50 days in the 150th year of Confederation

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Canadian Classroom On Rails with Arctic Overview

Note – The following has been developed on the basis of currently scheduled passenger services and/or schedules projected for the travel period from early May to late October 2015. It is intended to give an overview of the project to prospective participants, sponsors and other stakeholders.

Discussions are underway with the relevant carriers with regard to the particular needs of the Canadian Classroom pilot project and the necessary logistics and alternatives to achieve them. These include:

chartering of special rail coaches and the crews to staff, operate, protect and maintain them

*  switching this equipment on/off of trains at stops based on earlier moves within carrier schedules

*  the storage and occupied parking of equipment in passenger terminals or other accessible sites

Carriers and others reading this material in submissions sent to them or on the Canadian Classroom website can rest assured that presumptions of these services have not been made until the particulars are mutually agreed upon and signed.

This also applies to a few special moves (outside scheduled passenger services) on short lines or on the major carriers to enable closer rail access to sites of interest or to avoid undue layovers due to less than daily services on some lines. These, too, are being explored and negotiated through appropriate channels, and backup plans are in place should these extra moves prove to be prohibitive (e.g., special insurance for one-off passenger movements over freight-only insured trackage).

Readers, particularly transport company managers, regulators and unions are asked to keep these assurances in mind in examining our prospectus and in working with us to achieve outcomes that can benefit us all.

This 7 week itinerary is designed to fit the “shoulder” periods between the beginning and end of the tri-weekly transcontinental spring-to-fall operation, excluding the peak summer period from late June through early September. For the fall of 2015, this means from mid-September through October; for the spring of 2016, from early May through mid-June.

Most passenger transport services during these periods run on recurring daily or weekly schedules. One exception: the north coast Pacific ferry service follows a biweekly schedule. Our overall itinerary will be timed to align with this service on Days 9-10. Adjustment to our Yukon itinerary may also be required.


Day 0: Wednesday (pre-departure) The Classroom on Rails … coaches have been parked in Winnipeg’s Union/VIA Station two days for provisioning and staff preparation. Student participants may occupy their accommodation any time after 2 p.m. on the day before departure. Full meals are not served before the day of departure. Requested check in time is 7:00 p.m. today and program of welcome and orientation to the train begins at 8:00 with Mug-up (late night cocoa) served at 9:00 and Quiet Aboard at 10:00

Day 1: Thursday – 7:30 Breakfast aboard, 8:30 depart by bus for St. Vital (Louis Riel home/ grave site), ending at St. Boniface. Return to station to reboard coaches, now coupled to VIA westbound Canadian for 11:45 departure. Passing through Qu’Appelle Valley we’ll have a talk by a member of the Manitoba Métis Association on Riel’s significance. Stop at Melville Saskatchewan, named for Charles Melville Hays, President of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, who perished with Titanic. 11:45 p.m. arrive Saskatoon. Our coaches are set off/parked overnight in station.

Day 2: Friday – Early in the morning we set out northward for sites that figured in the second Riel-led uprising, the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. Our stops include battlefields Frog Lake and Batoche where the Métis took their last stand against military forces from Eastern Canada and Riel was captured, and Prince Albert, an English speaking city that was home to John Diefenbaker, Canada’s 13th prime minister. We return to Saskatoon to spend the night aboard the train in the VIA Station.


Day 3: Saturday – Early morning departure southward for Saskatchewan’s capital city, Regina, arriving before lunch. We’ll visit provincial Legislative and Executive Building on the shore of Wascana Lake, First Nations University on another arm of the Lake, the courtroom where the trial of Louis Riel is reenacted, and the Training Depot (“Depp” not “deep”) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police before returning north to Saskatoon again to re-join VIA’s Canadian for a 10:32 departure

Day 4: Sunday – Overnight we cross the SK-AB border and uncouple from the Canadian for a day’s exploration of Alberta’s capital using the city’s Light Rail Transit system. Three LRT-accessible centres are (1) provincial Legislature Building/grounds (Grandin station), (2) City Hall/Art Gallery/Churchill Square (Churchill) and (3) U. of Alberta Campus (University station). Two side trips: (4) Fort Edmonton Park with Al Rashid Mosque North America’s first,( by shuttle from South Campus LRT station and Whyte Avenue accessed by streetcar from Grandin LRT. Back to the train before midnight for …

Day 5: Monday – Overnight move south to Calgary for breakfast. We’ll climb the Calgary Tower by the CP station, (Glenbow Museum across the street), and walk by the Bow and Elbow Rivers, with a possible side trip to the University. At 4 p.m. our train sets out for Banff where we bus to two legendary Fairmont castle hotels: the Banff Springs and the Chateau Lake Louise before returning to the train for the night.

