Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Thompson River Canyon in N Scale 2: The Prototype

The Thompson River is one of the most scenic railfan locations in Canada.

In addition to being a location of great natural beauty, it is a main transcontinental artery for both of Canada’s major railways.

The CPR was the first through the canyon, completing its line in 1885. Being first through the canyon had its advantages; the CPR was able to select the easier route along the river.

CN, being second, had to carve its path through some extremely difficult sections of the canyon. This necessitated a number of tunnels and rock/snow sheds.

It is the CN section of the line through the canyon that I am seeking to represent on my new N scale Thompson River Canyon layout.

The canyon was my brother-in-law’s favourite railfan place, especially from Ashcroft to Lytton, where the river is squeezed by steep cliffs on either side.

It’s the place where he has asked that his ashes be scattered.

In addition to CN and the CPR, VIA Rail runs through the canyon—but only at night. This is a pity, since the Thompson and Fraser River canyons are highlights of the trip.

If you are very “lucky,” as Rapido Trains CEO Jason Shron was this summer, and VIA Rail is very late (seven hours in this case), you can see the canyon in daylight.

Jason Shron's view from the Dome car.

Otherwise, you can see the canyon during the day by driving along the Trans-Canada Highway, which also runs through the canyon.

As noted above, I am not trying to replicate a certain part of the canyon—I’m not that good a modeller. My goal is for it to look like the area.

Follow along and see if I can pull it off!

Click here to read the introduction to this series.

Click here to read the 3rd instalment, about the start of construction.

To view all the posts in this series, click on this Thompson River Canyon label/link. 

1 comment:

  1. I share your brother's opinion, John. Many people rave about the Rockies, but this is a very scenic area and I can't help but think about the engineering required to put rails into both areas. The added value of the canyons is that CN and CP co-exist!