The Story of the Rocky Mountaineer

The Story of the Rocky Mountaineer

Imagine winding alongside the Canadian Rockies, past glaciers, waterfalls, wildlife, and the turquoise waters of mountaintop lakes.

Rocky Mountaineer’s luxury trains take you on that majestic journey through unparalleled landscapes, matched with a level of hospitality and expertise that you won’t find anywhere else.

The Rocky Mountaineer took its inaugural rail trip in 1990. The British Columbia-based company has been family-owned since the very beginning. After growing and refining for a few years, Rocky Mountaineer launched its GoldLeaf Service in 1995. Goldleaf is the premiere level of service, offering exceptional elegance for passengers. Three-course meals are prepared onboard using locally-sourced ingredients, and passengers can enjoy complimentary beverages and gourmet snacks throughout the day.

1996 was a year for the record books: With 37 train cars, Rocky Mountaineer set the record for longest passenger train in Canadian history. The feat didn’t stand for long though, as Rocky Mountaineer broke its own record just three years later with a 41-car passenger train.

Word of mouth continued to spread, and all those train cars filled up with passengers: The Mountaineer’s 500,000th guest stepped aboard in 2002. The following year, the company’s popularity and unforgettable travel experiences earned a spot-on BBC Television’s “50 Things to Do Before You Die.”

Awards and accolades began to roll in in 2005. Rocky Mountaineer won the renowned “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train” at the 2005 World Travel Awards, an honor that the company has since won numerous times over the past decade. In 2007, National Geographic named the Mountaineer one of the “World’s Greatest Trips”, and the company’s continued dedication to and advocacy for sustainable travel earned Tourism British Columbia’s “Foresight Sustainability Award”.

Rocky Mountaineer reached another milestone when the one millionth passenger stepped aboard in 2008. After 20 years of service, the company revamped its brand with a new logo and fresh paint job for the trains. Beneath the new look, Rocky Mountaineer offered the same exceptional service, ranking among the “World’s 10 Best Train Journeys” by Reader’s Digest in 2010.

SilverLeaf Service launched in 2012, offering seat-side breakfast service and hot lunch entrees, served with a selection of British Columbia beer and wine. Over-sized windows allow for stunning panoramic views from any seat in the single-level railcar.

2012 also saw the introduction of Rocky Mountaineer’s two-level dome cars for GoldLeaf Service. Passengers sit in the upper-level of the railcar where the glass-domed ceilings provide near-360 degree vistas of the Canadian Rockies. All GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf cars also have outdoor viewing areas where passengers can step outside to enjoy the fresh Rocky Mountain air.

The Train for Heroes program was initiated in 2013 to celebrate people who sacrifice to help others, including veterans, first responders, and good Samaritans. These heroes and their families are welcomed aboard for a life-changing trip on the Rocky Mountaineer.

After more than 25 years of service and nearly 2 million passengers, Rocky Mountaineer has grown into the world’s largest privately-owned luxury tourism train company. Throughout the years, the company’s mission has remained the same, “To provide the most spectacular and unforgettable travel experiences in the world.” Their annual awards and continued popularity are a testament to their success.

Arianna Ambrutis

Ari grew up all over and continues to be absorbed by travel. She’s worked on an archaeological dig in Israel, sailed around Greek isles, been crazy sunburnt in Turkey, and thinks Paris and New York are just the bee’s knees. With her degree in Cultural Anthropology, Ari loves exploring other culture’s traditions, colloquialisms, and cuisines.

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