Saturday, February 24, 2018

Amtrak and Via Rail Train Trip - February 1-19, 2018 - Photo Galleries Updated

Canadian Wildlife Near Jasper 

Amtrak and Via Rail Train Trip - February 1-19, 2018 - Photo Galleries Updated

Amazing adventure - Crossing the North American continent twice, westward across the United States and eastward across Canada was just amazing. Since my last update, I have flown American Airlines from Toronto to home in Nashville,TN. Actually I have enjoyed Spring like weather since returning home. Nashville has set new high temperature records in the 80's a couple days and we have been getting the springtime rain showers. Now I am ready to be home all of March and Easter Sunday April 1 before traveling again. I might visit some friends near Knoxville, TN, but otherwise I plan to be home.l

As the blog titles says, I have optimized, organized, and updated all my photos for this Winter Rail Trip into 12 photo galleries and one gallery of mini movies. You can check out all of these galleries from this link:

To summarize, I rode five Amtrak trains and Via Rail's CANADIAN while overnighting in Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; Emeryville, CA; Seattle, WA; and Toronto, Canada for total of ten nights in hotels and eight nights on board trains. This will definitely be my most extensive trip of 2018. So from those 19 days I have chosen these photos to represent the trip. Remember to click on the link above to see all the photo galleries.

California Zephyr in Gore Canyon Colorado

Coast Starlight in Portland, OR, next to the Empire Builder

Via Rail's CANADIAN in the Canadian Rockies

My eastbound CANADIAN meets the westbound CANADIAN

CANADIAN traveling through Ontario Canada

2018 Travel

I have planned two more rail travel trips and one trip to visit my Louisiana home.

April 2018 Amtrak Trip - April 2-21, I'll be traveling on my favorite Amtrak trains City of New Orleans, Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, and California Zephyr to visit New Orleans, Seattle, Emeryville(San Francisco), and Chicago. Planning hotel stays in New Orleans, Seattle, Emeryville, and Chicago.  Will fly Southwest Airlines to New Orleans and fly home on American Airlines from Chicago.

May 2018 Louisiana Home Trip - Currently planning trip to my Louisiana home to visit with family and attend high school graduation of Sadie Young, daughter of long time Tennessee friends Todd and Amy Young. The Young's now live in Stonewall, Louisiana. Detail travel dates yet to be determined.

June 2018 Amtrak Trip - June 3-23, I'll travel Amtrak's Crescent, Cardinal, Empire Builder, and Coast Starlight visiting New Orleans, New York City, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles.  Will fly Southwest Airlines to New Orleans and then fly American Airlines Los Angeles to Nashville. Excited to visit New York City friends and attend Broadway's DEAR EVAN HANSEN. 

September 2018 California - Dates to be determined - Plan to visit California to reunite with my Australian friends Mark and Megan Lindner.

All my photos are available to view on Reagan's Photo Galleries website.


EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS --  CLICK HERE to sign up your email
to receive each new blog post to in your email inbox.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Winter Rail Trip - February 13-18, 2018 - Via Rail CANADIAN - Toronto

Meeting Via Rail CANADIAN Train 1 in Canadian Rockies

Via Rail CANADIAN and Toronto

One hundred hours on a train. That is how long I was on Via Rail's CANADIAN train #2 traveling from Vancouver Tuesday 8:30 PM PST to Toronto Saturday 11 PM EST which included a 14 hour delay.  I have to admit it was just a little too long to stay on a train. Unlike Amtrak trains, Via Rail does not receive the cooperation of the Canadian freight railroads so the passenger train yields to the all too long freight trains. During my trip, the major delays were between Saskatoon and Winnipeg. My train was held for two hours in Saskatoon, five hours in Melville, and another two hours about 40 miles before Winnipeg while we waited for multiple freight trains to pass while we were parked in station. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my journey and the companionship of my fellow travelers on board in the dome car and at meals in the dining car. Also read a couple of books. And the on board Via Rail staff were very friendly and accommodating. The food in the dining car was good but not better than Amtrak. Unlike what some have said, most of the food was pre-prepared and simply reheated to serve on the train. I discovered this when I asked if food could be could more to order than "bloody". Was informed they had to serve it as they received it. Still I really enjoyed especially the soup served at every meal plus the pulled pork barbecue served for lunch one day and again as the "left over" late arrival dinner. Both lunch and dinner on the last day Saturday were extra meals and free to coach as well as sleeper passengers.  

In Toronto, I am at the Intercontinental Hotel within walking distance to both the Union Station where I arrived last night and the UP Express train to Toronto's Pearson International Airport for Monday's flights home to Nashville. Temperature is a pleasant mid 30's with some sunshine so I walked to the Old Spaghetti Factory for lunch. There is an auto show going on downtown Toronto so sidewalks are packed and traffic is backed up as all the cars seek parking. Just may hang out in my room the rest of today.

Here are just a few of the photos covering my trip. Many like seeing photos of the train so that is what I am trying to share in these few photos. I'll save the scenic photos for my photo galleries. This blog update completes my travel posts for this trip. After I arrive home, I spend a few days or weeks to clean up, organize and post the full photo galleries for my Winter Rail Trip 3018. I'll then post a trip wrap up blog to let you know photos are ready for you to view. 

