Rocky Mountaineer

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Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer logo.png
Reporting mark RMRX
Locale British Columbia / Alberta
Dates of operation 1990–present
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia
Website www.rockymountaineer.com

Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian tour company offering Western Canadian vacation packages that operates trains on four rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta.

Background[edit]

The Rocky Mountaineer boards passengers at Banff, Alberta

The company was founded by the Armstrong Group in 1990, and is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the busiest privately owned passenger rail service in North America, having transported over one million passengers since 1990.

Awards[edit]

Rocky Mountaineer has been awarded the "World's Leading Travel Experience by Train" at the World Travel Awards seven times[1] for its Gold Leaf service, has been listed among the "World's Top 25 Trains" since 2005 by The Society of International Railway Travelers,[2] and was recognized by National Geographic Magazine as one of the "World’s Best Journeys" in 2007. The Society of American Travel Writers, the world’s largest organization of professional travel journalists and photographers, rated the Rocky Mountaineer as the world's top train ride in 2009.[3]

Equipment[edit]

A window view when crossing the Canadian Rockies

Rocky Mountaineer operates 60 railcars in its fleet:

Previous equipment: GE B36-7 locomotives leased from BC Rail.

Routes[edit]

En route between Banff and Kamloops
Train arrival at Rocky Mountaineer Station, Vancouver

Rocky Mountaineer operates trains over four principal routes:

  • Over the Canadian National Railway (CN) on the Journey through the Clouds route from Vancouver via Kamloops to Jasper, Alberta
  • The Whistler Sea to Sky Climb return day trip from North Vancouver to Whistler.

The First Passage to the West and Journey through the Clouds route trains depart from Rocky Mountaineer's station at 1755 Cottrell Street just off Terminal Avenue in Vancouver. The Whistler Sea to Sky Climb route trains depart from a platform at the corner of Philip Avenue and West 1st Street in North Vancouver. The Whistler Sea to Sky Climb route connects to the Rainforest to Gold Rush route, which departs from Rocky Mountaineer's platform at the Nita Lake Lodge in the Creekside area of Whistler.

New Route and Changes[edit]

Rocky Mountaineer announced a new route for 2013, called the Coastal Passage, which connects Seattle, WA on a 3 day trip through the Rockies to Jasper and Banff, AB. This is the first international route for Rocky Mountaineer. Rocky Mountaineer also opened a new station stop on the route's Coastal Passage and First Passage to the West. Currently, the stations on the line that are used by the Rocky Mountaineer are Banff railway station and Tower Centre in Calgary. The new station stop is Lake Louise railway station, which opened in 2013 for Rocky Mountaineer service. The Coastal Passage, according to Rocky Mountaineer's website, operates to and from the Pacific Central Station. This only applies to the route section between Vancouver and Seattle, while the rest of the route, like other Rocky Mountaineer domestic routes, operate out of the Rocky Mountaineer Station. The Coastal Passage does not operate out of a unique station in Seattle, as it does in Vancouver, but operates out of King Street Station.

Trip structure[edit]

To allow for the best views, trains operate exclusively during the day. On the Calgary/Banff-Vancouver and on the Jasper-Vancouver routes an overnight stop is made in Kamloops, whilst on the Jasper to Whistler route, an overnight stop is made in Quesnel. The services do not operate during the winter months of October to April.

Connecting services[edit]

The nearest international airports to the Rocky Mountaineer are Calgary International Airport and Vancouver International Airport.

In Vancouver, Rocky Mountaineer trains depart from the Rocky Mountaineer Station while other rail services operate out of either Pacific Central Station (Amtrak and Via Rail) or Waterfront Station (WestCoast Express).

At the Jasper railway station passengers can transfer directly to Via Rail's Canadian and Jasper – Prince Rupert train service.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rocky Mountaineer Gold Leaf Service". 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "World's Top 25 Trains: Luxury, First-class, Steam". Retrieved 25 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "Travel writers select the world's top 10 train rides". Travel Industry Today. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 

External links[edit]