The Long and Winding Road

The North American Freight Train in its natural habitat…

Image of CN train near Barriere, BC

A southbound CN working snakes it's way along the banks of the North Thompson river near Barriere, BC

High up on the ridge, Widewanderer looks down into the canyon. A long, sinuous, metallic snake winds it's way through the ravine, carve by thousands of years of flowing water. Trainus Trainicus, otherwise known as the North American freight train, is the largest of the overland transport machines, moving millions of tons of freight across the continent every day. Including Christmas Day. The North American train stretches for kilometres at a time. Be prepared to park up and have lunch if you are unlucky enough to “just” get caught by one at a level crossing. If it's double track, the North American train will hunt in packs, with another coming the other way just as the tail end of the first is passing your crossing place. Now you can have supper too.

The North American train is a very dramatic beast at ground level, and in the empty quiet of the Canadian wilderness, it's mournful cry can be heard from miles away – always three tones blasted out together in screeching dissonance. For the photographer, though, opportunity is afforded in plenty by Trainus Trainicus, it's drama on the ground blending with simply stunning scenery, especially up in the Rocky Mountains.

Photograph of a CP Rail train leaving downtown Kamloops

A CP Rail westbound working leaves downtown Kamloops

Passenger trains are rare in BC – they only appear in Kamloops three times a week, for example, and then only at the dead of night or at some ungodly hour of the morning. So, catching a photo of that branch of the Trainus species might be a bit of a struggle. More likely is spotting the one known as the “Rocky Mountaineer”, upon which rides that most interesting of human, the Tourist.

Widewanderer fully intends to take advantage of these photo opportunities. Wide angle panoramas are my speciality. Stay tuned for developments. In the meantime, my early efforts at capturing Trainus Trainicus are here for the world's enjoyment…

CP Rail image

Canadian Pacific AC4400s await their next turn of duty at the downtown Kamloops yard

Image of a CP Rail train leaving Kamloops

Crossing 2nd Avenue in Kamloops

Image of CN multimodal train near Kamloops

Eastbound CN double stack multimodal passes Cinnamon Ridge, Kamloops


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