Trains between Calgary and Vancouver

Old Feb 15th, 2008, 07:38 AM
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Trains between Calgary and Vancouver

We are planning a trip to the Calgary Stampede for a few days and then want to head to Vancouver by train.
The Rocky Mountaineer is so expensive. Is it worth it? Or are their alternative trains between the cities that still take in the Canadian Rocky sights?
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 08:56 AM
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The only passenger train that departs from Calgary is the Rocky Mountaineer. Via Rail goes to Vancouver from Edmonton. If you can travel to Edmonton, that may be an option for you.

If you want to take the bus to Edmonton, there's a company called Red Arrow that is (IMO) a much nicer ride than Greyhound. They cater more to the business traveller and the buses have fewer seats/more room and are generally a more pleasant way to travel. I'm not sure how much more expensive they are.
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 09:25 AM
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Train travel is infrequent, expensive, and not at all common in this part of the world, which explains why the only train from Calgary to Vancouver is the Rocky Mountaineer. That's a luxury tourist train. If you must go by train, that's your only option between the two cities, but it is not at all a commuter train, but essentially a cruiseship like train for those who like to be pampered.
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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I thought the point of taking the Rocky Mountaineer was that it travels in the daylight (with an overnight stop) so you can see the sights, while Via Rail travels straight through at night.
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 05:35 AM
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We travelled on The Rocky Mountaineer in 2006 between Vancouver and Jasper with an overnight stay in Kamloops.

Being a tourist and wanting to enjoy every moment we upgraded to Gold Leaf which meant you sat on the upper deck with the glass dome roof and then went to the lower deck for your meals.

To answer your initial question it was worth every penny! We had loads of room to move about on the train and the seats were very comfy (You could also go outside if you wished). The views were amazing from the upper deck and the staff on board gave commentary throughout on the sights and scenary we were approaching (so you had time to get the camera ready). They even stopped the train at certain points so you had time to take the photos.

We were a little concerned it would be too 'posh' for us but glad to say it was all informal and relaxing.

The meals were top restaurant quality and the extra touches (like chocolate trains for dessert) were great for us tourists.

All in all worth every penny and would recommend to anyone who wanted to enjoy the sights in comfort and at a slow pace (yes the train went slow so you could see everything).

To answer some of the other comments I've never been on a cruiseship and don't particularly like being pampered but wanted to enjoy the Rockies in a relaxing environment and this ticked all the boxes.

We then spent 11 days travelling between Jasper to Calgary.

Just to confirm April's comments both days on the train were through the day.
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