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Royal Hudson Excursion from Vancouver to White Rock ~ February 8th, 2010

by Elizabeth Guenzler

I was really looking forward to the Royal Hudson steam excursion from Vancouver to White Rock today. However, as that was not occurring until the afternoon, the morning was free to do some railfanning. After checking out of the hotel, Bob, Chris and I drove to Southern Railway of B.C.'s Trapp Yard. After signing a release and donning safety gear, we looked around. As usual, there were several items of interest here.

SRY GP9 128 (ex. Canadian Pacific 1583, nee Canadian Pacific 8671).

SRY GP10 003 (ex. Mid-South 1059, exx. Illinois Central 8256, nee Illinois Central 9256). To become a slug.

SRY SW900 905 (ex. B.C. Hydro 905, nee B.C. Electric 905).

SRY MP15DC 153 (nee B.C. Hydro 153).

SRY Control Cab Slug 121 (ex. Montana Rail Link GP9 121 2008, exx. MRL 1927, exxx. Burlington Northern 1927, nee Northern Pacific 342 1970).

CITX SD40-2 3057 (ex. GCFX 3057, exx. Alstom 3057, exxx. East Coast Motive Power 3057, nee Canadian Pacific 5686).

SRY GMD1 1203 (ex. Canadian National 1169 1987, nee CN 1069 1960). This was one of five GMD1s that Southern Railway of B.C. purchased.

SRY GMD1 1204 (ex. Canadian National 1170 1990, nee CN 1070 1960). This was the last Canadian National locomotive on Vancouver Island.

CITX SD40 2785 (ex. CEFX 2785, exx. Union Pacific 2785, exxx. UP 4735, nee Southern Pacific 9128). After signing out, we drove to Canadian National's Thornton Yard but there was hardly anything there, so we drove over to Roberts Bank in Delta.

Canadian National ES44DC 2222 was on the point of a freight train at Golf.

BNSF and Kansas City Southern were visiting Roberts Bank/Deltaport.

Canadian Pacific ES44AC 8873 sported a 2010 Winter Olympics logo; very fitting as the Games started four days later. We then made our way back to Vancouver, parked at Metrotown and rode Skytrain to Main Street/Science World. We detrained and had some much-needed lunch at Tim Horton's, then walked over to Pacific Central Station to check in.

My ticket for this excursion. Boarding commenced at 13:30 and Bob and I were in Car 2 with Chris in Car 1. The consist of our train this afternoon was Canadian Pacific 4-6-4 Royal Hudson 2860, BNSF ES44AC 6422, WCXX coach 5652 "Capilano", WCXX coach 5596 "Paul D. Roy", WCXX coach 3233 and WCXX coach 3218.

At 14:00, the train pulled out of Pacific Central Station.

Leaving Pacific Central Station behind.

The Royal Hudson and its train on the first large curve of the route.

Making our way through Vancouver beside where Skytrain runs.

Our excursion train passed through BNSF's Braid Yard in New Westminster where Norfolk Southern and BNSF power could be seen this day.

The rear coach had a platform on it and I spent quite a bit of time out here, enjoying being able to be outside and see everything "live".

We had to stop short of the Fraser River bridge as a barge was making its way up the Fraser River.

The Fraser River.

The barge in question.

Waiting for a green signal.

The open draw bridge.

Highball White Rock!

The Royal Hudson starting its journey through the Fraser River Bridge.

For this journey through the bridge, I was much more interested in the rear view than the front of the train. The view from the platform of the rear car was incredible and was the first time I had been able to be in such a position.

Coming off the Fraser River bridge onto the BNSF tracks en route to New Westminster.

The Alex Fraser bridge that leads to New Westminster.

Curving around to where the tracks and Highway 99 meet at Colebrook.

The line from Roberts Bank joins the track we are on and a Canadian National baretable train was seen.

We curved onto the trestle bridge over Mud Bay.

Crossing Mud Bay on a glorious winter's day.

The view looking forward.

Passing Milepost 128 between Mud Bay and the Nicomekl River.

Crossing the Nickomekl River and Crescent Beach Marina.

Curving around on the approach to White Rock.

Looking out of the rear of the train on this glorious day. We detrained at 16:00 to a large crowd and walked down to the front of the train.

Canadian Pacific 4-6-4 2860.

We walked out onto the pier for a wide-angle view, then waited for the motor coach to take us back to Vancouver. Several people had chosen this option and everyone was returned to the VIA Station then the three of us walked to the Skytrain station and returned to Metrotown. It was then back to the border where the train just happened to be almost beside us as we reached the actual crossing. On the way back to Lynnwood, we stopped at Applebees in Bellingham for dinner.

It had been a fantastic experience to ride behind the Royal Hudson for just my and Bob's second time, and Chris' first time. The whole weekend was excellent and the opportunity to ride a Belgian streetcar in Vancouver was very unique.