There are many reasons why people cross Canada by train. For some, it’s a cheap way to get to the booming west to look for work. Others ride the rails in the hope of reconciling with family. And then there are those who want to cross off an item on their bucket list, to see the Prairies and the western Mountains in all their splendour.
Star feature writer Leslie Scrivener took the train to Vancouver, experiencing the “in-between time” such a journey offers. In the mesmerizing chronicle of her trip, Train of Dreams: Heading West from Toronto on VIA Rail, she conjures up the wilderness outside the cars and the social complexity within. Her fellow-travellers included tourists, job hunters and redemption seekers. And her account is filled with drama, poignancy and the old-fashioned magic of a journey by train.
Star Dispatches is a weekly series of quality journalism in ebook form from the newsroom of the Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper.