2000, BC Rail embarked on an ambitious plan to launch a luxury passenger
train that would run along the railroad's highly scenic route between
Vancouver and Prince George, BC. Dubbed the Whistler Northwind, the
train entered service in 2001. Included in the luxurious nine car train
were three single level domes built by Colorado Railcar, along with
another standard lounge car which was also purchased from CRM. Two of
the domes 1720 and 1721 were used for the train's upscale
"Panorama" service, while the third, 1722, seated the train's
"Summit" service passengers. An additional round-end summit
lounge car, a diner and kitchen car, as well as a crew sleeper and a
power car rounded out the consist. The train was pulled by a specially
service seemed to be growing well, but was discontinued along with the
rest of BC Rail's passenger service at the end of the 2002 season. The
three dome cars, the Panorama lounge, and the Summit lounge cars were
all purchased by VIA. The three domes and the summit lounge car were
refurbished for use on the Skeena.
thanks to James Miller, BC Rail's manager of business development, marketing
and sales, for providing these photos as well as several other materials
regarding the Whistler Northwind train for use on this site.
Northwind winding south along the highly scenic Howe Sound. Panorama
cars Cariboo (1720) and Coastline (1721) are the third and fourth cars
in the consist. The Chilcotin (1722) is barely visible as the second
car from the end of the train. Photo courtesy of BC Rail.
seats of dome car 1722, Summit service passengers soak in the... well,
panorama of Howe Sound as the train makes its way toward Whistler. The
train was an all-dome offering, with minor distinctions in service.
Photo courtesy of BC Rail
is the only word I can think of to describe this photo of the Whistler
Northwind as it winds along the shores of Seton Lake. The tracks are
shoehorned onto a small shelf between the sheer cliffs and the crystal
blue (and semingly bottomless) lake. Photo courtesy of BC Rail.
In the first
year of Whistler Northwind operation, the dome cars were numbered 1703-1705,
and later renumbered 1720-1722. Here we see the 1705 (later 1722) and
train. Photo courtesy of BC Rail. This is one of the only photos I have that shows the small "half" window for the last row of seating that is unique to the 1704-1705.
view looking out of Panorama service car 1721. It's easy to understand
how the service got it's name. One of the major differences between
Panorama and Summit service is the dining while Summit passengers
entered a separate dining car for meals, Panorama passengers were served
right at their seats. Photo courtesy of BC Rail.
canyons to rocky shores, BC Rail traverses a diverse array of scenery.
Just south of Whistler, the train follows the glacier-fed Chekamus River.
Photo courtesy of BC Rail.
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