Rocky Mountaineer: Canadian luxury train debuts its first US route

(CNN) — The United States’ railroad method is acquiring a enhance from its northern neighbor.

One particular of Western Canada’s most-embellished luxury scenic teach strains, the Rocky Mountaineer, introduced its initially US route on August 15 through its namesake mountain range, running two-working day, a person-night time excursions again and forth amongst Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah.
The new route, recognized as Rockies to the Purple Rocks, joins the line’s 3 rail choices in Western Canada (Vancouver to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper) and will take passengers by numerous distinctive regions of Colorado prior to cruising into the heart of canyon state in Southern Utah.
Rocky Moutaineer's Rockies to the Red Rocks route stretches between Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah.

Rocky Moutaineer’s Rockies to the Red Rocks route stretches amongst Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah.

Salvador Lopez/Emotion Cinema

The US, although not recognised for its coach travel, does previously have a handful of dedicated scenic trains in the West. The Durango & Silverton Slim Gauge Rail, for case in point, or Amtrak’s Coast Starlight concerning Washington and California.

None, nevertheless, really match the similar invoice as the Rocky Mountaineer, whose special operations, foods and beverage system and luxury-focused company have created it a design for the field.

Given that its inception in 1990, it has been honored by the Environment Vacation Awards as the “World’s Foremost Journey Practical experience by Teach” eight situations, and in 2020, it won a World Travel Award for “Very best Rail Company.”

US President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure monthly bill calls for an investment of $66 billion into Amtrak and America’s railways. But before any of that can arrive to fruition, Rocky Mountaineer is off and managing. So what can we hope from its debut in The usa? Occur along as we take a look at the new route.

An overnight train without having sleeper vehicles

Based on your viewpoint, the most differentiating detail about the Rocky Mountaineer’s functions is possibly its very best competitive gain or its worst Achilles’ heel: Whilst it’s a multi-working day excursion, you don’t basically rest on the educate.

In fact, there are no sleeper cars at all on any of the Rocky Mountaineer’s routes. Rather, company disembark the train each evening and shell out the night in a regional lodge.

The train featues expansive windows and only travels during the day to maximize the scenery.

The educate featues expansive windows and only travels through the day to optimize the scenery.

Rocky Mountaineer

The purpose of this setup is two-fold: To make it possible for company to get a greater night’s snooze (no rocking and rolling), and to make sure darkness does not cloak the surroundings.

“Our routes showcase some of the most stunning surroundings North The us has to offer,” explained Nicole Ford, communications director at Rocky Mountaineer. “Our trains only journey all through the working day and aspect oversized windows so friends do not miss out on a instant of the at any time-switching landscapes.”

One more differentiating element for this Rocky Mountaineer route is its foods and beverage program, which forgoes a classic dining auto for an consume-at-your-seat technique with unique tray tables. Each individual row is treated as a desk at a cafe, with customized service, scheduled meals and drinks on demand from customers.

Passengers on the two-day, one-night journey stay overnight in a choice of hotels. The overnight stay is included in the fare.

Passengers on the two-day, one-night time journey remain right away in a alternative of accommodations. The overnight remain is bundled in the fare.

Salvador Lopez/Emotion Cinema

The menu capabilities local substances, quite a few from places the train passes by way of, these kinds of as quick ribs braised with beer from Epic Brewing, charcuterie boards designed with Colorado bison, elk and venison, seasonal vegetables from Colorado growers and desserts from Aspen Baking Company.

The drink menu for the start would not showcase any regional wine (it’s from California and Oregon in its place), but it does offer you Colorado beers (Denver Beer Company). Rocky Mountaineer claimed the beverage range could continue on to adjust all over the inaugural season as it appears to be like to set up a lot more community partnerships.

There are two lessons of services on the Rockies to the Pink Rocks itinerary: SilverLeaf ($1,250 for every man or woman) and SilverLeaf Moreover ($1,645). Both involve all foods and beverages — the two alcoholic and non-alcoholic — seats adjacent to outsized glass-dome home windows and an overnight resort keep in Glenwood Springs at possibly the Glenwood Lodge Colorado, the Hotel Denver or the Glenwood Scorching Springs Vacation resort.

The SilverLeaf As well as provides an added training course throughout meals and unique access to a independent lounge that characteristics a mixologist who will make craft cocktails with top quality spirits.

Nevertheless foods are liked at your seat, there is cause to get up and stroll all over — just about every car, regardless of course, has a compact out of doors viewing system wherever you can get a blast of clean mountain air.

