VIA Rail passenger routes from Toronto to Vancouver and from Jasper to Prince Rupert as well as providing one to the termini for the Rocky Mountaineer. All of these services are captured here in the Jasper area.


Jasper station is home to CNR 4-8-2 number #6015, built, 1923, seen in the second photograph alongside diesel #2510

VIA Rail run a thrice weekly service, The Canadian, between Toronto and Vancouver. In this sequence of photographs, the triple-headed train leaves Jasper west-bound under a stormy sky at 16.25 on June 10th. It is due to arrive in Vancouver at 08.55 the following morning after a journey of 4,424 kilometres the train left Toronto at 11.00, two days earlier.




VIA Rail GMD FP40PH-2 units #6454, #6455 and #6448


The other VIA passenger service using Jasper is The Skeena to Prince Rupert. On June 10th, the 16.45 arrival completes its two day journey from the Pacific Coast as GMD F40PH-2 unit #6446 reverses into Jasper Station


The main traffic through Jasper is freight. Dash 8-40CM #2436 and Dash 9-44CWL #2533 pause with a west-bound freight in the yard.


June 11th, 1999 and in the late evening sun, a lone Dash 9-44CWL #2564 heads eastward from Jasper towards Edmonton


The Rocky Mountaineer

The Rocky Mountaineer provides a tourist train service between Vancouver and Jaspar/Calgary, the train splitting in two after an overnight stop at Kamloops.


Here locomotive GP40-2 #804 heads the eastbound Vancouver- Jasper section through the Yellowhead Pass on June 11th, 1999



June 13th 1999 and on the CNR Vancouver Kamloops section two GP40-2 units, #805 leading, head eastbound past Boston Bar



The West Coast Express provides a premium commuter service between Mission and downtown Vancouver.

Here GMD F59PHI unit #902 awaits its turn of duty on an afternoon commuter express while beyond a Skytrain service completes its reversal and track change and pulls back down into Waterfront Station





June 19th, 1999 and on the opposite side of the harbour, a pair of BC Rail diesels, Dash 8-40CMu #4641 trailing, approach the yards at North Vancouver


At the same time at sea, a train ferry of freight stock approaches Vancouver Harbour from the Pacific


Vancouver Island

June 17th, the 0815 Victoria to Courtenay, formed from Budd Railcars, #6135 trailing, crosses the bridge from Victoria station and travels over lines now controlled by Rail America in the guise of the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway. It returns at 1745




Most of the information Ive gleaned regarding locomotive types has come from the following site which I strongly recommend for Canadian Railway information - TrainsCan. If Ive got it wrong, I apologise Ill have to return to Canada and try again!

David J Cannings-Bushell, 4th August 1999

Copyright © 2000 - David J Cannings-Bushell
All Rights Reserved
Webmaster: David J Cannings-Bushell -