Next stop — Canada’s Rocky Mountain railroad
There’s a great beast to be seen high in The Rockies, miles from any highway. It weighs in at 86 tonnes, is ten feet wide, 18 feet tall and 85 feet long. But it eats nothing but miles. We are talking about the Rocky Mountaineer, Canada’s long-distance love affair with train travel — and with the wonders of the West.
You start in Vancouver and swing south towards the US border before beginning the slow climb northeast into the Rockies via Kamloops, averaging 50 km per hour. Along the way, you’ll experience the most jaw-dropping — and gravity-defying — scenery anywhere in the world. Every day, your helpful crew members will tell you incredible-but-true stories about what you see beyond the windows.
The great train’s nine locomotives only push and pull up and downhill during the day so guests don’t miss a minute of the ever-changing views from the famous 360º ‘bubble’ roof windows. The heated seats even rotate 180º so that you can catch sight of a mountain goat or a moose — or chat with newfound friends in your carriage or on the outdoor viewing platform. (Yes, this is a Canadian train so there’s got to be a patio!)
This is surely the most sociable way to see some of the greatest natural sights on our planet. Delicious meals are prepared with local ingredients in a fine dining car (Gold Leaf) or at your seat (Silver Leaf). Great food, fine wine and fascinating conversation are included with every ticket!
This New Year, make some time to see Western Canada in all its glory with a Gold Leaf Service trip to Banff. The First Passage to the West runs from mid-April to mid-October but places are limited so it’s advisable to book way in advance.
All Photo Credits: Rocky Mountaineer