Kit Grauer and Peter Scurr presented their shared joy of North American train travel.
Local train enthusiasts, Kit Grauer and Peter Scurr, were introduced by Laureen McCleery who heard their presentation as part of the local elder college offerings. Both of them have retired from the field of education; Kit from UBC and Peter from teaching art at South Delta Secondary. They managed to combine their love of rail travel with imaginative photos that artistically captured their enjoyment and passion.
Kit began the presentation by delving into the mechanics of rail travel starting with meeting of its costs. Those who have some flexibility in their travel plans can take advantage of Via Rail's Tuesday Express deals which can save half or more of the costs. Also costs can be shaved by avoiding travel in the more heavily demanded summer months. On Amtrack in the US there are also frequent sales that can provide as as much as 20% off. In addition, Amtrack offers many discounts are available for members of organizations or interest groups such as CAA. Once the ticket is purchased then it is simply deciding on who gets the top or lower bunk. 
Their Via Rail cross Canada trip left Vancouver at night moving into daylight in Kamloops. From there they presented a visual summary of the train's path through the prairies, into Winnipeg , through the rocks and lakes of Northern Ontario ending at the Toronto's Union Station. Peter emphasized that only by rail or by driving can we get to see and appreciate the size of our country. Only then can we learn about what our grandparents had to endure in moving from one part of our country to the other. And also how else could we know about the stations at Halcrow and Putkatwagan? Our intrepid travelers then took advantage of the rail service between Toronto and Montreal which serves more commuters than tourists. They finished up their trip's Canada portion by traveling through the Gaspe and ended their trek in Halifax.
Kit and Peter then took us into three different Amtrack trips which typically started with a bus ride from Vancouver to Seattle's newly renovated station.. The Coast Starlight to LA rides along the coast down  passing through Portland, the Bay area, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara giving both ocean and mountain views during the journey. The Empire Builder took them from Seattle through the Pacific Northwest into the northern plains states and ended in Chicago. Their last trip took them on the City of New Orleans which as well as being an Arlo Guthrie song is the name of a real trip that exists to this day. Starting in Chicago they traveled south through Memphis  and into the swamp lands and Bayou county of Louisiana before ending up at the terminus of the Mississippi. 
Kit and Peter ended their presentation by emphasizing that traveling by rail across Canada or th USA is one of the world's great travel experiences. It is easy,comfortable and safe giving a different appreciation of each of the countries in terms of their size and diversity. The pace allows one to meet some interesting people as well as appreciating the scenery that continues to roll by.
Graham Mallet thanked our speakers for the day's presentation and also for their contribution to education. Graham's daughter became an artist after being one of Peter's students in secondary school. A contribution in both their names was made to the Rotary Foundation.