Monday, July 20, 2015

Day 4 Canada, 24/06, To Jasper

Our train host Ron can be seen in this photo. He is of Indian Fijian parents and was born in Canada. In Canada's winter months he is involved in baseball matters. He was terrific. His overlord mistresses who came through the train every so often were a bit screechy and loud and sounded less sincere.

'R, I played baseball at school', said I. He replied with a grunt, with a clear lack of interest in my sporting achievements, but I pressed on. 'I can't remember if you run to the next square with the bat or if you drop the bat and run, but I did the opposite of what you are supposed to do. It may well be that you take the bat with you, as I recall being told off by the teacher for flinging the baseball bat and it nearly hitting someone. I did get to the next square before being caught out though, with bat or without.' In a moment of clear logic, you must leave the bat behind because you no longer need it once you have left home base, or do you? I am sure many people are now rolling their eyes at my lack of baseball knowledge but just remembering the term home base is a significant achievement for me.



I was going to rant about Canada railways, but I have a cold undoubtedly caught on the flight home and I don't have the concentration levels at the moment. Huge amounts of freight are moved slowly across Canada by freight trains, some over a kilometre long. Here is one with double stacked containers.


Looks like this was on the RM train. Cute.


Bush fires are a problem in the forests of Canada. With such a short growing period, forests take years to recover. Also with the weather being warmer than it used to be, it is in some years not cold enough to kill off the pine beetles, which can quickly kill a tree. Nothing to do with the greenhouse effect or global warming, of course. Burn more coal peeps, as our Prime Minister advocates.


How many carriages long was the RM? Maybe eight or ten. I think we had lost the rear engine at this point, left behind at Kamloops, leaving only the two front engines and a generator car.


Train tracks and train wheels don't last forever, as you can see from this ground off metal.


Before I could ask about the gas storage tanks I noticed every so often along the line, someone else did. The gas fires heaters to stop points in the track from freezing up in winter.


I think this was the longest wait we had in a siding while waiting for this freight train to pass. While freight trains give way to people trains, some freight trains are too long for the existing sidings and so people must give way to freight. Why there is one track will be explained in my future rant.


A geyser?, I asked. No, aeration of water at a fish farm.


Looking a bit greener and the vegetation a bit thicker.




Just a passing shower.


The scenery is becoming quite spectacular. These may well be Pyramid Falls.




Probably the Thompson River.




We have left the province of British Columbia and are now in Alberta. There was a time change and my devices were as confused as I was. My old Samsung phone dealt best with any time change but it always took a little time.




Upon reaching Jasper rail yards, here is one of those delaying freight trains. We are now within a national park and everything was in both French and English. There are restrictions about who can live here. Retirees with a connection, fine. Those with a job, even  the working poor, fine. Business people, no probs. Unemployed lay abouts, no.


As we left the train, it was my first opportunity to get to the front of the train to take a photo. It was around 7.30pm by this stage. It was explained to us by our tour guide that he does not give arrival times when on the train as it can vary by a couple of hours, depending how much time is spent at sidings. Although the train reached 80 plus km/h just outside Vancouver, mostly it crawled along. We checked in to the Chateau Jasper and dined within the hotel as it was a bit of a walk to the town. We were served by a very handsome and friendly Indian waiter lad who was studying nearby. I expect R pressed the 20% tip button on the card machine. There are some good things to see from the base of Jasper, as you will see tomorrow.



I'll leave you with this short song by a satirical Canadian group called The Arrogant Worms. We were to see many rocks and many trees over the next few days, and water.


16 comments:

  1. Our RM contained 22 carriages and 660 passengers.

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    1. Victor, I expect our may have been longer than the figure I guessed, but it was certainly not 22 carriages.

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  2. The Angry Worms is an excellent name. And I smiled at the rocks and trees and trees and rocks.
    Love the rocks and trees you pictured too. And the water.
    Off to burn some coal now. I would hate to be thought unOrstrayan.

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    1. EC, our PM will thank you for your coal burning efforts.

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  3. The Arrogant Worms! Haven't heard them in ages; I approve your musical selection.
    What? You didn't choose it for me? Well I never!

    Actually, I probably did. More than once.

    The landscape is getting more spectacular; particularly love the waterfall. Feel better soon Andrew.

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    1. Jac, interesting that the band is known to you. There will be another track from them in a few days.

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  4. wow landscape iswonderful and the environment seems so clean and unspoilt..

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    1. Gosia, Canadians take their clean environment very seriously.

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  5. Rocks, trees, water, three of my favourite things.
    Most of that scenery is pretty spectacular.
    I still maintain goods trains are a better method of moving heavy cargo, than trucks on roads. Tracks wear down as you've noted here, but roads wear down faster with all those really heavy B-Doubles etc on bitumen meant only for cars and vans. I think even our buses are too heavy.

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    1. River, while the Trans Canada Highway does run through the Rockies, it is not a wide road and it is very winding. It is just much more practical to move freight by train.

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  6. A very refined way to tour I think. The scenery is certainly "hotting up" - I'm a sucker for falls and those are lovely. Interesting about the gas fires to stop points freezing, I'd never heard of that.

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    1. Craig, our Fiend in Japan told me the Japanese use a constant spray of water on points stops them freezing.

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  7. The scenery is improving, and I expect there was a lot of snow on them and more snow. I like that waterfall, looks good.

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    1. Margaret, with the temperatures we were having, I am surprised there was any snow at all. As soon as you start to go up mountains, it does get colder.

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  8. The scenery is just getting better and better. Glad your travelling companions were tolerable

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    1. Marie, R charmed them, of course.

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