The train passes through Eagle County, Colorado.

The practice passes by way of Eagle County, Colorado.

Salvador Lopez/Emotion Cinema

The journey — mountains, scorching springs and canyons

The Rocky Mountaineer can be ridden in possibly course, but here, we concentration on the east-to-west route.

The journey begins in Denver, the place travellers board the Rocky Mountaineer at the Union Pacific Railyard at 9 a.m. From there, the coach sets off for an eight-hour, 175-mile journey to Glenwood Springs.

As you bit by bit roll out of downtown Denver (5,280 feet higher than sea amount), wave goodbye to the skyscrapers and bustling city lifetime. You will not likely come upon either of them all over again.

The train breaks free of charge of the metropolitan space and begins climbing into the Entrance Range of the Rocky Mountains by way of the “Huge 10 Curve.” It was crafted in the early 1900s as a switchback to aid trains climb the steep terrain. At about the middle of the curve, two dozen rail cars and trucks crammed with cement are permanently parked along with the observe as a wind block. If you check out a person of the out of doors viewing platforms at this time, you could experience for on your own the region’s notorious winds.

Immediately after the climb into the Rockies, you may occur to the Moffatt Tunnel. It is really been open up for virtually a hundred several years (considering that 1928), and it cuts by way of the Continental Divide at 9,239 ft higher than sea degree to the base of Winter Park Ski Space.

Just down the tracks from there, in Granby, you’ll pick up the mighty Colorado River and observe it, much more or considerably less, for the remainder of your journey to Moab. Observe as the inexperienced and yellow ranch lands and expansive valleys give way to a series of canyons, the 1st day culminating with a journey via Glenwood Canyon.

Sixteen miles in duration, it is just one of the most scenic stretches of street and keep track of in the full point out of Colorado, with jagged partitions that increase to a lot more than 1,300 feet tall. It serves as the gateway to Glenwood Springs, wherever you may disembark for the evening with a probability to check out its downtown area and soak in a scorching spring.
Passengers spend the night in their choice of three hotels in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Passengers shell out the night time in their alternative of three motels in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Courtesy Emotion Cinema

The future day’s route concerning Glenwood Springs and Moab is 194 miles, lengthier than the prior day. But, mainly because this journey follows a decrease in elevation, the journey normally takes only 5 several hours.

Yesterday, you received to see the how the city of Denver and the Front Variety transition into the significant elevation of the Rocky Mountains. Now, you can uncover how Colorado’s Western Slope transitions from substantial alpine forests to crimson rock cliffs and canyons.

The convergence takes position west of Glenwood in the Grand Valley, where the 11,000-foot Grand Mesa and its thick, environmentally friendly forests are juxtaposed with the beige, sandstone cliffs of the E-book Cliffs Mountain Range.

As you enter the Grand Valley, you’ll move by means of the tiny city of Palisade, home to the Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway, with additional than 30 wineries and about two dozen peach orchards butted up versus the E book Cliffs.

From there, it can be 25 miles through Ruby Canyon and its purple sandstone cliffs, an spot only accessible by teach, foot or raft. The prepare then crosses into Utah, and the Rocky Mountains give way to the expansive desert that potential customers into Moab.

Using the practice as a launching place

Standard coach journey wisdom suggests it is the journey and not the place that matters. Fortunately, Rocky Mountaineer’s technique is a little far more modern-day and a tiny far more inclusive.

Naturally, the two-day practical experience on the coach is the principal dish, but Rocky Mountaineer encourages its attendees to expend additional time in its places with pre- and publish-vacation arranging companies.

When scheduling, it will aid guests make a larger journey of it by arranging extended stays at the origin and desired destination. It also associates with tour corporations to facilitate adventures in the surrounding areas.

The train passes close to attractions such as Arches National Park in Utah. The rail line offers add-on tours to the park and other spots on either end of the journey.

The coach passes shut to sights these as Arches Nationwide Park in Utah. The rail line features add-on excursions to the park and other spots on either stop of the journey.

Courtesy Rocky Mountaineer

There are bundle alternatives for add-on excursions, things to do and resort stays in Denver and Moab, which include Arches and Canyonlands Countrywide Parks, as effectively as within-achieve places these kinds of as Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell, Salt Lake Metropolis and Las Vegas.

The inaugural season for Rockies to the Crimson Rocks will operate now although November 19. The 2022 season will be prolonged to seven months and commence up coming spring.

Will McGough is a travel author, writer and tour guide.

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