Day 6: Tuesday – Today we follow the mainline of the first trans-Canada railway, the Canadian Pacific, whose completion was a condition of BC’s joining Confederation. We dross the Great Divide and AB/BC border, pass through the Spiral Tunnels that halved the grade of the hazardous Big Hill, longer tunnels under Mount Macdonald (Sir John A), Revelstoke, Craigellachie where the Last Spike was driven, Sicamous on Shuswap Lake and Kamloops to join VIA’s Canadian westward.

Day 7: Wednesday – Overnight we follow the Thompson/Fraser rivers through Fraser Canyon where (blasting a line cost the lives of many Chinese workers) and west to Vancouver for two nights. Today we see English Bay and Spanish Banks (parallel British and Hispanic interests that explored here), Burrard Inlet and Point Grey, named after naval colleagues of Captain George Vancouver. The city was created by arrival of the CPR at Gastown in 1886. We’ll also visit Stanley Park and the UBC campus.


Day 8: Thursday – Rise for 7:30 bus/ferry to downtown Victoria arriving 11:15. Explore on foot: Beacon Hill Park, southern tip of Vancouver Island, Ogden Point, Legislative Buildings, Empress Hotel, Thunderbird and Quadra Parks, Helmcken and Emily Carr Houses, Bastion and Market Squares and City Hall with statute of Victoria’s MP John A. Macdonald who brought railway to British Columbia and BC into Confederation. 5:30 board VIA train to Nanaimo, ferry to Vancouver for night aboard railcars;

Day 9: Friday – We leave our sleeping car this morning while the railcars deadhead to Prince Rupert where we’ll rejoin them in four days. We take bus/ferry back to Nanaimo and drive the Island Highway north by Qualicum Beach, Courtenay, Campbell River and through the Nimkish Valley to Port McNeil and the ferry to Alert Bay on Cormorant Island where Emily Carr painted and where we spend the night..

Day 10: Saturday – This morning we tour the N’mista (“Rise Again”) Cultural Centre in Alert Bay that includes the story of the return of traditional masks from the British Museum. In the afternoon we take the ferry back to Vancouver Island and bus north to Port Hardy for 6 p.m. departure of the overnight ferry through Discovery Channel to

Day 11: Sunday – Prince Rupert (arrive 4 p.m.) chosen my Charles M. Hays (Day 1) as western terminus of his Grant Trunk Pacific Railway because of a deep harbour and greater proximity than Vancouver on the great circle route to China and Japan. Six hours to explore before 6:30 p.m. departure of another overnight ferry north to…

Day 12: Monday – Haida Gwai nature and First Nations reserve and part of the archipelago renamed after Queen Charlotte, consort of George III, by Captain Cook. We arrive at Skidgate where Emily Carr also painted, at 7 a.m. and will spend 27 hours guided by elders and experiencing the Pacific rain forest.

Day 13: Tuesday – 10 a.m. ferry departure from Skidgate arriving 5 p.m. at Prince Rupert where our coaches have deadheaded to meet us. We have a second evening to explore the town and overnight aboard our coaches in the VIA station in readiness for …

Day 14: Wednesday – 8: a.m. departure on VIA Skeena that follows River of that name upstream then skirts the Nechako River downstream to Prince George, unofficial capital of Northern BC. Here the Nechako joins the Fraser and our train stops to overnight.

Day 15: Thursday – Continue with Skeena train, this time following upper Fraser River to its source near AB-BC border arriving 6:30 p.m. Jasper where we’ll overnight. Evening visit to Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and chance to explore townsite.

Day 16: Friday – All day in Jasper allowing a side trip to Athabasca Falls/Maligne Canyon or a quick turnaround to Maligne Lake and iconic Spirit Island that appears on many Canadian calendars. Return to our coaches in the Jasper station overnight.

