Yoho National Park, Upper Spiral Tunnel

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Saturday 3rd October)

The mastery of railway engineering is certainly seen here, its quite amazing what has been created.  The railway link that was created here was a massive undertaking and the transport links that have now benefited from such engineering I am sure are fully appreciative of this fantastic feat.  Remember, we are talking about the Canadian Rockies here, the range of mountains that demand respect and leave you in awe and wonder of them, the rugged terrain that surrounds this area is not to underestimated.

There were several options that were available before they created this, but apparently they went for this particular route because of its shorter distance to the Pacific Coast and because of its close proximity to the US border.

Obviously these tunnels did not just appear, and when they were created, they faced significant serious challenges, for example, there was one instance when a train derailed killing three workers.  In addition to this, if you take into account the fact that the engineering of the late 1800’s is not what we have today, relate that to the fact that the geography of this land is demanding to say the least, it really is an awesome job.

Today, between 25 and 30 trains pass through these tunnels daily.  I was lucky enough to see one these trains pass through with the time I had.  It was a pleasant experience.  You first hear the train approaching from a distance, but you can’t really make out exactly where from, then you catch the first glimpse which is great.  However, the highlight, is definitely when the train enters into one of the tunnels and then starts appearing through the lower tunnel, I had not seen anything like it before, the train carriages just keep coming, it was so long that the train was fully visual on the top and bottom level, coming in and out of the tunnels!  The photos that come after, are photos from another road on the way to Banff National Park.

As I left here and began my drive to Banff National Park, I passed by some roadworks, I am not sure exactly what they were doing, but watching them carve out huge chunks of rock from the side of the mountain…while I was on the same mountain, well, a bit disheartening let me tell you!

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/yoho/natcul/spirale-spiral.aspx

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