Bring Back the North Vancouver to Prince George Passenger Train
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- Numerous benefits to all communities
- Help to grow local economies & jobs
- Assist residents, mothers with children, and seniors to access medical care in major centers
- Tourism, tourism, tourism
- Fight climate change by reducing vehicle traffic
- Relieve traffic congestion on the Sea to Sky highway to Whistler
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Communities were seriously hurt by the 2002 cancellation of the BC Rail passenger train. Lillooet is especially vulnerable due to a lack of transportation options—no bus service in or out. And yet, like so many other small towns struggling with a depressed economy, Lillooet is determined to survive and thrive!
Senior levels of government are responsible for looking after our future. We believe that rail companies must contribute to the economic health of the communities their trains traverse. It’s time for CN Rail to do their part and be open to leasing the line to an interested rail company who will invest in the future.
British Columbians are expecting our government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—the passenger train is an excellent way to showcase that commitment.
Tourism, tourism, tourism! A BBC travel writer who rode the only remaining portion of the passenger line from Lillooet to Seton Portage called it Canada’s Greatest Hidden Rail Trip. “Weaving along a narrow ledge between razor-sharp mountains and a gigantic, glittering lake, the tiny, two-car Kaoham Shuttle is a train lover's dream.”
It’s a no-brainer that the North Vancouver to Whistler portion of the passenger line would be heavily used, and revenues generated from this ridership could offset the portions where ridership might be less.
In the years since 2002 when the BC Rail line was cancelled, small towns hurt by the downturn in logging are gradually recovering. Prince George is now the home of the University of Northern BC. Quesnel is currently experiencing a real estate boom. Numerous business initiatives in Lillooet have rejuvenated the local economy. First Nations communities are busy developing a diversity of business opportunities. And many more examples of people trying hard to sustain and grow their communities.
Help us survive and thrive because like the Little Train That Could, we are the Little Towns that Could!
On behalf of all communities from North Vancouver to Prince George, this campaign was spearheaded by the District of Lillooet, Mayor Marg Lampman and a diverse group of concerned citizens. This online petition was created by Shellie Troy Anderson.
Has there ever been a more beloved and important train? Talk about “moving memories”. Dear Reader, if you have a few more minutes, enjoy these delightful vignettes from people who used to ride the train:
My mom used to set up her popcorn and artwork cart at the train station and greet the tourists as they came into town from North Vancouver. The train trip from North Vancouver to Lillooet has unbelievable views in any season. I really miss taking that trip. Haven't rode on a train since that route got shut down. ~~ Ha ha I remember your mom’s cart outside the Reynolds, she would give you a dog if you bought her a beer, what a gal. ~~ Ha ha yes, it wasn't the biggest money making scheme but she was always cheerful and I remember her pushing that cart in her high heels down Main Street (that was before it was all nicely paved).
My dad was a trainman in Lillooet. I remember when I was young, my dad put me on the train in Lillooet to visit relatives in North Van. He met his friend at the station, told him who I was and to take good care of me! He did! I got there safe and sound, and I'm sure my parents weren't worried at all! Beautiful trip, the best scenery in the world and wonderful people! I truly hope they bring it back!
School sport trips to Squamish and Pemberton were the best.
Did a trip with my family from Lillooet to Prince George then rented a car to Prince Rupert and then ferried to the Queen Charlotte Island then back to Rupert then down through the inside passage to the tip of Vancouver Island then bused to Nanaimo and ferry crossed to Horseshoe Bay then back on the budcar to Lillooet was one of the best round trips we ever did!!! My Cissy Rose and I went down to Vancouver to get her wedding dress back in the day was the BEST and crazy trip.
Ah the old BUD!!!! I remember back in the 90s when I didn't have my licence and my closest friend moved to Langley. I would save up money during the winter because when the spring/summer months came, so did the long weekends and I would phone him up and tell him I was coming down to visit him. He was so excited about it because he rarely saw any of his friends from Lillooet down that way. I used to jump the BUD down to Van City and he'd pick me up at the station. We'd party all weekend and hit a sports bar (sorry, but it's been so long ago that I forgot the name of that bar) to watch a wrestling PPV if it was on (which they were usually showing). It was amazing how many pro wrestling fans were at that bar to watch the PPV and sit back and have a good time. Come Monday morning, we'd wake up and he dropped me off at the station and we said our goodbyes and hugs. The best part of travelling the BUD was the scenery. It would always get me in a good mood because it was so beautiful to see and people you can meet. I remember stopping at Whistler and meeting people going back to Van. After skiing for the week to go catch their planes to take them back home to another country they came from. Sure do miss those days. I hope they do bring back the Budcar so the next generation of people could have the same experience that I had traveling the BUD. GOOD TIMES!!!
I moved to Lillooet in 1980 and took the bud train back and forth from Lillooet to North Van many, many times. It was a gorgeous trip and you could buy food and drinks, the staff was great, I have great memories of all the trips. I now live in North Vancouver but my daughter and grandchildren are in Lillooet and I wish we still had the train it was great.
One winter coming home from Van...the budcar was the only mode of transportation to leave that day because it was the worst snow storm in history.....but WOOO WOOOO-OOO the budcar got us home.
We used to be able to go see our mother at Christmas. When the trained stopped we couldn't see her over the winters. She couldn't visit with us, we couldn't get to her, don't drive in winter, no bus, they robbed me from spending time with the woman I most cherished in the world, now she is gone I will never get that back, now my sister lives there doesn't drive and now history will repeat unless we bring the bud car back I support you and am behind this 100 percent.