Day 17: Saturday – Second day in Jasper with time to visit Athabasca Falls (a River that runs through Northern Alberta and ends in the Arctic Ocean via the Mackenzie). 5:30 p.m. departure east aboard VIA’s Canadian reaching Edmonton at 11 p.m.

Day 18: Sunday – Midnight departure from Edmonton retracing in the opposite direction the route we followed Day 1, with review of Riel history, drama and music en route. Station stops in Saskatoon, Melville, Brandon North, Portage La Prairie and Winnipeg (arriving 8:45 p.m.) where we’ll be parked in the Union Station for the next two nights.

Day 19: Monday – Winnipeg – Day free to explore “The Forks” of Red and Assiniboine Rivers, cross the Red River to Saint Boniface, visit historic Fort Garry Hotel up the street, the Aboriginal Friendship Centre in the former CPR station further north, or continue to the Legislature building topped by its “golden boy” on the dome

Day 20: Tuesday – 12:05 departure on VIA’s Hudson Bay train to Churchill: gateway to the north—a route that takes us briefly back across the Saskatchewan border. Winnipeg is one of the flattest areas of the country. The Red River that flows through the City travels north to feed Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba. These join with other waters to empty into Hudson Bay, the watery shield at the heart of the Canadian Shield that is Canada’s trademark ID as seen from outer space.

Day 21: Wednesday – All day on the rails, with stops at Thompson and The Pas, where many of the North West Company and Hudson Bay traders switched from the larger York boats to the lighter canots du nord to waiting customers and suppliers. Because most of Western Canada’s rivers flowing inland off the Rocky Mountains end up either in the Arctic Ocean or Hudson Bay our earliest trade routes, the waterways, are farther north than the railways later built across the plains and the parkland.

Day 22: Thursday – We’re now out of the forest, travelling in tundra which will continue to the waters’ edge when we arrive in Churchill at 9:00 a.m. We’ll spend the day exploring the port: grain terminals, animal research station built in the bunkers and tunnels of the former Canadian Space Agency, and the combined civic, recreation, educational/health care centre that minimizes outdoor exposure for those who don’t like the cold!

Day 23: Friday – a.m. free in Churchill to take in points missed yesterday. 3:10 p.m. flight to Northwest Territories capital Yellowknife. This city straddles an arm of Great Slave Lake on rocky ground much like The Rock of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Day 24: Saturday – We rise early for a 7 a.m. 45 min. flight across the Lake, one of Canada’s great lakes not included in the Big Five that feed the Saint Lawrence. Our destination is Hay River, on the Lake’s south shore, northern terminus of the Great Slave Lake Railway built as part of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s Northern Dream. The GSLR is the farthest northern extent of the North American rail grid and transfer point from rail to barge for heavy cargoes bound down the Mackenzie River to the Beaufort Sea. We’ll explore Hay River on foot, take a bus tour to two scenic sites, Alexandra Falls on the Hay River and Lady Evelyn Falls on the Kakisa near the site of the former U. of Alberta Boreal Research Station. Overnight in Hay River.

Day 25: Sunday – a.m. to complete exploration of Hay River. 3:40 flight back to Yellowknife for supper and overnight.

Day 26: Monday – a.m./early afternoon in Yellowknife to visit Territorial Legislature and some local industry. 4:10 p.m. flight to Whitehorse, capital Canada’s second territory, created in 1998, 12 years after gold was discovered in the region. Yukon’s first Commissioner was James Walsh, former RCMP Inspector who befriended Chief Sitting Bull during the Lakota sojourn in Canada. We’ll explore the town with its rich Gold Rush history, and visit the Territorial legislative and administrative buildings. Yukon’s only railway is a narrow gauge line the ends in the Alaskan port of Skagway. Before air travel and construction of the Alaska Highway in World War II, the Territory was connected to the rest of Canada by Canadian Pacific steamers discharging their passengers and cargoes onto the Skagway pier where they transferred to the White Pass & Yukon line to Whitehorse. CP lost three ships on this well-travelled, potentially hazardous (before radar) route.

Day 27: Tuesday – 7 a.m. flight to Inuvik NT touching down briefly in Dawson City and Old Crow en route. Inuvik, on the Mackenzie River delta, was a relocation of Aklavik, regularly threatened by spring flooding. Aklavik/Inuvik were former capitals of the Territories. We’ll explore Inuvik by foot and travel by bus to the Aklavik site.

