Armstrong Explorer 2019

Journey back in time as you travel on a steam-powered heritage train between the communities of Kamloops and Armstrong. This 115 mile round trip features spectacular scenery viewed from the comfort of our restored coaches, seated in our cafe lounge car or from our custom designed open-air ‘Hayrack’ cars. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the 2141 steam locomotive as she pulls the 2% grade out of Campbell Creek travelling through a 493-foot tunnel and into a unique horseshoe curve of 1-mile length and 1/2-mile depth. Imagine yourself sipping your complimentary morning coffee or tea as we follow the 2 miles of western shoreline along Monte Lake. Passengers will appreciate the hills and vales, hills tending to be tree clad whilst the valleys, some wide some narrow, are devoted to farming, most of it cattle raising. There are three rural communities along the way at Monte Creek, Falkland and Westwold.

At the outfall of Monte Lake, we cross at grade on Highway 97, the first of 3 times in our journey. The right-of-way then runs sharply downhill on a 1.2% grade for 2 miles to reach an untypically flat and wide plain at Westwold. This is good farming land and our vantage point from above the community affords an incredible view of the surrounding fields and pastures. We will stop here to take on water and passengers will have a good vantage point from the open-air cars as the crew replenishes our supply in the tender.

Passing through Falkland today, it is difficult to believe that from small beginnings it emerged as a company town in 1925 – 28. In the early part of the 20th century almost pure gypsum was discovered on the mountainside above what is now the village, but it need a railway to make it exploitable. After Falkland the line continues to follow the narrowish valley of the Salmon River on an easy downgrade for some 6 miles until it crosses it on a trestle bridge at appropriately named Sweetsbridge.

Travelling along the steep sides of Moffat Mountain, majestic scenic vistas continue as we continue our journey on to reach O’Keefe. At O’Keefe, Highway 97 crosses the track for the third and final time as begin our sharp descent to Armstrong and the Okanagan basin. Passengers will soon enter the Town of Armstrong and detrain in the centre of the village, currently undergoing a heritage restoration project that fits well with the arrival of a 1912 steam locomotive and heritage train.

Passengers will detrain and for the next two hours explore Armstrong for lunch, sightseeing and shopping. The maps and sample menus distributed when passenger’s booked their trip will guide our passengers to their favourite foods and points of interest as they are welcomed by locals and shopkeepers.

A sharp series of blasts of the steam whistle will signal passengers to return to the train as we prepare for the homeward leg of the trip. Along the way, as we retrace our path on the same track as we arrived, passengers can take the opportunity to view the scenery from the opposite side of the train from another vantage point on the open-air cars.

Boarding and detraining take place at Campbell Creek and free parking is provided. Passengers will have reserved seating in one of three coaches and all passengers have access to the Cafe Lounge Car and open-air ‘Hayrack’ cars. Washrooms are located in each coach and the Cafe Lounge car.