I don’t require many reasons to go for a ride on a train. However, I think that these are some very good reasons to hop onto the Rocky Mountaineer, sit back and enjoy some of the finest scenic views, while being treated royally by the staff.
1- This privately owned luxury train has thrilled over two million guests since 1990. Travellers pass the Western Canada Rocky mountains which contain some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.
2- First Passage to the West stops in Banff, Canada’s wonderful town right in the heart of the towering monarchs that make up the Canadian Rockies. It then quietly slips over the pass and down through the world legendary Spiral Tunnels, a fantastic spiral that will see the train follow a figure eight partially inside the mountains as the tracks fight for
elevation, while at the same time avoiding a steep grade. Because of the history of the CPR effort to build the first track, I found this a great chance to be right where the action had taken place. From there on it’s just mile after mile of great mountain views, dashing rivers, and avalanche sheds.
3- The Journey Through the Clouds route can see you in Jasper, hub town of Jasper National Park. As you travel west you climb up along eye catching blue lakes, little whistle stops, and past enormous Mt. Robson, which is the highest peak around that part of the Rockies. We pass by the ramparts and waterfalls of Wells Grey Provincial Park eventually follow the edge of the Fraser River. As you approach Hells Gate you get ready for a spectacle. The canyon walls come closer together squeezing the river into a turbulent torrent. Original explorer, Simon Fraser, wrote of the difficulty his crew had in finding a portage, and following it around the impassable section of river. You can imagine how
hard this would have been when you view the amount of blasting required to create the railway. In fact about 100 years after Simon Fraser’s passage, a railway company blasted the side of the canyon into the water virtually blocking it to the passage of the Pacific Salmon. It took the building of fish ladders to allow the salmon to bypass the worst of the rubble, yet generations of salmon were doomed to never be born.
4- The Rainforest to Gold Rush tour goes north from Vancouver with absolutely great views of the Pacific Ocean as you pass along the backyards of some really nice homes. This is a little different bit of mountain scenery, with ocean on one side and the mountains soaring upward on the other. Soon it reaches the ski centre, Whistler, known the world over for great snow and long runs. It climbs over the coastal range and descends to reach
Quesnel. Then it circles in a big loop around forested mountains before heading to Jasper, in Jasper National Park, passing by Mount Robson.
5- Rocky Mountaineer provides packages of tours, some taking several days so you can travel slowly, and see places like Banff, at your leisure.
6- You can combine a rail tour with a fantastic luxury cruise to Alaska. If you are looking for an escape from the office, you can book into one of their more extensive trips, approximately two weeks, that will take you from the heart of the Canadian Rockies, to Seattle by rail, and north to Alaska by ship.
7- There are three levels of service, but I highly recommend the GoldLeaf Service which
puts you on top of the world in the Dome car, with unsurpassed views of the passing scenery. Later, you will slip down the stairs to the lower level, where you will sit down to beautifully prepared meals and dine in luxury!
8- The company can help you with arrangements for rental cars, extra hotel nights, and flight arrangements from your home town.