Day 28: Wednesday – Morning free in Inuvik. After lunch we fly (1:55) east along the arctic coastline to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut Territory, arriving at 5:30 and overnighting here.

Day 29: Thursday – After the morning and midday to explore Cambridge Bay, we resume our east-ward course to Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital, where we’ll spend a 25 hour day with a visit to the legislature and guided tours by Inuit elders who carry forward shared memories of this most northerly terrestrial part of Planet Earth.

Day 30: Friday – Today we begin the flight out of this northern one-third of the Canadian land mass where we’ve spent the past week. We leave Iqaluit at 5:30 p.m. arriving an hour later at Rankin Inlet on the northeast shore of Hudson Bay, Canada’s birthmark as seen from outer space, and overnight here.

Day 31: Saturday – At midday we fly south from Rankin Inlet back to Churchill Manitoba where we rejoin the rail grid and our Classroom… coaches that have been parked here for the past 8 days. We’ll have almost five hours free before our flight arrival and our 7:30 p.m. departure on VIA’s southbound Hudson Bay. Supper served aboard.

Day 32: Sunday – The next two days are planned to be low key to allow our resting up from the almost–every-night-somewhere-different of our week travelling by air, and to ponder on and share (process) our exposure to this northern world, helped by the three members of our group who have spent their lives there. (The train will be passing through Gillam and The Pas during the day.)

Day 33: Monday – Our train is scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg at 4:45 in the late afternoon. During the hours preceding we’ll be crafting some of our arctic experiences into a multi-media group project in the context of our Northwest Passage across Canada. To give our best to this and counter the frequent tendency to go overboard after a time in a different setting, we ask participants to remain aboard the train tonight rather than “going out on the town.” This will not be a major sacrifice because …

Day 34: Tuesday – We have a WHOLE DAY FREE in Winnipeg, our third time in this Canadian nexus so far. There may be activities we agree we’d like to do together, or that we need time alone and apart for a break, but we won’t decide until we’re THERE. We leave Winnipeg coupled to VIA’s eastbound (#2) Canadian at 10:30 p.m.

Day 35: Wednesday – We’re traveling through Shield Country—an interwoven mixture of lakes, trees and rocks that makes up Canada largest and distinguishing physical formation. The rocks here are the oldest on Earth. The thousands of lakes—mostly small and many nameless—are dominant, like the water that makes up most of the body’s mass. They were created by glaciation: first by the gouging of the rock formation that created dents to hold the melting ice and second by an immediate post-glacial climate that retained the water until it developed as replenishing ecostructure. The trees were the latest addition, finding and creating fissures to root in the rocky structure and completing the cycle. Sioux Lookout is among our rail stops today.

Day 36: Thursday – Just after midnight at Capreol we turn from a straight easterly course to go due south, descending from the Canadian Shield to the Saint-Lawrence/Great Lakes lowland, arriving in Toronto’s Union Station at 9:30. We have only 8 hours in Canada’s largest city and Ontario’s capital. We’ll spend this at the core: Queen’s Park (Ontario’s Provincial Parliament), the CBC, Butterfly Centre, City Hall, CN Tower, the ferry to Harbour Island and Maple Leaf Garden are all a walk away.

During the day we’ll be exploring on foot. We return to Union Station at 5 p.m. for a 5:30 departure for Windsor Ontario, far south point of Canada—Détroit Michigan is to the north across the river. Windsor was also the southern end of the Huronia mission. Fruit trees planted by Jesuits still grow along the rail tracks.

We arrive at 10 p.m. and depart early in the morning. Long daylight hours help us maximize this time. A major reason for coming here is nearby Amerherstburg: site of an encounter in the War of 1812-14 but more important, in the ending of the Cold War, with a “Walk that changed the World “between Soviet Agriculture Minister (later President) Mikhail Gorbachev and Soviet Ambassador to Canada. We’ll visit the site for a short memorial before returning to our sleeping car.

