The Skytrain at Pacific Central Station
the Skytrain to the Pacific Central Station. Skytrain is an automated subway and
elevated railway using magnetic induction to control the trains. Itís very
modern and well used. The city portion is in tunnel but the majority is on an
elevated concrete structure. Some stations are island platforms, other stations
have two or three platforms. The trains are 2 or 4 cars long and are white, blue
and red in colour.
Pacific Central Station with stock for "Rocky Mountaineer" on left
Pacific Central Station is the former Canadian National station now used by VIA and Amtrak
trains as well as the Rocky Mountaineer tour trains . There
is also an adjacent Greyhound and local long distance bus station. The ticket
offices are all in the same concourse. Itís a very pleasant terminal but a
The "Canadian" arrives at Vancouver at the end of its three day journey from Toronto
I arrived just in time to see the "Canadian" arrive a little late. It should have come in tail car first after turning on a Y but due to a road accident on a level crossing it had to come in locos first. Thereís a VIA maintenance depot adjacent to the station and a surprise was a derelict Budd railcar. There are five platforms with one of these being inside a fenced area for customs examination of the Seattle service. The other tracks were filled with VIA and "Rocky Mountaineer" coaches.
went by Sky Train to Scott Road which is just over the enormous suspension bridge
built for Skytrain across the Fraser River. Vancouver is an enormous suburban
sprawl although quite pleasant. All the buildings are light- white,
pastel shades and light grey. The street names are hung over the roads at
intersections and the whole city is built on an enormous grid iron pattern with
streets running straight for miles. The street signs have the house numbers on for that
section of road.
The rail and road bridges over the Fraser River with a pair of BN diesels coming off the bridge
returned over the river to Columbia station and walked around trying to find
somewhere to watch trains in the New Westminster area. The single track bridge
over the Fraser had an opening span in the single track trestle bridge. I saw a
tanker train and a pair of Burlington Northern switchers. Unfortunately there
was no where to see traffic pleasantly - too many trees and highways with no
pavements to walk on. I went on to the road bridge over the river hoping this
would give a view of the railway but the sidewalk was on the wrong side to see
decided that it would be more profitable to go across to Vancouver Island a
little earlier than planned. I returned to the station in time to see the
arrival of the train from Seattle with an Amtrak diesel pulling a rake of
Spanish built Talgo coaches. Unfortunately I couldnít photo it because it was
in the security compound.
the bus to Victoria ,which went via the airport and then on the Seattle motorway
through the Fraser River Tunnel before heading west to the Ferry Terminal at
Tswwassen. Across the bay could be seen the Roberts Bay coal, container
and grain terminal, to which so much of CNí s and CPí s freight traffic
container and grain terminal, to which so much of CNí s and CPí s freight traffic now goes.
The view from the ferry as it approaches Vancouver Island