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The Whistler Train Wreck

Hidden in an old growth forest outside Whistler, BC and accessible only by foot, lies a mystery that captivated whistler residents for decades. Peter and I hiked out to this beautiful site yesterday to see for ourselves the now decades old graffiti-laden trains, that had been dragged to their final resting place more than 60 years ago.

Additional images from our visit can be viewed on peter clifford Flickr stream.

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“The story of the train-wreck was told to Howard Valleau by John Millar, a conductor for the Pacific Great Eastern (PGE). "The train had four engines," said Millar at the time. "There was a mistake made on the tonnage of the train, making it too heavy, and they had to split the train to get up the grade to Parkhurst (on Green Lake).

"This put them behind schedule, and they tried to make up time by travelling a little faster than usual. The speed limit on that section of rail was only 15 mp/h (24 km/h). The fourth engine turned a rail, causing the train wreck. They checked the paper-tape record in the engine, which told how fast they were going — the crew had thought the speed was 15 mp/h, but in fact it was 35 mp/h

"The crash occurred in 1956... The wreck happened on an area of track constricted by rock cuts, and there were three boxcars loaded with lumber jammed in there, blocking the line."

The PGE Railway's equipment couldn't budge the rail cars, so the company approached the Valleau family. "The Valleaus took their logging machinery (a couple of D8 Cats) down to the site, put a hitch (luff) on with two moving blocks to the boxcar and pried them out. They then dragged the cars up the track and into the forest, where they lie today. To all those who were confused by the fact that there is no damage to the trees around the wreck, this is because the train did not come off the rails at this point, but the boxcars were moved there after the fact."

Millar told Howard Valleau that had they known the actual speed, they would have removed the paper-tape record out of the engine. The engineer and crew were subsequently fired after the investigation into the wreck.”

Source: www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/a-railroad-runs-throug...

(read more)

Photo taken on 7 June 2019 (© joanne clifford / Flickr)

Related tags :
 whistler train wreck, cheakamus river, rainforest, wreck, boxcar, nature, forests, art, graffiti, trains, train wreck, british columbia, whistler, bc, whistler
 

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