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In 2000, BC Rail embarked on an ambitious plan to launch a luxury passenger train that would run along the railroad's highly scenic route between Vancouver and Prince George, BC. Dubbed the Whistler Northwind, the train entered service in 2001. Included in the luxurious nine car train were three single level domes built by Colorado Railcar, along with another standard lounge car which was also purchased from CRM. Two of the domes — 1720 and 1721 — were used for the train's upscale "Panorama" service, while the third, 1722, seated the train's "Summit" service passengers. An additional round-end summit lounge car, a diner and kitchen car, as well as a crew sleeper and a power car rounded out the consist. The train was pulled by a specially painted B39-8.

The service seemed to be growing well, but was discontinued along with the rest of BC Rail's passenger service at the end of the 2002 season. The three dome cars, the Panorama lounge, and the Summit lounge cars were all purchased by VIA. The three domes and the summit lounge car were refurbished for use on the Skeena.

Many thanks to James Miller, BC Rail's manager of business development, marketing and sales, for providing these photos as well as several other materials regarding the Whistler Northwind train for use on this site.

The Whistler Northwind winding south along the highly scenic Howe Sound. Panorama cars Cariboo (1720) and Coastline (1721) are the third and fourth cars in the consist. The Chilcotin (1722) is barely visible as the second car from the end of the train. Photo courtesy of BC Rail.

From the seats of dome car 1722, Summit service passengers soak in the... well, panorama of Howe Sound as the train makes its way toward Whistler. The train was an all-dome offering, with minor distinctions in service. Photo courtesy of BC Rail

"Wow!" is the only word I can think of to describe this photo of the Whistler Northwind as it winds along the shores of Seton Lake. The tracks are shoehorned onto a small shelf between the sheer cliffs and the crystal blue (and semingly bottomless) lake. Photo courtesy of BC Rail.

In the first year of Whistler Northwind operation, the dome cars were numbered 1703-1705, and later renumbered 1720-1722. Here we see the 1705 (later 1722) and train. Photo courtesy of BC Rail. This is one of the only photos I have that shows the small "half" window for the last row of seating that is unique to the 1704-1705.

The dramatic view looking out of Panorama service car 1721. It's easy to understand how the service got it's name. One of the major differences between Panorama and Summit service is the dining — while Summit passengers entered a separate dining car for meals, Panorama passengers were served right at their seats. Photo courtesy of BC Rail.

From deep canyons to rocky shores, BC Rail traverses a diverse array of scenery. Just south of Whistler, the train follows the glacier-fed Chekamus River. Photo courtesy of BC Rail.

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