Check in to trains in Vancouver, BC, Canada

My bed in my sleeping compartment on the CANADIAN

Somewhere in the Canadian Rockies

Riding in the Dome at the end of the train is fun

Lorne Manor was my sleeping car

CANADIAN Winter Consist is short

Just one of many feight trains we waited for to pass 

Hanging out in my sleeper room

Winnipeg was mid point of the journey

Lots of snow

Getting close to Toronto. Last fresh air stop in Capreol Ontario Canada

The snow never ended

Lots of solar panels. 

Finally in Toronto - My view from Intercontinental Hotel

Yep, that's the CN Tower just outside my window

You can click on any of the small photos in this blog to open a full size photo. 

All my photos are available to view on Reagan's Photo Galleries website.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Winter Rail Trip - February 17 - Last Day on CANADIAN

Last day on the train about 15 hours behind schedule. Traveling through northern Ontario Province. Hope to arrive Toronto during the midnight hours. Expect a laptop update tomorrow. 

Here are just a few IPhone photos. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Winter Rail Trip - February 15, 2018

Training through Sachatchewan Canada today. Here are a few IPhone photos. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

Winter Rail Trip - February 12, 2018 - Seattle, WA

Wings Over Washington Flying Ride

A Day in Seattle

Here's a surprise update from Seattle. I took a walk about this morning from my Grand Hyatt Hotel to Pike's Market, the Seattle Waterfront, and Seattle Center. Pike's Market was in Winter time mode. Yes, the fish market was there but no fish were flying. From Pike's Market I found an elevator that takes you down to the waterfront level where I did a little walking and just enjoying the waterfront. I did participate in a new attraction(at least for me) "Wings over Washington Flying Ride". If you like the Wings over California attraction at Disney Parks, this is same type attraction featuring scenes from Washington State. I really liked it. After riding this attraction I headed back up to Pike's Market level and to the Monorail for a ride out to Seattle Center for a light lunch of fruit smoothie and french fries. Got back to the room before 4 PM to rest and pack for my Via Rail CANADIAN train ride across Canada that begins tomorrow night.

I leave Seattle at 7:45 AM tomorrow by Amtrak Seattle to Vancouver arriving around noon. Will weather permitting spend a few hours exploring Vancouver and return to the Via Rail Station by 7 PM  to check in for the train. Since there will be limited cellular signals available except in the cities just know that I am traversing across Canada Tuesday night to sometime Saturday 17th or possibly even Sunday depending of the time keeping of Via Rail. There are only two trains a week each way and the current eastbound CANADIAN is 18 hours late just east of Winnipeg. That's why I booked two nights in Toronto. So this is the last laptop update until I arrive in Toronto or possibly even home in Nashville depending on just how late the CANADIAN arrives in Toronto. My flights home to Nashville are Monday, February 19 leaving Toronto at 12:15 PM.

Here are photos from Seattle today:

You can click on any of the small photos in this blog to open a full size photo. 

All my photos are available to view on Reagan's Photo Galleries website.

Winter Rail Trip - February 8-11, 2018 - Emeryville, San Jose, Amtrak's Coast Starllight

Amtrak's Capitol Corridor Train to San Jose

Emeryville, San Jose, Amtrak's Coast Starlight

Enjoyed three nights at the Hyatt House Hotel in Emeryville, CA. While there I took a little downtime to eat a Fuddrucker's Hamburger and attend the IMAX movie The Greatest Showman which I highly recommend on Thursday.  Friday I rode the Capitol Corridor train to San Jose, CA, and walked to the Old Spaghetti Factory to eat my favorite food - spaghetti with meat sauce. Saturday, I walked back to the Bay Street shopping area for lunch at P.F. Chang's(crispy honey chicken with white rice) and to see the movie 1517 to Paris. Another good movie about the three young Americans who stopped a terrorist attack on on a French high speed train. I am glad I saw the movie in Northern California since the three young men were local Sacramento hometown heroes. 

Then last night(Saturday) I returned to the Emeryville Amtrak Station and boarded the Coast Starlight at 10 PM for the overnight and all day today trip to Seattle arriving on time at 7:50 PM. Another good ride and interesting table mates at every meal in the dining car. One snow photo in Cascades in Oregon. 

Tomorrow, Monday, I'll have the whole day to hang loose in Seattle and to organize everything for my across Canada trip on Via Rail's CANADIAN from Vancouver Tuesday night to Saturday or Sunday arrival in Toronto. Suppose to be sunny if cool here in the 40's Monday.  Early Tuesday morning I ride Amtrak's Superliners Seattle to Vancouver arriving around noon. I have about eight hours in Vancouver before the CANADIAN departs 8:30 PM. Since there were a lot of dead "cell" spots in Oregon, I expect even more making it difficult to post blog posts as I travel across Canada. Maybe a short one or two IPhone posts but I promise a full update on the Canada trip after I return home to Nashville. If I arrive on Saturday in Toronto, I'll post a few "teaser" photos on Sunday before flying home to Nashville Monday, February 19.

Here are a few photos from my time in Emeryville and San Jose.

And here are some photos from my trip on Amtrak's Coast Starlight Saturday and Sunday.

You can click on any of the small photos in this blog to open a full size photo. 

All my photos are available to view on Reagan's Photo Galleries website.