I'm a fan of passenger train travel, of which I have not done enough. My longer distance North American experiences have included the California Zephyr (Bay Area to Chicago), the Coast Starlight, and ... read more
the Canadian (Edmonton to Vancouver only). Some day I would like to take the Empire Builder from Portland to Chicago, the Southwest Chief through the Southwest, the Chaleur to the Gaspe Peninsula, the Skeena to Prince Rupert, and maybe even the Talgo train from Seattle to Vancouver. Back in October 2006, it was a gorgeous Indian Summer day in Winnipeg, as I arrived at a very impressive looking Union Station. In a few hours I would be leaving on VIA Rail's Hudson Bay train to Churchill Manitoba. But first there would be lunch at VJ's Drive In and a stroll along The Forks and along the Esplanade Riel to St. Boniface. Afterwards, while waiting to board my train, I spent some time walking about Union Station. I love the experience of big old train stations, from the architecture to the classic seats and the big information board. Union Station itself is a grand beaux-arts structure that was built by the architects responsible for the Grand Central Terminal in NYC. It was operated by the predecessors of the Canadian National Railway and opened in 1912. Union Station used to be a major regional transportation hub and thousands of immigrants once passed through its halls. Its current use is limited to the Hudson Bay and Canadian trains, some regional transit, offices occupied by non-railway tenants, and the Winnipeg Railway Museum.