Whistler train wreck.

We heard from our friend Larissa that there was an abandoned train wreck not far from Whistler village.  Wanting to make the most of these days before we start working, we gathered a group of friends and headed out to Function Junction (yes, that is an actual place), to check it out.
We asked for directions in a pub and then set off.

We walked along the rail tracks, thinking that the wreckage must be near the tracks from when it derailed in the 1950s.  Well, we walked too far, and had to decide at one point that we must have missed it, and so we turned back.

Keeping a closer eye on the way back, we managed to find it, nestled in the forest, between the tracks and the river.

I could find out next to nothing about this on the Internet, so I think a trip to the library is in order.  All I could find out is that in the 1950s (some say the 60s, but most sources think it was around 58), a freight train derailed and several box cars landed in the wooded area left of the track.  Clearing them away was deemed too expensive and laborious at the time, so they were simply left where they landed.  Apparently there are eight cars, but we only saw five.  Seeing how far apart they are shows the speed the train must have been travelling at, for them to disconnect from each other and land in such varying positions.  Some are upright, some are on their sides, others are completely upside down.  Some suffered little damage (aside from rotting and rusting in the fifty years since), while others are crushed and concertinaed.  All of them have been reclaimed by locals, however; graffiti artists have decorated every last inch of the box cars, and bikers have transformed the area into a riding park.


We walked through this one; the wooden floor has almost completely disintegrated, and the front of the car sits close to the edge, where the river rages down below.

You do have to hike a bit to get from car to car.  It felt like a giant had just scattered them, and then left them to be overtaken by nature and artists.

It was somewhat eerie, and I think my lack of knowledge about it made it more uncanny for me.
I need to know the facts, so I can build a story around it.
Where was the train going?  Where was it coming from?  What was it carrying?  How did it derail?  Was it day or night?
What happened to the driver?
Did locals freeze when they heard the screeching and crashing; did they run through the trees to find goods spilled across the forest floor?
What, what, what?
How can no one know?

Despite the lack of information (which I intend to look for), it was a beautiful walk.  We walked back along the train tracks (which are live, so if you go there, be careful) to Function Junction and headed to the warmth of a local brewery.
It was great to do something different, and something free.  I’d recommend checking this place out if you can, make sure to wear good shoes and take your camera.

Edit: the photos are appearing blurry on my screen.  If I click to enlarge then they seem fine; is this happening to anyone else?  Feedback appreciated :)

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4 thoughts on “Whistler train wreck.

  1. Stephanie says:

    Photos are fine on my screen nomers!

  2. Catherine says:

    Did you find out anything about the history? I, too, want to know why, how and then what! If you look at the trains how did they land so far apart? Was there an inquire and what was the conclusion. What were the trains carrying and why is there not a sign at the site giving an explanation of events.? I think it is not even clear what year it actually happened.

  3. Mickie Diehl says:

    Check this link for what really happened. Not as exciting as it seems — The train derailed but the cars were still on the tracks, more less, because of the narrow passage were the accident occurred. A logging company was hired to pull the cars off the rails and into the woods, were they remain. The crash occurred in 1956.

    http://www.whistlerquestion.com/opinion/columnists/setting-the-story-straight-on-whistler-s-train-wreck-1.962088

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