Banff

  next stop down Lake Louise  Kicking Horse Route 
 First Passage to the West 
  Calgary next stop to the Right 
Home<Canada<Rocky Mountaineer<Banff

Banff is the one intermediate stop in the entire four-route network of Rocky Mountaineer Vacations train routes. Many trains though also terminate or originate here instead of going all the way to Calgary. It is where the Yellowhead Route (marketed now as the First Passage to the West) picks up or drops off its passengers (or vacationers) bound to stay in the Rockies who are not continuing the distance to Calgary on those trips, in 2012 for example these trips all the way to Calgary will run weekly (stopping in Banff eastbound on Saturdays, westbound on Sundays). An additional train will originate in Banff directly on Thursdays using the yard services 15 miles east in Kamore to wye and service the train where the train crews also spend their nights arriving the Wednesday night before. There is no service at all the last week of July 2012, I presume for some track work that must be completed in summer by CP. May has an extra round-trip just to Banff arriving Eastbound on Tuesday departing on Wednesday.

The stop has a historic 1910 railway station depot that is a bit dilapidated but a facelift has just been announced involving combining the station with a retail tenant. The station has a cream and stone exterior and the interior is small with a far too cramped waiting area with ticket offices and desks for two very different services, the Rocky Mountaineer and Greyhound. The Rocky Mountaineer office though is only staffed when a train is supposed to arrive or depart. It also supplies coffee for waiting passengers. The eastern end of the station house is simply abandoned. West of the depot, set back from Railroad Avenue, is a large concrete parking lot used by buses, particularly the fleet of buses that meet every Rocky Mountaineer train for hotel transfers. Just beyond this is a level crossing for Mt. Norquay Road that becomes Lynx Street when it enters town. The railroad platform is located on the edge of four track rail yard and consists of a very long strip of concrete with just a simple yellow line to platform Rocky Mountaineer trains that can be upwards of 20 cars. Right outside of the station house on the platform are some chairs and cafe tables for waiting Rocky Mountaineer passengers who must wait at the station for the train's arrival from Calgary if there on a trip originating there. There are even restaurant type heat lamps for cold mornings!
All photos taken on October 4 or 5 , 2011

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Approaching the Banff Station building and a sign for the Trans-Canadian Highway
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A closer view of streetside of the station house
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The bus parking area has a Rocky Mountaineer sign saying Authorized Personnel Only Beyond This Point
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A sign for the Rocky Mountaineer at the station
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The Greyhound Bus Schedule, they're an impressive 5 a day
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Passengers wait in the crowded depot for the Rocky Mountaineer to Vancouver
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Another view of waiting passengers with the Rocky Mountaineer Station format sign in front of its office, a replica of the main lighted one in Vancouver
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The crowded platform outside the depot
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A sign that yes your waiting for a train that will move on an active train line
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The bus unloading area
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A pile of bags that need to be loaded into the truck. Rocky Mountaineer does this to get everyone's bags to their hotels before the train arrives
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The station is also a scenic place to wait. There mountains in each direction
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Two Mobile Lifts, they're that many passengers needing to use them
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Little rooms and boarded up windows along the eastern end of the station house
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The platform extends east as far as the eye can see
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The eastern side of the station house far away from the public portion of the depot
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Home<Canada<Rocky Mountaineer<Banff
Rocky Mountaineer

Last Updated: 14 November, 2011
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