Thursday 6 October 2022

Train Wreck Hike Whistler

South of Whistler adjacent to the 2010 Olympic Athlete's Village is the unconventional trail - Train Wreck. The short trail takes you directly to the resting place of 7 train cars in the 1956 train derailment and crash. 

The trail is easy to access from the Sea to Sky Highway and is worth the stop when heading to or from Whistler. It is a casual 15-minute stroll to the suspension bridge which helps you traverse the roaring Cheakakmus River to the brightly painted box cars. Cheakakmus River is aggressive white water crashing up against the stones, so you do not want to fall in. 

Five of the box cars are in close proximity to one another, but I could not find the last two. I thought they might have been removed. I was wrong, the last two train cars are a couple minutes south of the bridge. Thank goodness for google or I would have missed them because these two cars are really cool. I numbered them as Train 1 & 2 in the pictures and you can see train 1 is tipped onto its side and squished. 

The train track is just a few minutes up from the train wreck. The sign boards say that after the crash happened, the unsalvageable trains were pushed off and into the forest which is where they sit now. Over time, the forest has grown around the massive steel structures. The train track is still in use so do not venture onto it. 

There are so many safety precautions in the city, but out in the forest, there are no rules! You can climb onto the roof of the train, hang from the bars, and crawl through openings to stand inside the train car. Train Car 6 is on a slope at the edge of the cliff with the river below. It is surreal standing inside the train car looking down at the river. Train 5 & 6 are also still attached together too!

I could not get over the crumpled look of some of the train cars. These are made of strong thick steel and they looked like crushed aluminum cans. I got a couple of great shots of the bent and torn metal. 

All of the cars are covered in graffiti. Some had really great artwork while others were simply a mess of colours. There were areas of paint flaking off and the flake was thick meaning lots and lots of layers of paint. Maybe I should bring along some cans of spray paint next time I am in Whistler so I can add to the already impressive collection of work. 


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