Journeys on this Train
Just 30 persons can pretend to be royalty and come aboard Royal Canadian Pacific to sample the train’s five-star dining, open-platform observation areas, several small salons, and large compartments with private, ensuite shower, toilet and sink. The train and its superb staff combine outstanding scenery, exclusive visits and elegant musical events with the five-star service and dining. It all results in one word: “Wow!”
The total RCP package is matched by just a few trains in the world. Many of the cars for the Royal Canadian Pacific (RCP) train were built between 1917 and 1931 and were used as business cars for the Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR). Sir Winston Churchill, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh (later Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip), John and Jacqueline Kennedy, among many notables, once enjoyed the cars that make up this elegant train.
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Many of the compartments exactly match those of the Royal Scotsman, because the Scotsman’s owner at the time kindly loaned the plans to the CPR. There are seven twins in the newly constructed Pullman cars “N.R.Crump” and “Strathcona.” These have two lower, twin beds set at an “L” shape, desk, roomy private shower, sink and toilet and large picture window. Finished in Circassian walnut from Russia with Bird’s Eye maple inlay and complemented by scalloped lamp fixtures, brass radiators and Turkish drapes, each car maintains the ambience of the classic era of luxury rail travel. Five cabins with double beds are in the older, historic cars. Six cabins are designed for single travelers and require no single supplement. All have plenty of storage; all are outfitted with thick white towels and lovely toiletries. The walls gleam, most with inlaid wood and vaulted ceilings.
An à la carte breakfast is served in the newly restored dining car, the “Craigellachie.” Tea, coffee and other beverages can be served in all the lounge areas or private rooms. Special cocktails (included), are served nightly, along with just about anything else you can think up. An elegant, multi-course dinner is served at tables for six or eight in the dining car. The meals are memorable––freshly prepared on board, beautifully presented and are five-star with service to match; paired wines are included.
Choices for lounging abound: there is nothing finer than stretching out in the sunshine on the open platform of 1926 observation-lounge “Mount Stephen.” There are also the 1926 lounge-sleeper “Royal Wentworth,” the 1927 observation-lounge-sleeper “Van Horne,” and the 1916 open-platform observation lounge-diner “Killarney.”
If you want one of the most intimate, elegant train programs in the world, this is it. The price tag may be steep, but its all-inclusive program, including all sightseeing, meals, alcohol, hotels and transfers, comes wrapped up in luxury few trains in the world can offer. The small number of fellow passengers (remember: just 30 total); cheerful, excellent and professional service throughout the train; and the inventive, gorgeous meals set this train apart. Jackets are expected in the dining room.
To view additional photos and a story about the Royal Canadian Pacific from the archives of The International Railway Traveler magazine, click here.