Day 37: Friday – Today we ride the entire Windsor-Québec Corridor the hub/revenue generator of VIA Rail Canada operations. We leave Windsor at 5:30 a.m., arriving Toronto at 10 (1 hr stop) and continue along Lake Ontario and later, Saint Lawrence River by Kingston and Cornwall, arriving Montréal 5 p.m. Leave Montréal 6:55 on VIA Ocean following the south shore of the Saint Lawrence.  Just before midnight we pass Montmagny, named after the French Governor who tried, on security grounds, to dissuade Paul de Chomeday (Maisonneuve), Jeanne Mance and their fellow pilgrims from building an outpost on the island of Montreal. Maisonneuve’s reply: “I shall go, even if every tree be an Iroquois!”

Day 38: Saturday – At about 7 a.m. VIA’s Ocean crosses the border from southern Québec into northern Nouveau-Brunswick where most of the one-third of the Province’s French-speaking population live. Our quick stops (no disembarking) include Campbellton, Jacquet River, Petit Rocher, Bathurst and Miramichi. We have a longer—15 minute!—stop in Moncton, where we’ll be overnighting later on our journey. Much of this travel time will be spent previewing eastern and Atlantic history of points ahead, before we set foot on the ground.

After Moncton we cross the Isthmus of Chignecto from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia.From here on station names are English: Amherst, Springhill, Truro and our destination, Halifax, the capital where we arrive at 6:40 p.m. and overnight. Supper will be served aboard before arrival enabling us to max our time here. Tonight we’ll walk the waterfront including Pier 21, the Grand Parade, Dalhousie Campus, Province House and the Common.

Day 39: Sunday – Our total time in Halifax including sleep time is 16 hours. If we arise at 7 a.m., we’ll have 4 hours left. Options include a tour of the Halifax Citadel (a structure that survived the 1921 explosion), the City’s Maritime Museum, the interior of Pier 21 or other sites that may not have been accessible last evening

At 11 a.m. we depart on VIA’s westbound Ocean. Leaving the city we pass a gazebo commemorating Edward, Duke of Kent who became father of Queen Victoria. Edward’s extended time in Canada with Québécoise Julie de Saint-Laurent came to an end when he was recalled to Britain to produce an heir. Edward and Julie’s love and the society balls they held in Canada were legendary.

An hour and a half after (12:30) we arrive at Truro where our cars are set off the Ocean to run through the north half of Nova Scotia to Port Hawkesbury on the mainland. We cross Canso Causeway by bus to Cape Breton Island, once a separate province/colony drive the Cabot Trail (named for Italian explorer who reached New Founde land in 1497, through Sydney (once a major coal and steel centre) and to the rebuilt Louisburg that once guarded the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

Day 40: Monday – (tentative – to be confirmed with current transport schedules) Our three days in Newfoundland and Labrador will be divided among three regions: Labrador first reached by Jacques Cartier before turning south into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the west coast of Newfoundland, facing in towards the rest of Canada, and the Avalon Peninsula surrounding Saint John’s where Cabot landed 317 years ago.

Outports, the islands and points inland offer possibilities for future itineraries. We envisage a basic apératif to the province as 6 days rather than the present three.

A day in Labrador will entail a flight in to Goose Bay and possibly Labrador City. In future years the latter may be accessed by rail from Sept Iles, Québec.

Day 41: Tuesday – A day in the west coast area may include Corner Brook, L’Anse aux Meadows and  Gros Morne Park. This area is relatively accessible to the Port Aux Basques Marine Atlantic terminal connecting with North Sidney, NS. From here, we’ll bus to Port Hawksbury on mainland Nova Scotia,  where the Classroom… railcars will be parked during the Newfoundland and Labrador side trip.

Day 42: Wednesday – Our last day in Newfoundland is the one Giovanni Caboto arrived here on the Matthew in 1497. His landing, on the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, was the first to link the tradition of the Baptizer to new found lands in the New World. We’ll spend the day in/around Saint John’s including Signal Hill, Memorial University, and the Confederation Building, NL’s Legislative/Administrative centre.

Day 43: Thursday – Our flight back from Saint John’s or overnight ferry from Argentia will land us in North Sydney in time for a trip from Port Hawksbury to Truro where we’ll overnight on the railcars.

Day 44: Friday – Morning free. Leave Truro 12:30 p.m. on VIA’s Ocean for a 4½ hour ride to Moncton where we’ll be set out. 5 p.m. evening bus tour across Confederation Bridge to Charlottetown PEI: Province House where the Confederation talks started when after delegates from the Canadas gatecrashed Maritime Union talks. We’ll return by bus by midnight to our Classroom… coaches parked in Moncton.

