Rocky Mountaineer

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by Train jaune, 4 Nov 2019.

  1. Train jaune

    Train jaune Member

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    Just back from a trip that included the Rocky Mountaineer from Banff to Vancouver over two days. Fantastic trip with wonderful snow topped mountains to start with, the arid hills past Kamloops along the Thompson river and then blueberry fields as we headed into Vancouver. Though, after you've seen your 50th Bald Eagle sat in a tree the novelty does start to wear off. Great trip, but deep pockets required.
     
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  3. Derbyshire Gra

    Derbyshire Gra Member

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    Had a trip back in May from Vancouver to Jasper, then returning from Banff to Vancouver. Have been on many trains around the World - but this one is right up at the top with excellent service to compliment the stunning scenery - but certainly not cheap!

    For a shorter ride at lower fares but with equally stunning scenery and railway engineering, I would highly recommend the White Pass and Yukon from Skagway in Alaska - probably my all time No.1
     
  4. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Likewise did the RM from Vancouver to Banff in June. 2 x 11 hours on a train. Great way to travel, especially from the upper deck of the cars, but quite draining. The observation platforms are great, especially going over the Kicking Horse Pass.
    Going west to east leaves the best bits to last and what a view it is. Not cheap as all say but the service is informative, food good and the luggage arrangements are a dream.
     
  5. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Was there any sign of the remnants of the grain train that derailed between the spiral tunnels of the Kicking Horse Pass in February?
    Recovering the locos, wagons and umpteen thousand tonnes of wheat from the river must have been quite a challenge (in winter too).
     
  6. Elwyn

    Elwyn Member

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    Jasper to Prince Rupert is just as impressive with fantastic scenery all the way. It's a conventional public service and is a fraction of the price of the RM. It's about $180. Takes 2 days and you have to stay overnight in Prince George, which is not included.
     
  7. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    I didn't see anything specific but the section between the spiral tunnels has a couple of passing loops and also at least one siding where there is ballast, track and various bits of maintenance kit strored lineside. Here's a frame from a video clip:
    Image2.jpg
    This is the entrance to the upper spiral tunnel where there are various pieces laying around, but nothing that looks like the aftermath of the derailment.
     
  8. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    I know that there are cheaper trips but it was part of a bucket list holiday and we had the cash to cover it all.
     
    Last edited: 5 Nov 2019
  9. alxndr

    alxndr Member

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    Glad it was an enjoyable trip! It's on my bucket list as well as my grandparents did it years ago and loved it. Got as far as getting the brochure but the price and apparent luxury put me off doing it at the moment (I'm more accustomed to vestibules and travellodges).
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'd recommend the Canadian - a proper service train with a good mix of tourists and "genuine" passengers.
     
  11. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    If that's the CN service that goes via Jasper and Saskatoon, I've friends that did that. They were a bit disappointed to cover some of the journey in the dark.
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    There is that, but that's because it's a proper train, not a tourist experience. I've always preferred proper trains than tourist experiences - for instance I'd take a ride on the Conwy Valley (if running) over one on the Ffestiniog.
     
  13. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    I'd second that (even though when I traveled the weather was rainy and cloudy so the scenery visibility was limited). Open platforms at the end of the carriages to enjoy the outdoors, 3 foot gauge with 4% gradients in places, and hauled by a pair of lusty 'shovel-nose' diesels that sound like a Western on steroids with a bit of Deltic mixed in (the wailing noise they make on full power is something else...). Skagway is a nice place to wander around as well.

    When we were planning our first trip to Western Canada seven years ago we looked at riding the Rocky Mountaineer, but decided that the money would be better spent on a reasonably upmarket cruise on a medium sized ship up the coast of Alaska (Vancouver to Seward). That was superb and well worth the money, interesting places and excursions, and lovely scenery. I just made sure we picked a cruise that visited Skagway, of course :smile:.

    [​IMG]P1000644 by ac6044cw, on Flickr

    [​IMG]P1000629 by ac6044cw, on Flickr



    We did another trip driving Vancouver-Whistler-Lillooet-Kamloops-Revelstoke-Golden-Field-Canmore-Calgary more recently (basically following the route of the CP mainline Kamloops-Canmore) and were lucky with the weather this time, so had a full complement of snow-capped mountains in the sunshine. A couple of 'train' shots from Field, BC:

    [​IMG]Work train at Field - 1 by ac6044cw, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Field_east_departure_2 by ac6044cw, on Flickr
     
  14. Train jaune

    Train jaune Member

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    The freight trains were something to behold too. Two engines at the front, one in the middle and one pushing at the rear. Being a bit of an anorak I did start counting the number of wagons on one train and lost count at 135 and there looked a good few after that
     
  15. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    I managed to count a 196'er. It had two at the front, two in the middle and one at the rear. All EMD AC4400CWs.
     
  16. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    You did well there - I'd have lost count ;). The Canadians tend to run longer trains than the Americans these days - it's been one response to burgeoning traffic in recent years, as well as lengthening passing loops where possible.

    AC4400CW are GE, not EMD, as are their younger compatriots the ES44AC, which I'm sure you'll have seen as well (CP rosters several hundred of each). When I was there in 2017 the mainline in the mountains was pretty much populated entirely by AC-drive GE's (the Rocky Mountaineer and some local freight/MoW workings excepted), and nearly all freights used distributed power.
     
  17. Czesziafan

    Czesziafan Member

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    Some 20 years ago I did The Canadian from Toronto to Jasper, staying there a week, before continuing to Vancouver. It was a fantastic trip and fairly cheap because it was in December. Wall to wall snow everywhere and the temperature outside was -25C, but very comfortable inside, albeit the gangways between the coaches were encrusted in ice an inch thick. The dining car food (the real quality test for any long distance train) was excellent with no sign of the overpriced carpet burgers and processed stodge available on BR. The rolling stock was 1950's Budd design, the same as the Americans used on the Super Chief.
     
  18. sprunt

    sprunt Member

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    I've a tentative plan to take it between Toronto and Edmonton in 2026, when the World Cup is due to feature games in both those cities.
     

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