The Rocky Mountaineer is one of the most recognisable train journeys in the world. Its itineraries, onboard service, and impeccable luxury are all widely recognised. But there are probably a few things you don’t know about the Rocky Mountaineer despite all its fame. Like when were the train tracks originally laid down? And where was the house wine grown? We’ve answered both of those questions (and more!) below.
1. It is a world-record breaker
In 1996, the Rocky Mountaineer set the record for the longest passenger train in Canadian history when it connected 37 cars together. Then it outdid itself in 1999 with 41 cars.
2. It was once the backdrop for a reality TV dating show
Back in 2005, an episode of The Bachelorette took place on-board the Rocky Mountaineer. Contestant Jillian Harris, spent four days on the train with her suitors as it travelled from Vancouver to Banff.
The TV show operated an exclusive train for the show, including two special lounge cars, one for the men and the other for Jillian. In the upper lounge of Rocky Mountaineer’s famous bi-level dome coach, the Bachelorette continued her search for love with her one-on-one dates.
3. It’s the largest privately owned luxury tourist train company in the world
It achieved this feat on its 25th anniversary in 2015.
3. The rail route united Canada
Canada is a young country. On July 1st 1867, the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia came together as a confederation – while British Columbia was sat on the other side of a massive mountain range. Then on July 4th 1886, a train pulled into Port Moody, British Columbia, having completed the first scheduled transcontinental journey across Canada, uniting the country.
Rocky Mountaineer’s First Passage to the West route, from Vancouver to Banff, still travels along part of this historic railroad. It’s the only rail company to do so.
4. There are optional excursions
While it’s perfectly acceptable to relax on-board and enjoy the scenery, adventurous types will love some of the optional excursions. These range from whale watching in Victoria to a Panoramic Helicopter Tour in Calgary.
5. The train can change speeds
In order for their guests to admire the intricacies of the landscape, the Rocky Mountaineer will slow down at certain vantage points. While there are areas where the train reaches up to 60 mph, its average speed is approximately 30 mph.
6. It’s the only all-daylight train journey through the Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountaineer stops overnight in each destination so guests don’t miss any of the incredible landscape and wildlife due to nightfall. It is the only train journey through the Rocky Mountains to offer this.
7. The chefs are Michelin-starred
Breakfast and lunch are included on all journeys (dinner is also included on the Coastal Passage route). But this isn’t aeroplane food. Everything is lovingly hand-made to order in the dedicated kitchen by award-winning chef Jean Pierre Guerin and Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Couton. On top of that, the chefs only use the finest, locally sourced ingredients from the Pacific Northwest.
8. All wine on-board is from the Okanagan Valley
And it is complimentary in both SilverLeaf and Gold Leaf Service.
10. You can get married at the Rocky Mountaineer Train Station
There are over 20,000 square feet of a stunning conference or event space at the Rocky Mountaineer Station in Vancouver. The décor is modern, with plenty of natural light, but mixed with wood and stone that reflects the rugged and majestic qualities of the Canadian Rockies. Events held at the station include fashion shows, charity galas, music events – and weddings!
What’s your favourite fact about Rocky Mountaineer? Do you have a fact that we missed? Leave it below in the comments!