Riding Canada’s Skeena train: from Jasper to the Pacific

One of the most quietly spectacular rail journeys in the world is also a lifeline for communities along its route. The author of new book Around the World in 80 Trains takes in the view

Inhaling the sharp scent of fresh pine, I lean over the half-open carriage doorway as tufts of dandelion heads whip by on the wind, and a bald eagle swoops overhead. Barely 12 miles have passed since we departed Jasper, Alberta, but I’m desperate to spot a bear. So far unsuccessful, I gaze out as the Skeena train approaches the south face of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Against an electric-blue sky, and worshipped by a congregation of conifers gathered at the base, its ice-capped crags wink and glisten in the sun, a halo of cloud revolving around its tip.

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