Thursday, 13 February 2020

Throwback Thursday - Pride of Kamloops

Late in the afternoon of August 08, 2002, the RMR train from Vancouver is rolling over the Thompson River on its way towards the downtown station in Kamloops, B.C.
By Peter Mumby.

The Great Canadian Railtour Co. Ltd. operates the Rocky Mountaineer Railtours trains in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.  At the time of the attached photos (2002), the city of Kamloops served as a hub for these trains.  On day one of a four-day tour, the train would run from Vancouver to Kamloops.  Between these two cities, directional running in the canyons of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers meant that both CN and CP tracks were used.  At the CN Kamloops North Yard the train would swing on to the Okanagan spur for the short run to the old CN station in downtown Kamloops.  From here, passengers would be bused to various motels for an overnight stay.

The empty train would then be backed to the CN yard where it would be split into two trains in preparation for the next day's departures.  In the morning one train would continue along the Okanagan spur to the CP interchange for the trip to Banff and Calgary.  The second train would return to the wye at the North Yard and head up the CN Clearwater Subdivision towards Jasper.  Day three saw both trains returning to Kamloops where they would combine for the day four departure to Vancouver.

In 2002 RMR operated five locomotives, 8011 - 8015, all of which were former CN GP40-2W or GP40-2L(W) units.  The three engines in these photos, 8011, 8012, and 8014, were, respectively, ex-CN 9595, 9562, and 9633.  The 8011 also carried the name "Pride of Kamloops."

Since 2002, additional routes have been added over CN's former British Columbia Railway lines.  The above-mentioned locomotives have been joined by four others.  Kamloops still remains the hub for the original routes, although RMRX 8011 has lost its "Pride of Kamloops" moniker.

On August 02, 2002, locomotive 8011 is leading its train along the Okanagan spur towards Kamloops North and the connection for the line to Jasper.  At this point the train is passing St. Joseph's church on Kamloops Band land.  The desert nature of the vegetation and topography in the Kamloops area is readily apparent in this photo.
RMR 8011 North is now up to track speed as it passes through Raleigh, British Columbia.

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