Rocky Mountaineer Review
The Rocky Mountaineer is one of the most iconic trains in the world and we wanted to find out if it lived up to the hype. As part of our Titan Travel Tour we booked Journey Through The Clouds which started in Jasper and finished in Vancouver.
In our video below we show you exactly what to expect over the two day journey, however, before you watch that, here is a little history about this fantastic railway.
History of the Rocky Mountaineer
The idea of the Rocky Mountaineer dates back to 1986 and was originally the brainchild of tourism entrepreneur Pat Crowley and Canadian National locomotive engineer Harry Holmes who were both from Jasper in Alberta, together they drew up a business plan which they presented to VIA Rail, the Canadian government owned railway service.
Their idea was for it to be a daylight sightseeing tour pulled by a vintage CNR 6060 steam locomotive known as Bullet Nosed Betty through the Canadian Rockies. In 1988 it started its once weekly daytime service between Vancouver and both Jasper and Calgary and was known as the Rockies by Daylight.
To make the most of the amazing views trains only ran during the day with overnight stops at the midpoint of Kamloops and had no other daytime stops, the service ran for two years and was a financial disaster so in May 1990 all schedules ceased. The then Minister of finance Michael Wilson decided that maybe the private sector could do a better job and offered up for sale the route, branding, book of business and equipment.
There were initially 20 bidders in the running one of which was Carnival cruise line but the eventual winning bid came from Armstrong Hospitality Group ltd a family owned business headed by Peter Armstrong, the first journey under the Armstrong banner came on the 27th of July 1990 and has been a massive success ever since.
Our Experience on the Rocky Mountaineer
Our two day journey on the Rocky Mountaineer was from Jasper in Canada through to Vancouver with an overnight in Kamlooops this route is known as the Journey above the Clouds.
There are two standards of travel available on the Rocky Mountaineer, Gold Leaf and Silver Leaf, we booked Silver leaf as all the Gold Leaf had sold out before we booked, imagine our delight when we collected our tickets the night before our journey to find that due to a technical problem all the people in our Silver Carriage had been partially upgraded to Gold.
Just to clarify we were now travelling in a Gold leaf carriage but would still be getting Silver leaf service, this meant all our meals would be served at our seats, (which were leather, heated and fully electrically adjustable) instead of the dining room that was situated downstairs.
The difference between Gold and Silver apart from the service is that the Gold carriages are double deckers whereas Silver are single deckers, so as you can imagine the views from Gold leaf are far superior to silver, there is also a little bit more choice when it comes to food and drink in Gold leaf.
Regardless of which level you book a red carpet greeting awaits you and even though we received silver service it was exceptional as was the food and drinks we were served throughout our two day journey.
We have been fortunate enough to have done a lot of travelling in recent years and this is definitely up there with some of the best things we have ever done!
Our Titan Travel Alaskan Deluxe Voyage also included a land tour of Canada from Calgary, visiting Banff National Park, Jasper National Park and arrived in Vancouver where we went on a 7 day cruise to Alaska on Holland America Konningsdam.
You can find all our videos about the rest of the trip here too!
Visit the Rocky Mountaineer website here.
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