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August 19th, 2009 - Off in the distance
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The Bellinghman
Date: 2009-08-19 12:35
Subject: YVR -> YUL -> LHR and we're home
Security: Public
After 22.5 hours of travelling, and 8 time zones. Well, to be a little more precise, we got home 24 hours ago, but a certain amount of crashing out should be excused.

Definite high point of the journey: On WestJet flight WS506, from Vancouver to Montreal, stewardess Amanda's flight safety briefing delivered by the medium of interpretive dance. I've never seen so much attention paid to one, and it got a round of applause when she finished. She then caused a chuckle by adding "Actually, I always wanted to be a Las Vegas showgirl".

Low point 1 - the bunch of Bible Campers whose lackadaisical attitude to turning up to their flight to Regina meant that said flight got delayed, thereby forcing a gate change on our flight out of Vancouver. It wasn't as though they hadn't been ushered through security in plenty of time, it was just - argh, shoot the lot of them and let Ghod sort out the mess.

Low point 2 - the handle on the big case jamming closed on arrival at Montreal, meaning one has to crouch a bit to be able to pull it along. We shall have to see if that's repairable or not.

Low point 3 - the crappy headrests on 777s not staying where they're placed.

Low point 4 - so much traffic inbound at Heathrow that we had to wait for landing, and then had to wait for buses to carry us to the terminal itself, adding about an hour to the journey time.

But all in all, a pretty good journey. And the cats were exceedingly happy to see us.
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The Bellinghman
Date: 2009-08-19 16:55
Subject: Life support is heavy
Security: Public
Tags:canada, trains
Inspired by a post by major_clanger, it's interesting to note fuel consumption for crossing Canada.

On the way out, The Canadian train from Toronto to Vancouver: 72,000 litres of diesel.
On the way back, WestJet 737-700 from Vancouver to Montreal (which is further): 13,000 litres of jet fuel.

The 737 carries 140 passengers.
I'm under the impression that The Canadian carries about 250 passengers in total, though I can't actually find figures.

Conclusion: per passenger mile, extreme long distance trains can end up burning more fuel than planes, due to the train carrying along bunk beds, showers, kitchens, etc., etc.

Edit: crazyscot pointed out some corrections, with most importantly the plane drinking about half what I'd assumed.
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