Back to Whistler for a project just nearing the end of construction: the new rail station for the Whistler Mountaineer – now the only train service to the ski resort, and not exactly one designed for those on a budget.

Still, the new train station being built just a few blocks from Whistler Creekside is extraordinary:

It’s part of the Nita Lake Lodge development, a controversial project (well, isn’t everything at Whistler) that incorporates a hotel seamlessly into the staion:


Nita Lake Lodge

I’m going to venture that this is the most impressive rail station built in Canada since the Second World War.  I’m on fairly safe ground, given how little rail infrastructure of any quality has been built in the last half century.  Here’s what the new station replaces:

Temporary station

This temporary depot is pretty indicative of the architectural care that has gone into most design for rail.  (Compare this to what we build for airports.)

The tracks are on the other side of the station, across a creek, thereby requiring a bridge to connect the two.  Again, high quality of design and materials: 

Whistler station bridge

Recognizing that Whistler is a playground for a clientele that expects and can afford the best in service and design, it does raise the bar for a more sensible form of transportation than the Sea-to-Sky highway in an age of rising energy costs.  Perhaps pressure will build to provide more trains serving a wider range of passengers, particularly ones who will use the surprisingly good transit  in Whistler.  

Everyone should be able to enjoy the experience of arriving at station like this.

Whistler station




  1. at $200 plus GST for a round trip per adult, this is not for locals or vancouverites.

    one can rent a full size SUV for about $60 a day plus about $100 in gas, carry five people plus equipment and have all the freedom possible.

    if i was a tourist, i know what i would prefer.

    but it is sure a purdy building

  2. Is there any way that a new provincial government could require CN to restore a passenger rail service, not just to Whistler, but to the Cariboo and Prince George?

    The old BC Rail service to Whistler was priced at a level that made it unattractive relative to driving, so unless one had no car or was a “train buff” you didn’t use it. And the trip to Prince George took too long and was priced unattractively in relation to jet, but or private car. So there would need to be some re-thinking of the numbers if these services were to be started up again.

  3. FYI… just some facts about the building in regards to previous comments.

    The train station is completely privately funded by the developer that built and paid for the hotel and adjoining train station.

    The train runs only in the summer not in the winter and is currently not the most affordable way to travel to Whistler but is surely the most beautiful. Not exactly for locals but a definite must for tourists. Whistler is a resort town, as with most resort towns you really don’t require a vehicle to take advantage of all that it has to offer.

    Nita Lake Lodge is a great addition to Whistler and is a great getaway for locals and tourists alike.

  4. I use the sea-to-skyway quite a bit and so I am thankful that the highway has been improved.

    Nevertheless I am sorry that someone didn’t put create dual-wheeled buses i.e. can go on pavement and on tracks. The technology exists; railroads have such vehicles for track maintenance. It seems to me that putting buses on tracks would have offered some advantages such as spreading the collection area at either end much wider.

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