Royal Hudson Steam Train - North Vancouver
Update 2003: The Royal Hudson Steam Train, due to unfundable repairs, is no longer in service. The Royal Hudson Steam Train is now on display at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park - Squamish.
Activity:Once when I was three years old Mom, Dad, Auntie Mary and I did something really neat, something I'll never forget. We took a ride on the Royal Hudson Steam Train. It looks like a train from a wild west movie. The Royal Hudson actually runs on steam; that's why it blows out so much smoke. It goes all the way up to Squamish and back. I remember going up front and meeting the conductor. He showed me how the engine worked and even tooted the train's whistle so I could see how loud it was. On the way back Mom stood in the open air car with me and we waved to all the people alongside the train tracks.
Auntie Mary said it was a beautiful ride because it goes along the Sea to Sky - Howe Sound corridor. I guess it's pretty good--if you like looking at a bunch of water, trees, and mountains that is. Auntie Mary asked a photographer to take a picture of us. It turned out like one of those old-style photographs. She still has it on her mantle.
Dad seemed more interested in the rich houses you see in West Vancouver. Mom asked Dad if he was planning on buying us one. Dad said he would--as soon as Mom makes a million dollars. Mom was a little disappointed in Squamish, because it didn't have a decent coffee shop. Although the last time we drove through there she spotted a Starbucks in the shopping mall. Of course we had to stop.
Age group:Anybody can go on the Royal Hudson. I remember seeing babies, teenagers, people with grey hair, and even one lady in a wheelchair. What you need to remember though is that the ride takes six hours altogether. Some kids might get tired and start to cry.
Expense rating:I asked Mom if we could go on the Royal Hudson again. She phoned the station and found out what the new rates are: Adults cost $48.00, Seniors are $41.00, the same as teenagers, children up to 12 years of age are $12.75, and little kids under five are free.
If you want, you can take a boat ride one way. That costs a little more, $69.50 for adults. Or, if you want to travel in style, take the parlour class. You can ride in the club car on the way there and the dining car on the way back. Adults have to pay $80.00 to do it. If you can't afford the dining car, the Royal Hudson has a concession stand too.
:Of all the things our family has ever done, this is one of the neatest. I'll never forget waving from the open air windows, with the wind blowing in my face. It made me feel like I was somebody important.
:When we arrived in Squamish, it was kind of like being dumped in the middle of nowhere. Since it was Sunday, there was hardly any stores open and not much to do. Now at least they have a McDonalds and Dad's favourite, TacoTime. Mom says it's all junk food. Dad says he doesn't care so long as it tastes good.
Details:The train leaves the North Vancouver station at 10:00 am sharp. You should be there by 9:30 am. It takes two hours to get up to Squamish. You have to spend two hours in Squamish, and arrive back at the station at 4:00 pm.
The BC Rail Station is located at: 1311 W. First St., in North Vancouver. (This address is at the south foot of Pemberton Ave., 1/2 mile east of the Lions Gate Bridge.)
Phone: (604) 984-5246 or (604) 631-3500 for more information. Toll free: (B.C.) 1-800-339-8752 (USA and outside B.C.) 1-800-663-8238.
Season:Summer. The Royal Hudson only goes in the summer months. The first ride is on May 6th and the last one is at the end of September. It doesn't go every day of the week, only Wednesday through Sunday.
Educational highlights:Did you know in 1939, His Majesty King George VI and Queen Elizabeth made a Royal Tour of Canada in the Hudson 2850. He thought the Hudson was so neat, King George named her the Royal Hudson.
Fun for the adult?:I think Mom and Dad and Auntie Mary enjoyed looking out the windows at the scenery. Dad likes to take pictures and he had plenty of chances with the open air car. I keep telling Dad we should go again. After all you only live once. He always says the same thing, "Are you buying?