My ride from Vancouver to Edmonds, USA (a suburb in Seattle) was quite memorable. The train was scheduled to leave Vancouver at 5:30pm. When it got closer to 6pm, it was announced that the brand new locomotive wasn’t communicating to the older control system, so the train was going to be turned around and they will drive the train to Seattle using the back locomotive. So, we travelled to Seattle backwards. All our seats were facing forward but now they were backwards, which didn’t matter much because it wasn’t long before it was dark and you couldn’t see the passing scenic views. The seats were comfortable and spacious. Heaps of leg room compared to flying!
When travelling, the cars on the tracks do sway quite a bit and I found it difficult for painting or drawing, but I did this quick sketch of the passenger sitting across from me.
When we arrived at the US/Canadian border, at the Peace Arch, the American border guards came on board to collect train passengers’ Declaration documents and sight passports. When a border guard collected the man’s, sitting across from me, Declaration card, they asked him what kind of meat is he bringing into the country? He answered, “what do you mean?” The border guard answered, “you’ve ticked meat on your Declaration card.” He replied, “oh, that was my meat sandwich! I ate it.” That was rather funny.
About an hour out from Edmonds, the train came to a screeching halt. An announcement was made reporting that “we have a situation”. I immediately thought that there might have been a person on the tracks. Many train drivers suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from this type of extremely distressing situation. Thankfully, after a while, they announced that there was somebody on the track but they were able to stop in time and he was not injured in any way. We waited for the police to come and safely remove him, did a brake check and then we were on our way again. I was really amazed that we were able to stop in time, with presumably one less braking system when travelling with one non-functioning locomotive, and with the diminished visibility with the darkness.
The train arrived in Edmonds, without further incidences, an hour late. Despite the delays, I prefer travelling from Vancouver to Seattle by train than plane.