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Canadian Rockies advices

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  • Member since
    August 2008
  • From: Cluny - FRANCE
  • 15 posts
Canadian Rockies advices
Posted by french railroader on Sunday, May 19, 2013 7:56 AM

Hello,

I travel in the Canadian Rockies this summer and I want to take pictures of the Canadian Pacific trains. For me it’s a dream which come true because the CP transcontinental mainline has been my favorite place since I first discovered the amazing North American Railroads in 2002, thanks of Trains Magazine. I will reside mainly in Golden (British Columbia).

If anyone could answer my questions, it would be very helpful for me :
- Could you tell me where are the best spots to take pictures in the area (Kicking Horse pass, Roger pass)? I didn't find a map on internet which shows that.
- What is the Canadian policy about railfans taking pictures along the tracks?

Thank you

Simon

  • Member since
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  • From: Calgary
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Posted by cx500 on Monday, May 27, 2013 12:24 AM

From Golden, going east to the Kicking Horse Pass will provide the more accessible locations for pictures.  On the other hand there are more trains west of Golden towards Rogers Pass.  I recommend you take a drive at least as far as the west portal of the Mount MacDonald tunnel (west of Glacier in the Rogers Pass), and another drive through the Kicking Horse Pass to Lake Louise.  As well as seeing some wonderful scenery you can decide what fits your style of photography best.  You also have the option of going south from Golden, although sun angles can be a problem for train photography on that line.

There is no problem taking pictures along the tracks, as long as you are not trespassing on the railway property.  But try to find a safe place to park each time since the highway can be busy.

In the Kicking Horse Pass, if you have time make a side trip up to Takkakkaw Falls, just east of Field.  They cascade over 350 metres; one vertical drop accounts for nearly 300 metres of that. Late afternoon is best for sun.  No trains of course, but the Falls are well worth seeing.

John

 

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Posted by owlsroost on Monday, May 27, 2013 5:59 AM

We were on vacation in western Canada in mid-June last year - started in Calgary and went west to Lake Louise, did a side trip to Field over Kicking Horse Pass, and then drove north to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway (a fabulously scenic drive, and Jasper is a busy place for CN).

We were very unlucky with the weather - the night before we visted Kicking Horse Pass there was torrential rain which closed the railway for nearly 24 hours due to debris being washed onto the track, so we saw the spectacular scenery but no moving trains - so go prepared for rain......The following day was beautiful sunshine - the weather can change very quickly in the mountains.

As for photo spots, the highway stays pretty close to the railway most of the way over the pass, so some time spent with Google maps will give you some ideas for places to try.

Morant's Curve (about 4km south east of Lake Louise along the Bow Valley Parkway road) is well worth a visit - you've seen lots of photos taken there, but it's even better in reality Smile

  • Member since
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  • From: Cluny - FRANCE
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Posted by french railroader on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 2:11 PM

Thank you for your answer. I hope that we won't have rain during our travel in the rockies.

Simon

 

  • Member since
    July 2013
  • From: Alberta
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Posted by CPRail43 on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 1:57 AM

Not the best place to watch for trains, but I recommend trying Lethbridge, Alberta. It's got one of the largest railbridges in Canada, and the largest of its kind in the world. It's always good with photographers and railfans.

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Posted by efftenxrfe on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 7:16 PM

A bit far afield, and  from Field BC, the confluence of the Thompson and the Frazier rivers offers iconic Canadian images and the CNR as a bonus. 

A few miles up the Thompson and about 30 miles down the Frazier nets you pics of two maintracks one on one side, avalanche deflecting chutes, big bridges 'cross the Frazier,  tunnels.....big rivers, big scenery,  lots of trains.

  • Member since
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Posted by saguaro on Friday, July 12, 2013 9:03 AM

Simon - my wife and I took the Canadian across Canada two years ago. Jasper, Alberta itself was a really nice place to take photos of both freight and passenger trains. East and West of Jasper there are many nice photo opportunities with mountain backdrops, rivers, bridges and lots of trains. East of Jasper the road parallels the tracks for many miles and there are places that you could get up in the foothills and have a nice view down to the tracks without even being on railroad property. I saw people talking about Banff in other responses -- and that is beautiful too -- but that is CN not CP.

  • Member since
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  • From: Cambridge, UK
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Posted by owlsroost on Saturday, July 20, 2013 9:26 AM

I saw people talking about Banff in other responses -- and that is beautiful too -- but that is CN not CP.

It's the other way round - Jasper is on CN (and is a busy crew change/division point), Banff is passing place on CP (and a stop for the Rocky Mountaineer) - we stopped for few nights at both places last year.

  • Member since
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  • From: Cluny - FRANCE
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Posted by french railroader on Sunday, July 21, 2013 4:51 PM

Hello,

I came back in France 2 days ago. I really enjoyed my trip. The Canadian Rockies are very beautiful. I saw many CP trains and I took some pictures. I'm not a great photographer and I don't own a good camera so the pictures aren't good. I think I would remember this trip and the CP trains for a long while.

The most important : I talked with an engineer in Lake Louise. His eastbound train (160 empty grain cars and 2 GE AC4400) waited for a westbound double stack train to clear the main line. He allowed me to climb in the cab and take a look. North American trains are different at that we have in France. The locomotive is a bit taller and the length of the entire consist is very amazing especially when the train passed in the spiral tunnel.

I also visited the railway museum in Revelstoke and the last spike historic site in Craigellachie. These are great places to learn the history about the construction of the first Canadian transcontinental railway. 

I was very impressed by the CN line above Lillooet. The railroad climb a steep grade in the Fraser canyon with a horseshoe. Unfortunately, I didn't see a train in that beautiful area.

Thanks for your comments and your answers.

I hope that I could make the trip in the US to see another amazing places but it's expensive and I can't afford this type of holidays every year and more. I remain optimistic for the future and I dream in reading Trains Mag and look at the photos on railpictures.net.

Simon

  • Member since
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  • From: Cambridge, UK
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Posted by owlsroost on Friday, July 26, 2013 12:03 PM

Glad you had a good trip - it's nice in Canada Smile

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