My friend Bill Schafer, retired recently as a Norfolk Southern poobah, is having a party on February 22. You’re invited, by the way. The party starts on VIA Rail Canada’s Canadian leaving Vancouver, B.C., on that evening and ends four nights and three days later in Toronto, unless the 55 travelers signed up so far raise such a ruckus that we’re all expelled to the clutches of the Mounties in some inaccessible spot on the Canadian Shield and get thrown into a Northern Ontario dungeon.
Here is your opportunity. I can leave Sarasota, Fla., anytime on Tuesday, February 19. The Canadian leaves Vancouver at 8:30 pm Pacific Time on Friday, February 22.
My question: How to get from here to there. I’ve identified a couple of interesting ways, but suspect I am missing some opportunities. Which option for going from Sarasota to Vancouver is most attractive for a railfan? Money is not really an object. I mean, an air fare is required no matter what, and I possess enough Amtrak Guest Rewards miles for the rail portion. It’s the railroad experience that predominates.
So pretend you are me. Get me from Sarasota to Vancouver with the most railroad enjoyment. The person who first proposes the trip I actually book (or gets closest to it) gets a reward of 5,000 Amtrak Guest Reward points.
I am not kidding, about the AGR points or about being invited. This is not a private train. It is your chance to trap Fred W. Frailey in a dome car seat for 80-odd hours of nonstop questions. And to meet Bill Schafer, who is definitely worth the trip. — Fred W. Frailey