All aboard the Rocky Mountaineer

Saturday, 29th September 2018

Lauren Shorney

Rocky Mountaineer and Castle Mountain

Travel Specialist, Lauren, travelled between Banff and Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer train – an iconic symbol of Canada.

A trip aboard the Rocky Mounainteer is widely regarded as one of the best train journeys in the world. I’m lucky enough to have travelled on the most famed route: the ‘First Passage to the West’, from Banff to Vancouver.

Against the backdrop of the Rockies, I waited for the arrival of the train in the small station of Banff. You could feel the excitement of all of the passengers on the platform as The Rocky Mountaineer made it’s way slowly into the station. This also allowed for some fantastic photo opportunities.

Banff to Kamloops

The journey from Banff to Kamloops takes around ten hours, depending on traffic (freight trains having priority over the Rocky Mountaineer). After an overnight stay in a hotel in Kamloops, the onward journey to Vancouver is another eight hours or so.

Gold Leaf carriage, Rocky Mountaineer

Glass-domed Train

I travelled in the Gold Leaf carriage, although all of the classes are extremely comfortable and offer a fantastic service.  There’s a kitchen that serves meals, as well as custom-designed, heated seats which recline and swivel 180 degrees for your enjoyment. The BEST selling point of the Gold Leaf class is its an incredible full glass dome. So you can relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings in complete luxury. This was particularly amazing when we passed the unbelievably tall mountain ranges. There’s also a large outdoor viewing platform so that travellers can enjoy the fresh mountain air (and take photos without the window panes!).

View and Wildlife

As the train makes little noise and travels slowly, there are superb wildlife spotting opportunities to be had. Passengers are alerted by the crew to wildlife so that they know where to look.

On my journey, we were lucky enough to see a black bear and a grizzly bear among the trees, and a bighorn sheep, very close to the tracks. We even saw several eagles fly over the train.

Throughout the two day trip, the landscape changed from the heart of the Rocky Mountains themselves through to lush greenery, mountains, vineyards and magnificent lakes. Passengers also experience the infamous ‘Spiral Tunnels’, an incredible feat of engineering considered to be one of North America’s most scenic train experiences.

canada rocky mountaineer roof eye view

Once in a Lifetime Journey

The Rocky Mountaineer is a once-in-a-lifetime journey and a real highlight of any visit to the beautiful country of Canada. No pictures or stories can do this incredible trip justice; you have to experience it for yourself.

Our Majestic Rockies by Rail and Road itinerary includes the two-day journey on the Rocky Mountaineer and an equally scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway.

Get in Touch

For travellers who don’t want to miss a thing, there’s nothing better than a trip on Rocky Mountaineer.  Include this iconic rail journey in your tailor-made Canada holiday.

Speak to a specialist

Popular blog posts

How to choose your perfect winter hideaway in the Nordics

With so many exceptional properties across Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Norway, it can be tricky to choose between them. We've compiled this guide to help you select your ideal bolthole for winter.
  • Where to Stay

Monday, 6th September 2021

Pam Forrest

Explore Your Senses in Canada

Exploring Canada offers much more than its photo-ready landscapes and iconic wildlife. Defined by vivid colours, distinctive scents and unforgettable tastes it is an assault on the senses - find out how by using all your senses you can fully appreciate everything this diverse destination has to offer.
  • Adventure
  • Inspire Me

Friday, 29th October 2021

Liz Lunnon

The Coolest Things to Do in the Nordics in Winter

Witnessing the northern lights tops the wish list of many who plan a visit to the Nordics in the winter, and rightly so, but there's so much more to an Arctic experience than aurora hunting!
  • Inspire Me

Tuesday, 28th September 2021

Pam Forrest

Feeling Inspired?

Majestic Rockies by Rail and Road

from £2,248
excluding flights
6 nights May-Oct
Witness the Rockies' natural beauty and soaring wilderness on this independent journey.
  • Self Drive
  • Rail

Best seller

Trans Canada Rail Adventure

from £5,018
excluding flights
15 nights Jun-Sep
Take an unforgettable rail journey across Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
  • Independent
  • Classic Experiences
  • Rail

Related Blogs

Top 9 Ways to see Canada’s Rocky Mountains

The Rockies are a must-see highlight on most Canada holiday itineraries, but how you choose to explore them can provide a truly unique perspective.
  • Adventure

Friday, 16th November 2018

Destination Specialist

Exploring Canada’s National Parks

Canada is home to 46 national parks, featuring a variety of breathtaking landscapes and unique attractions. Read on to discover our favourites...
  • Destination Insiders

Thursday, 2nd February 2017

Destination Specialist

Whale Watching in Atlantic Canada

From the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador to the bays of Nova Scotia, whale watching is a popular pastime for locals and visitors alike. With a variety of species making an appearance year-round, here's our guide to whale watching in the provinces of Atlantic Canada...
  • Wildlife

Monday, 1st February 2016

Destination Specialist