Sudbury to White River by Budd car
Today we rode VIA Rail's "Lake Superior" from Sudbury to White
River. Budd cars (RDCs) are used on this route, which operates
primarily as a service train supporting the roadless areas North of Lake
Superior. The pictures show canoes and camping gear being loaded in
Sudbury, and offloaded right beside the tracks in the wilderness. A couple
of dogs made the trip, too. In many ways this route is reminiscent
of BCRail's Cariboo Prospector, which provided similar services to roadless
areas between Whistler and 100 Mile House.
The operating crew (CPRail) was very friendly, and allowed reasonable access
to the cab and vestibules. Our train was delayed several hours by track
maintenance which put our expected arrival time in White River after 9PM.
With no meal service onboard, our tour leaders were concerned about dinner for
the group. The engineer of our train radioed ahead to his wife who was
meeting him for a crew change at Chapleau. She took our tour leaders to a
local grocery store in her car, where they stocked up on cold cuts for a dinner
on the train as we continued our trip into White River. Now that's service
above and beyond! We've had similar experiences with "Northern
Hospitality" when we've traveled on BCRail's wilderness routes.
It's just one of the reasons why we enjoy visiting Canada.
We're spending the night in White River, which is "where it all
began" for Winnie the Pooh. At least according to local legend, the
namesake of the Pooh story came from here. There's a small park in town
commemorating the bear and the story. Mo and I will walk through the park
before we hop our bus tomorrow morning for our trip to Sault Ste. Marie in
|The canoes, camping gear, and dogs arrive at
Sudbury station in the morning.
||Our three-car consist is being switched into
position. A third car was added to the usual two-car consist because
of the extra passengers today.
||Canoes are loaded into the baggage car in
||This dog (and its owner) boarded at a flag
stop just outside of Sudbury. Dogs were permitted as long as their
owners kept them on a leash in one of the baggage areas.
|Some of the hikers and canoers unloaded their
gear at Cartier.
||Our second canine passenger, in the baggage
car, but staying out of the way of the baggage handlers, at Cartier.
||Me with the Budd cars at Cartier.
||The seating arrangement on the RDCs is with
facing seats so nothing has to be turned around at either end. This
shows how we nested our legs together so four of us could sit more or less
comfortably facing each other. Our seatmates were Lloyd and Claire
Bailey from upstate New York.
|The train will stop just about anywhere when
flagged. Here, some campers are getting off trackside in the middle
||I got a few "vestibule shots"
between the cars.
||The Golden and its people hop off the train
at another wilderness flag stop.
||Lloyd went to visit the engineman, and I
headed to the vestibule, so Claire and Mo spread out and got comfortable
lengthwise in the seats.
|More canoers offload trackside at Biscotasing.
||This dog appeared to be waiting for somebody
to get off the train at Biscotasing. We rode away without anyone
coming to greet him.
||Our CPRail conductor was very busy!
With all of the canoe and camper pickups and drop offs, she had plenty to
do. But she did it all with a smile!
||After the dogs, canoes, and campers have
gotten off, the front baggage area is empty. Some of our group are
talking with the engineman in the cab.
|Here's an engineer's eye view of the control
signals at a siding turnout. It was misting a little, so the picture
isn't crystal clear.
||Some of the passengers were pretty thirsty on
the ride up! I have to emphasize that none of this was consumed by
our operating crew!! This was all work done by the passengers
hanging out in the baggage car!
||There's a 2-8-2 steam locomotive on display
in Chapleau. We had a little time to explore the area while the
engineer's wife took our tour leaders to the grocery store!
||OK, but unusual.
|Here our leaders return with supplies for an
impromptu onboard dinner, which the crew helps to load onto the train.
||Carl and Barbara Whitehouse man the counter,
while tour member Sid Saltzstein ("the surgeon") takes care of
slicing the buns.
||I didn't take many pictures of the wilderness
through which the train passes. It's impossible to capture in one or
even several photos the immensity of the area. This is as good a
shot as any - this is what you pass through mile after mile.
||A dusk arrival into White River.