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British Columbia road trip

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da1
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Alberta, Canada
  • 189 posts
British Columbia road trip
Posted by da1 on Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:02 PM

Hello all.

About to depart on a road trip to the island and back.  Stops in Abbotsford, Nanaimo, Comox, Vancouver then return to the Promised Land (Alberta) via highway 3.

I've seen and noted the hobby shop listings in MR.  What I would like to hear is local advice on LHS not be be missed, or otherwise unpublished.  As well, please provide any advice on railroad history sites to visit while in Lotus Land.

Thx in advance.
Dwayne

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Posted by tatans on Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:43 PM

Try Central Hobbies in Vancouver (great service) and B.C. Shaver and Hobbies (great brass) downtown Victoria on the  island- - - there is a train roundhouse museum in Vancouver that is worth the visit.

 

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Posted by davidmurray on Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:47 PM

There is a CP museum in Revelstoke, if you follow that route.  It is run by volunteers.

Dave

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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  • From: Seattle Area
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Posted by Capt. Grimek on Thursday, July 12, 2018 6:17 PM

A 2nd vote for Central Hobbies in Vancouver. Nice, large-ish store run by nice older folks who know their stuff. I live in Washington State but operate on a layout in Vancouver occasionally and have been in the store. The sky train runs nearby if you need public transportation. 

Raised on the Erie Lackawanna Mainline- Supt. of the Black River Transfer & Terminal R.R.

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, July 12, 2018 7:21 PM

Hey Dwayne:

If you have time, you might want to visit the West Coast Railway Park in Squamish, BC. It is just over an hour north of Vancouver along one of the most scenic drives in Canada.

http://wcra.org/

Dave

  • Member since
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  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
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Posted by selector on Thursday, July 12, 2018 9:50 PM

There's an interesting German-themed railway 'museum' in Osooyos, which you will drive through.  It has the Faller car system, tramways, trucks, cars, lots of steam and diesel...  I would call it 'cute', and worth the admission if you wish to be entertained. It's fully automated. Don't expect any great western vistas and scenery of what most of us would expect in a real museum.  It's intended for younger minds, methinks.

I live in Comox.  Apart from some local steel trestles, and a reasonably maintained local station, there hasn't been any rail traffic locally in about seven years.  The tracks are embargoed for pax, so the RDC hasn't run since I think 2011 or 2012.  There aren't any train hobby shops in Courtenay/Comox, but there is a modest one in Campbell River 30 minutes north.  I hesitate to urge you to go there because their holdings are small.

  • Member since
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  • From: From Golden, CO living in Puyallup (Seattle), WA
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Posted by Renegade1c on Friday, July 13, 2018 10:34 AM

Central Hobbies in Vancouver has already been mentioned. 

As for real trains there is some pretty cool stuff on Vancouver Island. 

 

I would recommend the BC Forest Discovery Centre on Vancouver Island. They have a little 0-4-0 steam locomotive and train that runs every 30 minutes as well as some unique static display trains as well (think shays and climax). It really highlights some the unique train history on the island. 

http://bcforestdiscoverycentre.com/

Another interesting place to visit on the island is one of North America's largest trestles (now a walking trail). I would recommend going to see the Kinsol Trestle. It is about a 5-10 minute walk from the parking area to the trestle but well worth it. 

https://goo.gl/maps/NBPsmjhw3rk

Lastly, if you have a significant other, Buchart Gardens, is a wonderful place to take them. It is an old quarry, converted to a botanical gardens. This time of year everything should be in bloom. 

https://www.butchartgardens.com/


Colorado Front Range Railroad: 
http://www.coloradofrontrangerr.com/

flag

  • Member since
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  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
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Posted by selector on Friday, July 13, 2018 12:34 PM

Oooh...my bad.  Renegade reminds me that a very worthwhile 6 hours, if you can spare them, would involve going to downtown Port Alberni, a 35 minute drive due east from Parksville/Coombs.  There you will find the Alberni Pacific Railway, a restored and operational 2-8-2T Baldwin.  It will take you on the 25 minute journey up a slight grade toward the McLean Steam Sawmill which is often in operation.  If you're very lucky, the guys operating the steam donkey will have it running as well and they'll do log skidding.

