We arrived in Thompson, Manitoba, at about 2:30PM. We drove straight to the train depot, staked out the dogs, and then put our sleds, dogs, and gear in order next to the tracks to await the next leg of our journey.
We heard several times that the Tundra Train is “always late.” It remained true to its typical tardiness today, at a couple of hours behind schedule. Once it arrived, at about dusk, we loaded the dogs and sleds in the box car along with someone’s truckload of fresh produce, a plush living room set, and some miscellaneous luggage. It took about 15 minutes, we grabbed our seats and the train started to creap north.
Really, it creaps north at only about 28 mph, and sometimes much more slowly. The slow pace is necessary because the frost heave from the tundra has left the tracks in a terribly uneven condition that would bounce a speeding train right off the tracks like a rubber ball.
We will be training overnight (about a 13 hour ride). Then the conductor stops the train on the tundra – not in a town – and we will carry on by dogsled to Hudson Bay and Churchill.
We are sleeping in our train seats tonight.