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Have you read our
other magazine site?

Box Car Willie lives at Railroad Park near Mount Shasta, California
by Jerry W. Bird


Railroad Park is a mini resort that features an acre or more of antique railway cabooses, gathered from across the USA and restored with tender loving care by a family that cares about preserving past glories. Returning somewhat exhausted from a "Railfair" pre event meeting at the California Railroad Museum in Sacramento, we were stranded at Dunsmuir (near Mount Shasta) in the midst of a raging snowstorm. As serendipity would have it, that brief overnight interlude became a treasured experience. The scenery was awesome, especially next morning, when the blizzard was gone, and sun rays lit the towering peaks. If you drive to Railfair, you'll go right by their door. 

Box Car Willie, who appeared in our last edition, courtesy of Delberta Murphy, is our fond souvenir of Railroad Park, one of the most unique places to stay in all of America. Located at the town of Dunsmuir in the shadow of Mount Shasta, California, it became our "shelter from the stormy blast" -- landing there in the eye of a blizzard, not knowing whether we'd be stranded on the highway or stuck with no accommodation.

Well, it turned into one of the most enjoyable episodes in my career, complete with home cooked dinner, karaoke, camaraderie and the most snug night's sleep ever. Talk about stress relief -- each individual unit in Railroad Park, is an authentic boxcar rescued from one of America's railways, great and small. The interior finish is in knotty pine, and as cozy as you would ever imagine. Delberta and family proved to be gracious hosts--- and we yearn to return. (Editor) For booking details contact Air Highways Travel Club (604) 681-0718 , E-Mail: airhwy@dowco.com

Stop at Railroad Park, California
Well, what do you know the latest Railfair in Sacramento, Ca has come and gone. But there's still plenty of reason to visit the California Railroad Museum in the old town village.

Railroad Park Resort

100 Railroad Park Road

Dunsmuir CA 96025 USA

Phone: +1-530-235-4440

Okanagan Valley Wine Train has Grape Expectations
Like a cruise ship on rails! From Mothers Day ( May 9) through to Halloween (Oct. 31), Fun Trains Canada's new Okanagan Wine Train will offer visitors a scenic trip through the heart of Wine Country, from Kelowna to Vernon and return. Tour operators Pat and Bob Nagel, who own the new line, will provide on board tastings served by their winery partners Calona, Summerhill, Sumac Ridge ad Gray Monk. The company has acquired 22 cars from the old Super Continental, which ran across Canada for two decades ending in the 60s. The six-hour excursion will include dinner and a stage show. More information and prices to come.

A touch of San Francisco?
Return to the interurban and street cars. Comeback includes Vancouver, Richmond and other BC Centres restore famous street cars. Watch for the story.

Railway Castles
In my book of fondest memories, a Christmas - New Years fortnight at the Banff Springs Hotel, and a week at Chateau Lake Louise rank high. Here in the Canadian Rockies this pair of European style castles reek of elegance from the grand old days, when the world's rich and famous arrived by train, making these grand resorts their private playground. Much of that magnificent aura still remains, and both resorts are included in our Rocky Mountain high.

Other railway landmarks, such as Quebec's Chateau Frontenac, Ottawa's Chateau Laurier and Toronto's Royal York are also on the agenda. As a focus of our "Adventure Rails" is a Grand Tour by Rail. Originating from Vancouver and Seattle, it will include Amtrak, Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver Island's Esquimalt-Nanaimo route, BC Rail's Cariboo Expre
ss, Via Rail from Prince Rupert to Jasper and Edmonton, Alberta Prairie Steam Train, Ontario Northern's Polar Bear Express. After visiting Niagara Falls, we'll travel Via Rail's corridor route, from Toronto's Union Station to Montreal, Quebec City and the heart of French Canada.
Canada's Castles- Railway Hotels

Greater Vancouver, BC: For a great view of four cities,
get elevated
with SkyTrain

Remember the grand department stores of yesteryear, where a petite, uniformed elevator operator sang out the stops as you rose at a stomach- churning rate? "Third floor - lingerie - perfumes - toiletries ..."
Now imagine a shopping area with 19 stops, offering a world of choice; snacking or fine dining, sightseeing or business, sports events, education or worship, photo opportunities or people -watching, movies, live theater and shopping for everything, from a cardigan to a Corvette. One of our features on the return of Interurban Trains as a 'pollution solution' in our cities.

Vancouver is Riding a Railway Renaissance
Vancouver, Canada's "Cosmopolis" of the Pacific is blessed with great connections. Home port for Alaska-bound cruise ships, gateway to four continents by air, and the top-of-the-world by highway, Vancouver is again a hub of passenger rail activity. With British Columbia's tourism industry topping 5.5 million, this rail travel revival provides a double-whammy for enterprising tour operators. The Canadian National Railway station, a landmark on Main Street near Chinatown, holds many memories. From this grand dowager of terminals, I took leave for Montreal to begin a new life in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Earlier as a 10-year old bound for Saskatchewan, I boarded the train -- suitcase under one arm, goldfish bowl cradled in the other. Minutes later, the train lurched suddenly, spilling the bowl's entire contents into the aisle. By some miracle my finny friends survived. Today's terminal, renamed Pacific Central Station, is an inter-modal facility, serving The Rocky Mountaineer, Via Rail's Blue & Gold service to the Atlantic Coast, and major motor coach lines. An eagerly awaited Amtrak link to Seattle will open new avenues for rail-cruisers. Outside the terminal, you can board an elevated SkyTrain to historic New Westminster, and Surrey.

The old White Pass & Yukon Railway; it's cavernous dining hall at Lake Bennett served some 350 rail passengers at a single sitting, according to my mother, who worked there during her summer holidays. The food was served in heaping bowls on long camp tables, resembling a legendary Viking feast, as the ravenous horde of passengers swarmed the wooden landing, with my 6-year old self taking the lead.

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