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On The Rocky Mountaineer Train, The Journey Is The Destination

For a memorable travel experience, the journey is the destination. QE2’s transatlantic crossing is an example. Another is United’s flight to the Emirates on an Etihad Airways A380 sitting in an upscale first-class suite like a residence. Another memorable experience for him is watching Rocky out of his Mountaineer Railroad train window into the glorious American West.

A Canadian company has created a railroad experience from the Rocky Mountains to the Red Rocks. The train takes travelers across the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide, offering beautiful views of the West. Pulled by her two locomotives of 2500 horsepower each, the train travels through tunnels and up the mountain along the Colorado River. Passengers can see the scenery that cannot be seen from the car. No driving, no traffic, no crowds, no pit stops for food or toilets. Everything is onboard.

As the company describes it, guests will “enjoy two days of extraordinary landscapes, including vast canyons, evocative deserts, natural archways and enchanting hoodoos.” Hoodoos are sandstone spiers or pillars like the Three Sisters in Arches National Park.

Travelers can choose to start their journey from the Rockies to the Red Rocks in Denver, Colorado and travel west toward Moab, Utah. Alternatively, you can catch a train and head east in Moab, the gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Moab is known for hiking, rafting, 4-wheeling and other outdoor activities. The nearly 400-mile journey takes place entirely in daylight, allowing passengers to admire the scenery through the train’s five-foot-tall windows.

In addition to mountains, forests, mesas, red rocks and the mighty Colorado River, the train passes orchards and farms where peaches, cherries and grapes grow. Passengers have seen moose, red-tailed hawks, herons, ducks, wild turkeys and bald eagles “just like those in the US district.” On the human side, hikers can’t seem to resist “mooning” trains.

The train consists of 6 passenger cars. Each vehicle holds up to 52 passengers and is usually served by 3 hosts. It also serves as a guide detailing the history of the area, from pre-Utah polygamy to the final battle by law between train robbers Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in Parachutes, Colorado. Other points of interest include NBA star Karl Malone’s gigantic former Rocky Flats nuclear bomb-making area and the studio where Grateful His Dead recorded “Coal Creek Canyon.”

The quality of light and the western landscape create a cinematic atmosphere. Rocky Mountaineer lacks Wi-Fi, Internet access, and seatback video, so passengers can focus on the scenery. Mobile phone reception is difficult in the Rocky Mountains.

The season is from April to October. A spokeswoman said the travel season ends in his October not because of the increased chance of cold and snow, but because of the loss of light.

The train is now resting and the tracks are covered with snow. But come April, hundreds of passengers from all over the world board each week.

Rocky Mountaineer has spacious cars and higher class service offers lounge cars with bars and tables and chairs. Trains do not have sleepers. Instead, the two-day, one-night trip includes his one night in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, known for its hot springs and “the world’s largest hot spring pool.”

Along the way, passengers can relax in reclining seats and watch the passing scenery. The host pushes the bar cart down the aisle. A culinary specialist asks for gourmet breakfasts, lunches and dinners that passengers would like to eat at his table on an oversized tray.

A tunnel was cut through the mountain to make the route possible. At 9,200 feet above sea level, the 6.2-mile-long Moffett Tunnel was built at the cost of 28 lives. Recently, at least one tunnel was ‘lighted’ and blown up to improve the view.

Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian company that has been in the passenger train business since 1990. In 1999, he set a record with 41 cars, the longest passenger train in Canadian history. In 2017, the company served his two millionth guest. And with the launch of Mandarin departures on some Canadian routes, the company may be well prepared for the highly anticipated return of Chinese tourists in 2023. .

Rocky Mountaineer operates three passenger services in Kanda. Travel from Vancouver via Kamloops to Jasper, from Vancouver via Banff/Lake Louise to Kamloops, from Vancouver via Jasper via Witter and Quesnel through the spectacular Canadian Rockies. For those who have never been, these Canadian national parks rival those of the United States in breathtaking beauty.

The company, working with truck owner Union Pacific, began planning and researching U.S. services before the pandemic. A spokesperson for Rocky Mountaineer said, “The CEO of Union Pacific is passionate about passenger rail.”

The company somehow launched Red Rocks to Rockies in 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. They had a successful short season starting in August of that year. Most of the staff hired for their customer service skills are from the Denver area. Rocky Mountaineer ran his full season from April 2022 to October 2022 and is expected to have even more success in 2023.

According to Rocky Mountaineer, clients are usually couples, sometimes families with children, and other connected groups. These could be his four teachers traveling together, mother and son, father and daughter, or “his four girlfriends making a fuss,” the spokesperson said. rice field. A drink, a friendly card game, or a quick post-COVID conversation. “The tax accountant was crazy!” she said.

Basic Rocky to Red Rock packages start at $1456. Higher class service and travel extensions are also available, including luxury motorcoaches from Moab to Arches National Park and Dead Horse State Park, or Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.