Day 45: Saturday – Southern New Brunswick: early departure for Saint John, also named after a June 24 landing (by Samuel de Champlain). On arrival, transfer for a 1 hour bus trip to capital Fredericton: UNB campus, provincial Legislature, Beaverbrook Gallery. Return to Saint John.

Day 46: Sunday – Morning free to explore downtown Saint John on foot. Noon departure for Moncton to rejoin VIA’s Ocean, leaving at 16:54 for the northeast trip to …

Day 47: Monday – 5:25 a.m. coaches are set out at Charny, QU for switch across Saint Lawrence to Gare du Palais, Québec where they’ll be parked. We’ll explore the lower town, climb to the Plains of Abraham, visit the Assemblée National and La Citadelle (Governor-General’s residence) and banquet at le Fairmont Château Frontenac. We’ll walk back down from the upper town to the Gare du Palais to overnight.

Day 48: Tuesday – Join 5:35 a.m. train to Montréal. We’ll be parked by the old port within foot range of the Mountain, countless historic streets/sites, buildings and galleries.

Day 49: Wednesday – Day in Ottawa – Parliament Hill, Chateau Laurier, Bytown Market, Rideau Hall, Supreme Court and sites in Gatineau (formerly Hull) on the Quebec side of the river. Supper/overnight aboard. Dispersal: participants have option to return to VIA station nearest their homes.

Nights by venue/mode

Of 50 nights together, 36 are on the train; 10 in motion. For the other 26 we’re stationary, either because the train has reached its destination at the end of a line (Windsor, Halifax) or because our coaches have been set out and are parked in a station. This means that for one night in two participants will be in familiar personal space and quiet space. (We intend to enforce quiet in the sleeper after 9 each night.)

Of 14 off-rail nights 10 will be in billets/hotels and 4 in ferries, 2 of them stationary. The 75% of our nights stationary and chances to rest during the day can ensure we stay rested during our 7 weeks. Balanced nutrition and exercise will complete a healthy environment.

Days by province/territory  to add by region for a two week longer itinerary

AB 03 1 day in Peace River country
BC 11
SK 03 1 more in southern Saskatchewan (Gravelbourg?)
MB 08
YU 02 1 extra time in Whitehorse, Dawson City
NW 03
NU 03
ON 04 3: 1 in Newark, former capital)/Queenstown Heights
QU 03 4: in Gaspésie, Hervey, Golfe du Saint Laurent
NB 03
PE 01
NS 02 1 Digby/Port Royal (Acadia)
NL 03 3: 1 each in Labrador, Islands and West Coast
___ ___
49 14+

This itinerary approaches the Arctic region—the YU, NU & NT—as a unified group, accessed by VIA Hudson Bay train that runs farthest north of any of its services. This is cost effective: Canadian Classroom prefers to piggyback on existing passenger trains, dispensing with special crews or storage arrangements when we’re off-rail farther north.

It is also limiting in three respects. Coming in from/going out from Churchill means we:

(a) focus on the eastern two territories: Nunavut and the NW. Yukon gets short changed

(b) ignore the one route, the Great Slave Lake Railway, that actually enters the Territories and connects them and the Mackenzie River system with the continental rail grid. Building this line was part of the legacy of our 13th Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker and may, when the North is more developed, command the attention our southern lines do.

(c) Entering and exiting the North by a single route means Classroom… participants double on one section of line, repeating two days that could be more profitably spent elsewhere. Since the railcars are parked during our time in the Arctic anyway, that week could be used deadheading them to another pickup point giving participants a change of scenery.

As an alternative, the Classroom… could run north from the evening of Day 17 rather than repeating the Edmonton-Winnipeg VIA run eastbound. Two days rail travel at freight speeds would see us into Hay River on the south shore of the Great Slave Lake with stops in the francophone areas of Northern Alberta and Peace River en route. Yellowknife (a ½ hour across the Lake by air) is will connected with all three territories and after visiting Yukon and the NT we could return by air to our rail base to debriefed without adding time to the itinerary and saving hotel costs as we would already have the railcars available. Five days would be required to deadhead the cars to meet us for the southbound trip from Churchill, time we would be spending on the ground in the eastern NT and in Nunavut.