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Rocky Mountain.
Rocky Mountain.
Check the bears along the way.

Rocky Mountain Train

Thursday, November 8, 2001
Another of Jeff's favourites with Getaway was a ride on the Rocky Mountain Train - there is so much to see, almost too much.

The train route passes through five mountain ranges, two Canadian provinces, six major river systems and five national parks and offers fantastic scenery, service and history along the way.

The journey from Vancouver to Calgary is about 1000 km and because the train only travels by day, you won't miss any of the surroundings. The first leg, between Vancouver and Boston Bar, takes you from the coastal mountains through the fertile farming land of the Fraser River Valley and the historic Gold Rush region. Hell's Gate is the narrowest part of the Fraser River - almost a billion litres of water surge through the 33.5m wide gorge each minute. Construction of the railway through this gorge was so dangerous that many workers lost their lives here, hence the name Hell's Gate.

The second leg between Boston Bar and Kamloops takes you along the walls of the narrow Fraser and Thompson River canyons. The tracks follow the steep cliffs and cross the rivers several times by way of impressive bridges. Kamloops is where the first day's travel ends and you spend the night in a hotel. The name "Kamloops" is derived from the Shuswap Indian word meaning "meeting of the waters".

The next day takes you from Kamloops all the way to Calgary, via Revelstoke and Banff. Day two is also filled with sights of glacier-clad mountains, waterfalls and trestle bridges. Wildlife that you might see in the area include moose, deer, mountain goats and Grizzly bears.

There are three classes of travel aboard the Rocky Mountaineer: GoldLeaf Service, SilverLeaf Service and Signature Service. Signature Service passengers enjoy the ride in comfortable coaches with reclining seats in an air-conditioned, non-smoking environment. Attendants are on call throughout the trip. Breakfast and lunch are served in your seat, airline style, and feature local delicacies such as British Columbia salmon and Alberta beef.

GoldLeaf Service is an exclusive, red carpet service on a two-level dome coach with fine dining facilities. This service only operates between Vancouver and Banff/Calgary. GoldLeaf is normally booked at least three months ahead, so in order to cope with the high demand for GoldLeaf Service, some single-decker cars have been fitted with dome roofs, becoming the SilverLeaf Service. The views are just as spectacular as from the GoldLeaf cars.


The Rocky Mountaineer runs east and west-bound between Vancouver in British Columbia and Jasper and Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

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