A Trip on The Rocky Mountaineer (Calgary, AB – Vancouver, BC)
(Scroll down for images) – Photos of the Rocky Mountaineer’s route begin at pic #15
The Canadian (Toronto, ON – Edmonton, AB) -1st leg of trip The Rocky Mountaineer (Calgary, AB – Vancouver, BC) -2nd leg of trip Alberni Pacific Railway (Port Alberni, BC) -3rd leg of trip Plus return trip on The Canadian (Vancouver, BC – Toronto, ON)
The Canadian (Toronto, ON – Edmonton, AB):
‘The Canadian’ is VIA Rail’s Western transcontinental train. For a description & pictures of the Canadian please see page on The Canadian.
The Rocky Mountaineer (Calgary, AB – Vancouver, BC):
The ‘Rocky Mountaineer‘ is a tour train that operates over a portion of the Canadian Pacific (CP) mainline on a 2-day journey from either Calgary, Banff, or Lake Louise, AB, to Vancouver, BC, via Kamloops, BC, where an overnight stop-over is made (passengers can overnight in a hotel included in the price of the tour). The train began operation in 1990.
Equipment on the Rocky Mountaineer includes ex-Canadian National coach cars plus custom-built dome cars with dome seating above & a dining area & open observation platform below. Both types of cars offer meal service. Motive power consists of 3,000 hp General Motors GP40-2 diesel locomotives.
The route of the the Rocky Mountaineer is a scenic one. From Calgary the train departs west on the CP line through the front range of the Rockies, past the Three Sisters mountain range & along the Bow river to Banff & on past Castle Mountain & Morant’s Curve (named after CP photographer Nicolas Morant who took many pictures at this location), past Lake Louise station, over the continental divide near Stephen, through the famed Spiral Tunnels & on to Field, BC & the Kicking Horse Canyon, over Stoney Creek Bridge, over the Columbia River at Revelstoke, past Mara Lake at Sicamous before arriving at the overnight stop at Kamloops. The next day finds the train passing through the Thompson & Fraser river canyons on its way to the Pacific Coast at Vancouver, BC.
The Rocky Mountaineer is the only way for tourists to travel on the CP line from Calgary to Kamloops. For the remainder of the westward journey to Vancouver, the train travels on the CN line. Details of the tour can be found at RockyMountaineer.com
Note: The Rocky Mountaineer has its own station in Vancouver. Rental cars are available in VIA Rail’s nearby Pacific Central Station for passengers wishing to continue by car & ferry to Vancouver Island. Accommodations are available at The Best Western in Port Alberni and Best Western Tofino on Vancouver Island.
Equipment on the Alberni Pacific Railway includes ex-CN transfer cabooses converted into enclosed coaches or open-air observation cars. Motive power includes an ex-Campbell River Timber 2-8-2 tank engine built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1929. This steam engine produces 29,100 lbs of tractive effort.
The route of the Alberni Pacific Railway is a pretty one with the train departing the yards at Port Alberni, over grade crossings & trestles on a journey rising from sea level to almost 365 feet on its way to the McLean Mill National Historic Site.
For great scenery & the opportunity to ride a steam train on Vancouver Island, ride the Alberni Pacific Railway in Port Alberni.