Help about Calgary

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by grumbeast, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. grumbeast

    grumbeast Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I have a request for some help. I'm off to Calgary in February (my wife got her film into the disability film festival (I'm very proud!! :) :) ))
    and I'm going to do a little railfanning while I'm there. (or museums, or railway clubs.)

    Does anyone have any advice or suggestions on what to do, what to see? I'm not planning on hiring a car but am used to using transit or long slogs in the cold to get to good photo spots.

    Thanks in Advance

  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There is a little steamer downtown by the CPR headquarters.
    There is Heritage Park in the Southwest quarter, not sure about access or opening. They have a lot of Rly interest.
    Streetcar lines. Free through the downtown area; I never had time to read the ticket directions enough to understand them.
  3. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    You should contact SD90 who lives there and get an invite to his amazing layout.
  4. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Now that sounds like a great idea Robin! :thumb:

  5. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    You are only a 3 hour drive away from the best railfanning spot in all of Canada - the Kicking Horse pass, the Spiral Tunnels, and Field BC - all within a few minutes of each other. Take lots of film or your digital camera, camcorder, or whatever to record all the action. It's well worth the trip.
  6. grumbeast

    grumbeast Member

    Unfortunately I'll only have a day and a half or so and would rather not hire a car. I have to be at my wife's screening one afternoon and a gala in the evening of the other day so trips aren't really on the cards. Does a lot of the traffic for these wonderful locations go through Calgary?

  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Graham, all the traffic for the CPR line has to go through Calgary. I think it all has to go through the downtown area. The main downtown area runs pretty much parallel to the CP tracks; guess why.
    There's also a nice zoo.

    CNCPGUY New Member


    Calgary also has a couple of good hobby shops. Chinook hobby which is on McLeod Trail, which is just down the street from Chinook Mall (biggest in Calgary). Also there is Trains and Such which is just north of 16th ave. Sorry don't know the exact directions. I used to live in Calgary, so hopefully this offers you something to do.

  9. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    Graham, send me a PM, with the dates you'll be in Calgary.
    I'll see what I can do for you.

    *CP Ogden rail yard:
    *CP Alyth Yard

    *Trains-and-such (Friendliest hobby shop in Canada with a selection second to none)
    *Chinook Hobby West (Trains and accessories)

    1 hour or so you're in Banff. Another 1 1/2 hour to Kicking Horse pass and Spiral Tunnels (Viewing area closed in winter)

    Notwithstanding the above, enjoy Calgary, the fresh air and the Mountains. Do you ski?

    **Tourism Calgary:
    **Calgary transit:
    **Calgary International Airport
    **Banff & Lake Louise Tourism:

    :thumb: :wave: :wave:
  10. grumbeast

    grumbeast Member

    Thats excellent information, Thanks everyone!!!! I'm getting quite excited about this "short" trip.

  11. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    The CPR main line passes right through the middle of the City. And there's always the C-Train to get an excellent demonstration of how a rapid transit system should be built.
  12. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Last time I was there the Glenbow Museum (in downtown Calgary) had a neat exhibit on the CPR. I'm not sure if it's still there but it was worth the visit when I saw it. Even if Heritage park isn't open (Being Feburary) There is a good static display engine just outside the gates. I can't remeber what it is though, anyone?
  13. grumbeast

    grumbeast Member

    Well I'm getting more and more pumped about my visit, especially since my wife just got a travel grant that'll pay for her ticket.. so I might even get some pocket money for the hobby store!

  14. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Fantastic Graham!!! :thumb:

  15. davidmbedard

    davidmbedard Member

    Hello from a Calgarian.

    Will you be staying downtown? If you are, take a ride on the C-Train and travel Southbound (as opposed to Northbound). Get off at HERITAGE station. Heritage park is a 10 Minute walk WEST from Heritage station (up Heritage Drive). In front of the park you will see an S-2 (or 4) Switcher coupled to a Caboose and our dear Selkirk. I doubt the park will be open when you arrive, but looking at these 2 fine locos is well worth the walk.

    There is a lot of CP action right downtown (along 9th Ave). It is the CP main line! You will see lots of unit trains with SD40-2s, AC4400s and SD90-43s. Even some GP-9us. On 9th ave and 1st southwest is the shed containing 2816...a hudson with some heavyweight passenger cars, and a few F units. This is the train they use for excursions. You should call CP headquarters and ask if you can get a tour of this beautiful train.

    If you are able to rent a car, I would advise you to take a trip to BlackFoot Trail and Ogden Road....that is where you will find CPs main Alyth yard. Of interest is the locomotive 'upkeep' facilities and locomotive testing facitilies. I usually find 3 or 4 locomotives of interest down at this NOT go on the CP property, you will be quickly arrested....Farther South on Odgen road is Ogden Shops.

    We have 2 'main' train stores in Calgary. The one you NEED to go to is called 'Trains and Such' They are located on 4th Street and 24th ave NW. Call a cab, he will take you there. The other train store is called Hobby West. It is located on Mcleod Tr S and 50th Ave SW. I personally do not enjoy this store....I would give it a 5 out of 10 and Trains and Such a 10/10. Much better people and Trains and Such is dedicated to trains.

    If you can, you should travel west on the TransCanada between Calgary and Field. There you will see Canmore, Banff, Morant's curve (on 1a just after Banff......1a connects back on to the transcanada), Lake Louise, the sprial tunnels and finally Field. Worth the trip if the roads are nice. If you plan to do this, I would strongly advise that you leave in the morning around 7 or so, so you have daylight the whole way.

    I hope this helps, and enjoy your trip. I will be out of town (im off to Japan for 5 weeks starting in Feb) so I wont be able to show you around. You should call Mike H and get a tour of his layout.

  16. siderod

    siderod Member

    Hey Graham,
    Can i come with? **grin**
    I too would advise you call Mike Hagarty and try to arrange a visit...wonderful layout, and a good friend of mine. If you do get a chance to see him, take ALOT of pictures!

    Shame your going to be out-of-town David, but what are you going to be doing in Japan?
    AR :wave:
  17. davidmbedard

    davidmbedard Member


  18. siderod

    siderod Member

    Ahhh, wonderful...all expenses paid? :D If so, maybe i should come with you insted :p
  19. Sir_Tainly

    Sir_Tainly Member

    Just back from Calgary, and it's a great place for trains :)

    Mike H's layout is amazing, and he was kind enough to show me around, thanks again Mike :)

    David is indeed correct about the action on 9th Ave. I saw several GE units there and tonnes of freight cars all easily photographed. If you go up the tower you can get a bird's eye view of the line running east/west under the tower. If you go North on 11th Ave SW you will cross the 9th Ave tracks and can get some head on shots of the locos that wait at the signal bridge. This is sometimes easier than trying to get side on shots as often the moving trains are on the centre tracks obscured by the parked freight cars.

    David must be fit if he can get from Heritage to the Selkirk in 10 mins, ;) took me a little longer, but then I'm not so used to walking on snow. I've a few pictures of the trains up there and after I've scanned them I'll post them on the web.

    The best train moment I saw, but didn't get to photograph was at the Somerset C-Train station, where the CP line runs right next to the platform. An SD 40 leading a Redbarn came hurtling past, sadly it happened too quickly for me and as it was night time I'm not sure without better photographic equipment I'd have got a good picture anyhow.

  20. grumbeast

    grumbeast Member

    This is all excellent advice thanks guys!! I'm busy doing chores around the house so that I can earn some "spending money" points from my wife :)


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