This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.

Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer logo.png
Rocky Mountaineer train.jpg
HeadquartersVancouver, British Columbia
Reporting markRMRX
LocaleBritish Columbia and Alberta, Canada
Dates of operation1990 (1990)–Present
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian rail-tour company in Western Canada that operates trains on three rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta.


VIA Rail Canada

The Rocky Mountaineer began as a once weekly VIA Rail daytime service between Calgary, Jasper and Vancouver on June 9, 1988, called the 'Canadian Rockies by Daylight.'.[1] This service mirrored service as it is today, with an overnight stop in Kamloops. Trains departed Vancouver on Sundays, with trains to Jasper and Calgary (by way of Banff) departing Monday morning. These were express services, with no intermediate stops. Return service began westward on Thursdays from Calgary and Japser, terminating on Friday in Vancouver.[2] On June 4, 1989, VIA began its second season of the service, renamed the service the 'Rocky Mountaineer.' Scheduling remained the same as the previous season.[3] The final Summer Rocky Mountaineer under VIA branding departed Calgary and Jasper on October 12, 1989, and arrived in Vancouver on October 13.[4] VIA Rail experienced massive reductions in scheduling in 1990, resulting in the Southern transcontinental service being terminated. Service on the Rocky Mountaineer continued through the winter of 1990,[5] being removed from schedules and marketing in May 1990.[6]

Private operation

After the sale of the branding in 1990, the current company was founded by the Armstrong Group in 1990, and is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. It ran its first train on May 27, 1990.[7] It is the busiest privately owned passenger rail service in North America, having transported over one million passengers since 1990.


Rocky Mountaineer has been awarded the "World's Leading Travel Experience by Train" at the World Travel Awards seven times[8] for its GoldLeaf service and was recognized by National Geographic Magazine as one of the "World’s Best Journeys" in 2007. The Society of American Travel Writers, the world's largest organization of professional travel journalists and photographers, rated the Rocky Mountaineer as the world's top train ride in 2009.[9]


The Rocky Mountaineer boards passengers at Banff, Alberta, showing its former livery.
Two Goldleaf double deck panorama wagons of the Rocky Mountaineer in the station of Jasper

Rocky Mountaineer operates over 75 railcars in its fleet:

Previous equipment: GE B36-7 locomotives leased from BC Rail.[citation needed]


Map of routes offered by Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer operates train journeys over four principal routes:

First passage to the West: This route travels along Kicking Horse River, terminating in Banff. Rocky Mountaineer is the only passenger rail service that operates on this route after the cancellation of VIA Rail's southern transcontinental service.[12]

Journey through the clouds: This route travels through the Coastal Mountain Range and the Fraser Canyon. The train follows the route of the Fraser River, then the North Thompson, terminating in Jasper.[12]

Rainforest to Gold Rush: This is a three-day route which begins in North Vancouver, with stops in Whistler and Quesnel. The route terminates in Jasper.[12]

Service levels

Upper level of Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf
Lower dining level on GoldLeaf


Operating on all routes, Rocky Mountaineer's GoldLeaf service is a custom-designed, bi-level, glass-domed coach with full-length windows and reclining seats that can be rotated to accommodate groups of four. Guests onboard this service are attended to by three to four onboard hosts, in addition to the culinary team. Guests are offered hot meals prepared on board the train, served to them in the lower level dining car. Beverages and snacks are also offered to guests throughout the journey. The two levels of the GoldLeaf coach are accessible by a spiral staircase or an ADA elevator.[13][14]

Rocky Mountaineer SilverLeaf


Operating on the same routes as GoldLeaf, Rocky Mountaineer's SilverLeaf service is a custom-designed, single level glass domed coach with oversized windows and reclining seats. Guests onboard are attended to by two to three onboard hosts, and offered a hot entrée option for breakfast and lunch served at their seat and plated to their preference. Complimentary beverages are served throughout the journey, including: wine, beer, spirits, and non-alcoholic drinks. Gourmet snacks are also offered throughout the journey.[13][14]

Trip structure

To allow for the best views, Rocky Mountaineer operates exclusively during the day. On the First Passage to the West and on Journey Through the Clouds routes an overnight stop is made in Kamloops. On the Rainforest to Gold Rush route, there are two overnight stops in Whistler and Quesnel. The Rocky Mountaineer season runs from mid-April to mid-October with multiple departures every week going both eastbound and westbound.

Connecting services

En route between Banff and Kamloops

The nearest international airports to Rocky Mountaineer are the Calgary International Airport and Vancouver International Airport.

In Vancouver, Rocky Mountaineer trains depart from the Rocky Mountaineer Station, while other rail services operate out of either Pacific Central Station (Amtrak and Via Rail) or Waterfront Station (West Coast Express).

At the Jasper railway station passengers can transfer directly to Via Rail's Canadian and Jasper – Prince Rupert train service.

See also


  1. ^ Greenlaw, Christopher (2007). VIA Rail. St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publushing. pp. 116–121. ISBN 9780760325292.
  2. ^ VIA: Canada's passenger train network. System Timetable. Montreal: VIA Rail Canada. May 1, 1988. p. 51.
  3. ^ 1989 Via Rail Annual Report (PDF). Ottawa: VIA Rail Canada. December 31, 1989. p. 14. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  4. ^ VIA National Timetable: Summer/Fall Edition. Montreal: VIA Rail Canada. April 30, 1989. p. 51.
  5. ^ VIA National Timetable. Montreal: VIA Rail Canada. January 15, 1990. p. 40.
  6. ^ VIA National Timetable. Montreal: VIA Rail Canada. May 27, 1990. pp. 24–25.
  7. ^ Johnston 2016, p. 50
  8. ^ "Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf Service". 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Travel writers select the world's top 10 train rides". Travel Industry Today. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  10. ^ a b c "Fact Sheet" (PDF). Rocky Mountaineer. October 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Stadler Goldleaf" (PDF). Stadler. August 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  12. ^ a b c "Routes". Rocky Mountaineer.
  13. ^ a b "Rocky Mountaineer". Rocky Mountaineer.
  14. ^ a b Source: Rocky Mountaineer – 25 Years of Life Changing Experiences – 2015 Canada Train travel Guide (page 19)


  • Johnston, Bob (February 2016). "It takes more than scenery". Trains. 76 (2).

External links