Banff Alberta - On 7 May 2017 I caught the Royal Canadian Pacific (RCP) on a return trip from Golden.
It had a red engine sandwiched between two heritage FP9A units.
That didn't look right to me so I vowed to catch the RCP with three heritage units.
I went out to Alyth Yard and Ogden Yard every day from 8 to 22 May 2017 plus I had my scanner on most of every day.
I was determined to catch the RCP again but on each day the four F units were either outside, or inside, the Alyth diesel shop and they didn't move.
I couldn't see the units when inside the shop but on those days Generator Car number 95 was outside at Ogden Yard so I knew the train had not left Calgary.
After 15 days I gave up, my patience had run out!
At 07:50 on 23 May 2017 I sat out on the deck for my first coffee of the day.
Ten minutes later I heard "CP 1401 West, clear signal at Sunalta" (that's on the west side of downtown Calgary), so the RCP was heading west.
I jumped in my car but as it was rush hour I missed the train by minutes in Bowness (west Calgary).
It's impossible to get ahead of the train at the speed it travels.
But I did hear the conductor tell the Rail Traffic Controller (RTC) that the train would lay over for 8 hours at Banff.
Now, should we head to Banff and possibly see another red engine in the middle?
My wife convinced me to go, saying there was a 50-50 chance that there would be three heritage units.
The lesson here, always listen to your wife.
So off we went to Banff.
There was the RCP, sitting in Banff Yard, with THREE FP9A UNITS.
I couldn't believe my eyes, I've never seen this on a CP passenger train since my first photo taken in 1965.
The train was on a 12 hour excursion trip from Calgary to Banff and return.
The train did not have staff cars Killarney and Mount Royal, nor did it have sleeping cars N.R. Crump and Banffshire, but it did have CP 104, a former coach on the Empress train but now converted to a gym/fitness car.
After photographing the train at Banff, we headed to Canmore for some dinner and then waited at the Kananaskis River bridge (at Seebe) for the train to pass, which it did at 18:43.
A great day was had by all, now we will wait for the Canada 150 train at the end of July.
Cor van Steenis.