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Canadian Rockies train - advice? comments? alternative suggestions?

Canadian Rockies train - advice? comments? alternative suggestions?

Dec 29th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,698
Canadian Rockies train - advice? comments? alternative suggestions?

DD1 suggested this as an alternative to a trip to Yellowstone for the last 2 weeks of June. The issue is my 82 YO mother and her limited mobility, will this be better for us? We would be 2 college age girls, me, and Mother. There are several options - any comments? Guidance? Advice? Alternative suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help!
aliska is offline  
Dec 29th, 2010, 06:50 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 752
Do you mean the Rocky Mountaineer?
Morningglory47 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 573
After driving from Calgary to Jasper along the Icefields Parkway, which has spectacular views of the Rockies, my husband and I took VIA Rail from Jasper to Vancouver in September.

We were pleasantly surprised at the helpful, youthful and friendliness of the VIA Rail crew. The train left Jasper at 230 PM but we were still able to see Mt. Robson, Pyramid Falls, the Fraser River and other beautiful views from the Dome car. You could consider the same train in the reverse; i.e., Vancouver to Jasper and/or Banff. We occupied a cabin for two and I recommend your mother occupy the lower berth as it is a challenge getting in and out of the upper berth for an older adult. The meals were very good with three or four choices at each sitting.

I understand there are activities for the college age girls in the last car. We spoke to some travellers who had taken the train from Toronto and they said it was too long a ride with 3 or 4 nights on the train.

We did consider the Rocky Mountaineer train but felt it was too expensive for our budget. In hindsight our trip on VIA was most enjoyable and we would do it again.
Scotia is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,670
To firm up the options:

There's VIA's famous trans-continental 'Canadian' 3 times a week all year round over the northern CN route Toronto-Winnipeg-Edmonton-Jasper-Vancouver, book at www.viarail.ca. 1955 stainless steel cars from Canadian Pacific's original 1955 Canadian.

Or there's the Rocky Mountaineer, www.rockymountaineer.com. This actually runs on 3 or 4 different routes, including Jasper-Vancouver on the same route as the Canadian, and the Jasper-Quesnell-Whistler 'rainforest to gold rush' route.

But their original and (in my opinion) best route in terms of both scenery and historical significance is the Vancouver - Banff-Calgary 'First Passage to the West' route. This takes the original 1885 Canadian Pacific route across the Rockies, Canada's first trans-continental line. It runs twice a week April to October.

It's shame the 'Canadian' no longer takes this route, indeed, the Rocky Mountaineer is now the only pasenger train over thes historic CP line. If it helps, I've put my photos and some info/advice on which route to take, whether it's worth paying for Gold Leaf class or just Red Leaf class, and so forth, at www.seat61.com/RockyMountaineer.htm. But you'll need to go to www.rockymountaineer.com to book.
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 593
If you have really deep pockets, you might be interested in the Royal Canadian Pacific: http://www.royalcanadianpacific.com/

They run luxury rail tours out of Calgary on the CP line.
krp329 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 21
I would suggest that if you can afford it you should take the Rockie Mountaineer. It includes a night in Kamloops and the accommodation is very good. You just have to decide on an evening meal. In Banff there is little concession to those with mobility problems unless you have a wheel chair. I met three ladies from a bowling club all aged 83-87 who had taken the gondola up the mountain and were happy to just look around.
The icefield Parkway is great on a tour from Banff for those with restricted mobility as the tour also visits Lake Louise. Every consideration is given here and you can stroll along the lake shore. Lake Peyto can be visited with only a very short walk to the viewing platform.
I visited in September (solo travel) and also spent time backpacking on Castle Mountain with a local guide. You must decide on your overall budsget and then work out the daily costs. Trips are NOT cheap and it is possible to select visits and tours that include packed lunches. Take food from the supermarket.I have plenty of photos if you want to view. get in touch.
Elenydd is offline  

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