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Rocky Mountaineer railroad

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I’m researching potential train trips for my retired parents who have indicated an interest in seeing trees and beautiful scenery via train, without having to sleep on the train overnight. I think I’ve narrowed it down to a few options and The Rocky Mountaineer trip between Vancouver and Banff (or Calgary) seems like a good possibility. I have some questions for anyone who may have taken this trip:

1) Does it matter which direction you travel, eastbound or westbound? Going eastbound seems like it might be nicer/more dramatic since the train climbs in elevation as you enter the Rocky Mountains and Banff NP area. Would it be anti-climactic going in the reverse direction since you’d see Banff NP on day 1?

2) Does it matter which side of the train you’re sitting on to see the best scenery?

3) For GoldLeaf service, do you get assigned seats? If so, are they the same ones on both days?

4) For GoldLeaf service, is there a lot of glare from the glass dome? I’m worried about problems with photography.

This trip would probably be taken in early September, if that makes any difference.

Thanks.

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