I remember taking the train to Vancouver every year with mom and 3 sisters, for the PNE and school shopping. It was the best trip for the scenery. I go to Lillooet now at least a couple times a year. If the train was running again I could come "home" more often.
My Dad worked as a conductor or trainman on the Vancouver-Lillooet passenger train. He loved his job and enjoyed telling all the passengers about the history along the way.
Your Dad was one of the best Conductors that Budd car ever had, they were all pretty great guys, courteous, friendly, helpful, but he was my personal favourite.
I remember the sports trips as well. Billeted out and it was so much fun! The Budd car was the safest mode of transportation.
Took the train to Vancouver for school trips and visit UBC. I also took it for medical reasons as I didn't drive then. I would use the train to go to Prince George and Vancouver to visit friends. I wish it would come back.
I loved that train ride.
Our only mode of transportation visiting our relatives down the track.
It was a tragic loss when that train stopped operating. I think of all the small communities along the way, I think of all the elders and families who depended on that train to visit family or go to doctor appointments. That train meant so much to so many people living along that route. Not everybody has a 4X4 to travel to some of those communities. I have happy memories myself of taking that train as a kid, between Lillooet/Shalalth/Seton Portage and to/from North Vancouver. I was so angry when Gordon Campbell sold it. Of course he didn't care it was a loss for some people, he probably never took that train himself. I think the train would be great to bring tourists to Whistler. I myself have family in Shalalth and wish our family could go visit by train.
As a kid we took the budcar every Easter and summer holidays to go to Squamish and Vancouver with the family. In my 20's I used the budcar regularly to school in New West. Then later in life I used it weekly even daily sometimes when I lived in Seton Portage. It was like a commuter to go to town shopping doc appointment. You made friends with the conductors and food servers.
Road the Budd car from Lillooet to Vancouver late fall of 1970 to pick up my wedding dress with my now husband of 45 years also went to Prince George to say good bye to a friend that was moving haven't seen her since that Budd car was the best thing that happened to rural BC and I still cannot believe the people let it go not to mention selling the railroad period. Ps ‘Rode’ the Budd car. LOL
My kids used to ride the Budd car to Lillooet from Shalalth every day to school two times a day and you had to run to the train after school was out or you would miss the train and it was a long 18 mile walk up the tracks to Shalalth. One time my son and his friend missed the train and we drove all the way in to get them over Mission Mountain. Round trip took about 3 hours. It never happened to them again.
Absolutely love the idea of rail service, would be just great. Such a shame we don't have it now.
Growing up in Lillooet I got to take the budd car many times, my uncle used to work on them in Lillooet, there was no reason to stop it, it is one of the most beautiful train rides there is, bar none, Sea to Sky all the way. The best part was everyone either saw or knew most of the regular riders, it was great, too much just to be thrown away by the CN bean counters.
I loved the B.C. Rail! It would be so great to have public transport to Lillooet. The rail ride from North Vancouver to Lillooet was such a treat. The scenery, and seeing Mountain Goats on the sheer cliffs above Seton Lake. What a treat!
I used to take the train down to Whistler after school on Fridays so I could ski with my Aunt for the weekend. Lots of great memories and a beautiful trip!
One time my daughter and I took the bud car from North Van to Lillooet and it caught fire. We had to jump of the train as it was filling up with smoke. Those train beds are high! We walked up the bank a bit and sat there. A few First Nation guys came across the lake with pumps and put out the fire which was in the engine. We climbed back on the train and had to sit there and wait for another engine. While waiting a nice man that lived in the area brought a box of cherries for us to eat. Those working on the train tried to sell us sandwiches that smelled like diesel! That is one trip I will never forget.
Rode the train for free. Lol. Grandpa was an engineer. Ahhhh the good old days when a 5 year old could travel pretty much unsupervised from North Van to Lillooet.
My siblings, cousins and I used to ride the Budcar from North Vancouver to D'Arcy to visit our grandfather in the late 70s and early 80s for spring and summer breaks. The six of us were very young back then, yet, I remember the scent of the sunlight mixing with the Ponderosa pine, cottonwood trees, and the old dirt roads. It was always a memorable and exhilarating experience for us all.
I rode the budcar many times. To Vancouver for the PNE and visits with friends and family. Also rode it daily for awhile in the early 80's for school. From Bridge River I took the budweiser in the morning into Lillooet and the regular budcar in the afternoon home back to Seton Portage or Bridge River. I also used to take it north to Williams Lake to visit family and friends. The scenery is beautiful north and south of Lillooet. It was a great way to travel as a kid with no license as the Greyhound did not run through Lillooet, you had to drive to Cache Creek for a bus. Definitely think it would be very beneficial for seniors, youngsters, and the general public and tourists.
I have great memories of being on that railway route. My grandparents lived in Vancouver and from the time I was about 11 I traveled that train to visit them. Surprised now as I'm older that I was allowed to travel on my own at such a young age but in those days you had the conductor to watch out for you. One time they had to rescue me to first class as a very inebriated individual was performing. I don't ever remember being afraid as I knew I was being watched over. I traveled this way a number of times. Great memories. Traveling by car from Lillooet to Vancouver in the 50/60's was a journey unto itself.
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For more information and history about the BC Rail passenger line, check out this Wikipedia link.
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