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:
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:
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:
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.