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  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
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Posted by BATMAN on Friday, July 13, 2018 2:42 PM

Railfanning from Calgary to Vancouver is the best. Once you get West of Kamloops both C.P. and C.N. run either side of the Thompson and then the Fraser. They have agreements in place to run on each other's track to ease congestion, so you will see both RRs on either line.

The bridges at Cisco are worth some time. Watch for Black Bears. They will take off if they see you, however, it can be a bit of a confined area in spots as you are sandwiched between the river and the highway. so be bear aware.

https://www.google.ca/search?safe=off&biw=1097&bih=516&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=BPBIW9TOEoLI8AOI_YzwBA&q=Cisco+Bridges&oq=Cisco+Bridges&gs_l=img.12...0.0.0.605179.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0....0...1c..64.img..0.0.0....0.W_f9rhB71FA 

Also if you have a vehicle that can handle dirt roads, driving the Thompson segment from Ashcroft to Spences Bridge on the Southeast side of the river offers a different view altogether. If you have seen the Imax film "Rocky Mountain Express", the film starts and ends at a little church along this stretch. With the number of trains along that part of the line, you can capture the same shot if you want.

  

Further along are the Othello Tunnels. Well worth a visit.

https://604now.com/landmarks/othello-tunnels-british-columbia/

The Museum at Revelstoke is well worth a visit. 40km to the East is Canyon Hot Springs. It use to be a pusher station with a wye long ago and you can find ghost from the past if you venture along the lines to the West. There was old steam equipment in a rock quarry from 100 years ago, used to dig up the rock for ballast and rip rap. They still work the area for rock, but it is on and off so you may or may not get lucky. If nobody is there then you can explore the quarry area, otherwise, it is too dangerous.

http://albert-canyon.blogspot.com/ 

Looking down the old wye with an explosives shed on the right.

  

Train after train goes by.

  

It is Grizzly country so go prepared.

  

 

 

 

 

 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1

  • Member since
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  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
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Posted by selector on Friday, July 13, 2018 8:35 PM

Brent, good for you remembering the Othello Tunnels (about an hour to walk them and take them, and those bridges, in).  Also, Cisco is not to be missed, but be very VERY careful where you stop and how you cross the highway there.  Average speed is near 100 kph.

Has any of us mentioned the Spiral Tunnel east of Revelstoke.  I think the Revelstoke museum was mentioned, but that's also a must.

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, July 13, 2018 9:56 PM

BATMAN
It is Grizzly country so go prepared.    

Ah heck, you don't need all that bear stuff! Just run faster than the next guy!!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughClown

We were on a grizzly bear spotting tour a couple of years ago and we got to see some grizzlys up close - real close! We we being guided up an estuary in a small boat. Suddenly a mother grizzly and two cubs came bounding around the curve in the river. They stopped before we went into panic mode, but momma decided to chase a salmon which was swimming downstream towards us. She got to within 60 - 80 ft. of us before the salmon decided to turn around and go back upstream again. Fortunately she followed the salmon. Dianne nearly had a heart attack! I thought the whole thing was fantastic! The guide wasn't too concerned (at least, he didn't show it if he was) so I figured why should I be?

After chasing the salmon, the mother joined her cubs (two year olds likely) on the opposite shore in a patch of grass. The cubs watched us pretty closely for a while but momma didn't pay any attention to us. I got some great photos. Dianne calmed down.Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh Then, momma stood straight up and sniffed the air. After a few seconds she grunted at the cubs and they all took off upstream in a hurry. That's when the guide became concerned. He told us that it was likely that momma had scented the male that we had seen much earlier, and we had best get our rear ends back downstream NOW! That put Dianne back on edge, and me a little bit too. I just kept saying "let the guide go first!"LaughLaughLaugh We never saw the male. Yes, we had all the safety equipment.

I loved the experience. Dianne said she did too but she is never going back! This fall we are planning on visiting the polar bear sanctuary in Cochrane, Ontario. It won't be nearly as dramatic. They have fences.SadSmile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Dave

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, July 14, 2018 12:18 AM

Brent!

Good idea not to pee on a grizzly!!! How fast can you run with your pants down?!?LaughLaughLaughLaughClown

da1
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Alberta, Canada
  • 189 posts
Posted by da1 on Saturday, July 14, 2018 9:29 AM

Thx for the great info guys.  Appreciate all the good advice.

D

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