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Whistler Northwind: Behold the spectacular! (Not in service. Let's hope it returns)
by Jerry W. Bird

When we attended the official launch of BC Rail's Whistler Northwind Summit Service. and what a happy occasion it was, as this North Vancouver based railway joined the big leauges of passenger travel, ranking amongst such world class train trips as offered in Switzerland or aboard the Venice-Simplon- Orient Express. The scenery en route was always tops in the world, now there's equipment and service to match.

BC rail club carAs the band played Duke Ellington and other great tunes from the 40s, we watched as the fleet of beautifully restored two tone vintage passenger coaches and dining cars rolled in along the landing. Later we had the opportunity of meeting the railways new President and management team (profiles to come), and all were impressed by the high quality of service that marked the company's history making entrance into the major leagues.

(See Rail Map ) BC Rail currently provides daily passenger transportation from its southern terminal, near my home (during high schol years) on Pemberton Avenue in North Vancouver, British Columbia to the Northern city of Prince George via the popular Cariboo Prospector train. The company operates a fleet of self-propelled, air-conditioned Budd cars.

mapWhistler Northwind's Summit Service guests enjoy the benefits of a private rail-end Club Car that dates back to 1939. This beautifully decorated lounge includes an elegant service bar and complete sound and video centre. An additional summer train, the Whistler Explorer between Whistler and Kelly Lake is used extensively by tour groups from overseas and the United States. BC Rail also operates the popular Royal Hudson steam train excursion from North Vancouver to Squamish between June and September. It is truly a classic piece of machinery, definitely one of the most photographed trains in Canada. I look forward to its friendly whistle tooting its greeting as this historic train passes by my favourite summer time haunt at West Vancouver's Dundarave Beach. We never miss a chance to wave hello to the passengers and crew.
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Information Lines: (604) 984-5246 or (604) 631-3500,
FAX: (604) 984-5505
Toll free: (B.C.) 1-800-339-8752 (USA and outside B.C.)

Stations en route (see BC Rail Map)
Vancouver - Whistler - Williams Lake- .. Quesnel - Prince George