I’ve loved trains since I was a child. Having the CN mainline from Edmonton to Vancouver slicing through your hometown will do that to you. My neighbouring village of Evansburg used to be a stop for Via, as a matter of fact. I remember getting soft ice cream with my family and heading on up to the train station to eat it, mainly because the old train station was such a majestic, old-fashioned rural train station. Being in such a small town, it felt like the train station was a gateway to the world. Then, in about the mid-80s or so, Evansburg no longer demanded such an ornate train station, so it was demolished and replaced with an ATCO trailer. The Evansburg train station survived until the late-90s, when it was finally removed as part of Via’s cutbacks. Sadly, Via has been cutback all across Canada. It’s become little more than a commuter service in the central corridor: that strip of land that runs between Montreal and Toronto. So, if you’re a rail travel aficionado, you’re pretty much screwed if you live in western Canada. Good thing I came to Japan, where rail travel is as popular and convenient as ever.