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World's Top 25 Trains

Train: Rocky Mountaineer

Train Type: First-Class

Rocky Mountaineer
The Rocky Mountaineer crosses under Castle Mountain in Alberta.

Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf passengers enjoy commentary by the train staff. (Photo by Angela Walker)

Rocky Mountaineer
A Rocky Mountaineer passenger snaps a photograph from the train's observation deck. (Photo by Angela Walker)

Rocky Mountaineer
The Rocky Mountaineer passes under through a snowy mountain. (Photo by Angela Walker)

Journeys on this Train

Trans-Canada Rail Adventure: Toronto-Vancouver
Rocky Mountaineer: Canadian Rockies Getaway
Rocky Mountaineer Western Explorer
Rocky Mountaineer: Canadian Rockies Highlights
Rocky Mountaineer: Grand Rail Circle


The Rocky Mountaineer was awarded the right to operate routes in the Canadian Rockies and purchase VIA Rail’s equipment in 1990 by the Canadian government. The owner, who ate beans for a while until his fledgling company took hold, started with two-day, all-daylight programs between Vancouver and Banff. In 1995, the company launched its luxury GoldLeaf Service with its custom-built glass dome coaches offering fine dining on the lower level. Today, more than 50 percent of all guests choose GoldLeaf service. In 2006, the company launched two more tourist train routes: Vancouver-Whistler and Whistler-Jasper.

In 2013, Rocky Mountaineer's first cross-border trip was tested between Vancouver, Canada and Seattle, Washington. This route is called "Coastal Passage." The results were favorable; in 2014, cross-border departures were begun, and for 2015, the company is offering 18 southbound and 18 northbound dates from May-September. This is offered in GoldLeaf and Silverleaf only.

Latest News: Click here for Track 25, our blog, for the latest news on the Rocky Mountaineer and other of our World's Top 25 Trains™.

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On This & Other Trains


On all departures, IRT recommends GoldLeaf service. It has a beautiful bi-level dome coach, is fully air-conditioned with full-length dome windows, and assigned seating that can accommodate groups of four. The main benefit, from our point of view, is GoldLeaf passengers’ exclusive access to the large open-air observation decks. As this is a daytime-only train, there are no sleeping accommodations. Overnights are spent in upgraded hotels for GoldLeaf passengers.

We also like the on-board dining experience in the exclusive lower-level dining room. Another GoldLeaf benefit is the luggage delivery service to your hotel in Kamloops or Quesnel. And we appreciate the transfers to and from the train on package tours.

For the ultimate in luxury, book GoldLeaf Deluxe service, and enjoy all the benefits of GoldLeaf with even more luxurious hotel rooms during your tour.

SilverLeaf service passengers are seated in a single-level dome coach in reclining seats which can rotate to accommodate groups of four. Meals are served at your seat and hotels are moderate. Silverleaf passengers have access to a small open-air vestibule.

The train also offers RedLeaf service, although we don't usually recommend this class. RedLeaf service provides reclining seats in regular cars with large picture windows. Chilled breakfast and lunch are served at your seat and hotels are moderate. 


In GoldLeaf Service, walk down a spiral staircase or take the elevator from the dome level to the diner where the full galley kitchen prepares remarkable multi-course breakfasts and lunches for you.  The diner can seat 36 in tables for four.

SilverLeaf and RedLeaf passengers have meals served at their seats. RedLeaf passengers are served chilled breakfast and lunches, while SilverLeaf passengers have hot entree options.

Lounge Cars

Not applicable. Attendants serve drinks at your seat during the day.


There are so many ways to take this train. For example, combine it with VIA Rail’s Canadian, from Toronto to Jasper, for a Cross-Canada Adventure. Or maybe you’ve already done the Rocky Mountaineer’s regular itinerary. If so, try the new, two-day Fraser Discovery route Whistler to Jasper or the Coastal Passage route between Vancouver and Seattle. The common theme is: all travel is done by day to maximize views of the spectacular scenery.

Increasingly popular are rail/cruise combos departing from Seattle and Vancouver to Alaska aboard Holland America and Norwegian cruise ships. They match perfectly with Rocky Mountaineer train trips. Call us for more info.

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