Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Train to Vancouver! (Rail Workers) 4

Thank God for the swing of it,
For the clamoring, hammering ring of it,
Passion of labor daily hurled
On the mighty anvils of the world.
             Angela Morgan

I am not sure of the time but I know it is very early on the Thursday morning. With time zone changes I have no idea if I should or should not roll my watch back. We pass a railway crossing and I love the abstract wall the lights create. I am happy my camera picked it up.

I sit in the dark dome car; this is my favourite time, no one around, no lights, just the view of the train headlight piercing the extreme darkness of the night. Alone with only my thoughts. The sound of the train whistle breaking the silence. The head light illuminates the bush as it cuts through. I am sitting in the prime seat facing out the window, it is like I am the engineer of the train, I have no idea what is ahead.

 I watch as the light bounces off the rock cut and shines on the impregnable wall of tall Pines and Tamarack trees. My thoughts travel back to a time long ago when the railway tracks were being carved out of this wilderness. A time where things were very hard and the work was back breaking, this unforgiving wilderness would have made it treacherous to say the least. The mosquitoes, black flies, the isolation, the injuries and the physical exhaustion, things I can only imagine. I have read many a book about the laying of these tracks and I thank those men for the sacrifices as I travel along through this beauty without a care. I feel a great sadness yet a pride in their accomplishments.

We pull into a little station I watch as some CN (I can tell by their hats) workers jump off the train with supplies and baggage, I watch as others board this train. I am told later by a woman that had boarded the train at this station that she goes there for weeks at a time to cook and clean then travels back home till the next time (shift). She really loves her job and enjoys the family of workers she gets to spend time with. This little town has buildings that look like they could be in a western movie they are full of character and I imagine them standing there for a hundred years. There are many CN trucks parked all around and in the darkness I fail to see the true size of this place, porch lights and lights on poles are all I see.

The morning light is starting to appear and I greet the two CN workers that make their way to the back seat of the dome car. I watch as the thick wall of trees end and flat land with groves of trees start to dot the landscape. Could we finally have exited Ontario and entered Manitoba? Ontario is very large.

Paul and Joseph enter the dome car along with other people I have come to know, we all agree we are looking forward to the four hours in Winnipeg. I am looking forward to stretching my legs and exploring a city I have never seen.  We should be arriving just before 8 am. In the mean time I am again waiting for the sunrise and the snack bar to open for a coffee.
  I am so excited.

I sit with my coffee and admire the open fields of Manitoba and enjoy the view while we travel these rails carved out long ago. Here comes the sun. Incredible!



  1. I would love to take a trip by rail -- I think. Did you ever feel claustrophobic?

  2. what an adventure...thank you for your lovely comments on our page.. have a safe and wonderful week

  3. What a magnificent journey.

  4. Sounds like the beginning of another exciting, fun-filled day. I look forward to hearing about your adventures in Winnipeg.

  5. Have done this trip by car, can only hope to go by train one day.
    Keep posting my friend, I am reliving it with you.

    Love BA

  6. I've just been reading all of your train journey posts. It sounds like a great way to travel and meet people.
    In fact I can hardly wait to read your next post and picturing it through you eyes. You describe it so well. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us.
    I have a friend who travelled from the east coast to the west coast of America last year by train and loved it.

  7. I can feel your excitement. Love your descriptions. Your photos are fantastic :D)

  8. I think I would enjoy sitting in your seat in the dome car, watching the headlight of the train shining ahead into the darkness. I've never been able to sleep well on the train, so this is where I'd spend a lot of my time I think.

  9. you have such a joyous perspective. i would've probably slept through those wee hours.

    also, i just got caught up...i hope your mom is doing better and has returned home. :o)

  10. i love that you thought of the railway workers that sliced thru the wilderness so long ago to create this route. :)

  11. Very cool post. I loved your thoughts and pictures. I tend to do that a lot....go back in my head.

    Cindy Bee

  12. Your writing brings meaning to the words "along for the ride"


  13. Been catching up on your blog.
    So thrilled to read of your adventure and to know that you had a wonderful time, and back home safely.
    The train trip sound wonderful :)
    From M xoxox


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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