Rocky Mountaineer: Canadian luxury educate debuts its 1st US route

(CNN) — The United States’ railroad process is finding a raise from its northern neighbor.

A single of Western Canada’s most-decorated luxury scenic educate strains, the Rocky Mountaineer, released its initially US route on August 15 as a result of its namesake mountain selection, functioning two-day, one-night trips again and forth among Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah.
The new route, regarded as Rockies to the Crimson Rocks, joins the line’s a few rail choices in Western Canada (Vancouver to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper) and takes travellers by means of several distinctive locations of Colorado prior to cruising into the coronary heart of canyon nation 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 Purple Rocks route stretches amongst Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah.

Salvador Lopez/Emotion Cinema

The US, when not acknowledged for its coach vacation, does by now have a handful of committed scenic trains in the West. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Rail, for example, or Amtrak’s Coast Starlight concerning Washington and California.

None, having said that, rather in good shape the same monthly bill as the Rocky Mountaineer, whose exclusive functions, food items and beverage plan and luxurious-centered company have designed it a model for the sector.

Since its inception in 1990, it has been honored by the Entire world Vacation Awards as the “World’s Foremost Vacation Experience by Teach” 8 times, and in 2020, it won a World Vacation Award for “Finest Rail Company.”

US President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure monthly bill phone calls for an expense of $66 billion into Amtrak and America’s railways. But ahead of any of that can appear to fruition, Rocky Mountaineer is off and managing. So what can we assume from its debut in The usa? Come along as we discover the new route.

An right away educate with no sleeper automobiles

Depending on your point of view, the most differentiating issue about the Rocky Mountaineer’s functions is both its very best aggressive advantage or its worst Achilles’ heel: Despite the fact that it is really a multi-day journey, you you should not truly snooze on the practice.

In point, there are no sleeper cars and trucks at all on any of the Rocky Mountaineer’s routes. As an alternative, friends disembark the educate just about every evening and commit the night in a regional hotel.

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

The teach featues expansive windows and only travels during the working day to optimize the surroundings.

Rocky Mountaineer

The function of this setup is two-fold: To make it possible for attendees to get a far better night’s sleep (no rocking and rolling), and to make sure darkness does not cloak the scenery.

“Our routes showcase some of the most stunning surroundings North America has to give,” said Nicole Ford, communications director at Rocky Mountaineer. “Our trains only journey in the course of the working day and feature oversized home windows so friends do not overlook a moment of the at any time-changing landscapes.”

Yet another differentiating variable for this Rocky Mountaineer route is its meals and beverage program, which forgoes a classic eating automobile for an eat-at-your-seat tactic with individual tray tables. Every single row is treated as a table at a restaurant, with personalised provider, scheduled foods and beverages 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-evening journey continue to be right away in a choice of motels. The overnight remain is bundled in the fare.

Salvador Lopez/Emotion Cinema

The menu options neighborhood ingredients, several from locations the educate passes by means of, this kind of as limited ribs braised with beer from Epic Brewing, charcuterie boards created with Colorado bison, elk and venison, seasonal greens from Colorado growers and desserts from Aspen Baking Organization.

The drink menu for the launch does not showcase any regional wine (it’s from California and Oregon in its place), but it does provide Colorado beers (Denver Beer Company). Rocky Mountaineer reported the beverage assortment could proceed to improve in the course of the inaugural period as it looks to set up a lot more local partnerships.

There are two courses of provider on the Rockies to the Crimson Rocks itinerary: SilverLeaf ($1,250 per individual) and SilverLeaf Additionally ($1,645). Both equally incorporate all meals and beverages — equally alcoholic and non-alcoholic — seats adjacent to oversized glass-dome windows and an overnight lodge continue to be in Glenwood Springs at possibly the Glenwood Lodge Colorado, the Lodge Denver or the Glenwood Incredibly hot Springs Vacation resort.

The SilverLeaf Additionally provides an additional program all through meals and exclusive accessibility to a separate lounge that features a mixologist who helps make craft cocktails with high quality spirits.

While meals are loved at your seat, there is cause to get up and wander all-around — each individual motor vehicle, regardless of class, has a modest out of doors viewing system where you can get a blast of contemporary mountain air.

The train passes through Eagle County, Colorado.

The prepare passes through Eagle County, Colorado.

Salvador Lopez/Emotion Cinema

The journey — mountains, incredibly hot springs and canyons

The Rocky Mountaineer can be ridden in either direction, but right here, we emphasis on the east-to-west route.

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

As you little by little roll out of downtown Denver (5,280 ft earlier mentioned sea stage), wave goodbye to the skyscrapers and bustling metropolis lifestyle. You would not encounter either of them again.

The train breaks no cost of the metropolitan area and begins climbing into the Front Assortment of the Rocky Mountains through the “Huge 10 Curve.” It was built 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 loaded with cement are forever parked together with the monitor as a wind block. If you stop by 1 of the out of doors viewing platforms at this time, you may perhaps knowledge for by yourself the region’s infamous winds.

Soon after the climb into the Rockies, you can expect to arrive to the Moffatt Tunnel. It truly is been open up for just about a hundred yrs (since 1928), and it cuts via the Continental Divide at 9,239 ft higher than sea amount to the base of Winter Park Ski Region.

Just down the tracks from there, in Granby, you will choose up the mighty Colorado River and comply with it, far more or less, for the remainder of your journey to Moab. View as the environmentally friendly and yellow ranch lands and expansive valleys give way to a collection of canyons, the to start with day culminating with a trip by Glenwood Canyon.

Sixteen miles in duration, it is 1 of the most scenic stretches of highway and monitor in the full point out of Colorado, with jagged partitions that increase to far more than 1,300 feet tall. It serves as the gateway to Glenwood Springs, in which you are going to disembark for the night time with a opportunity to take a look at its downtown place and soak in a scorching spring.
Passengers spend the night in their choice of three hotels in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Passengers spend the evening in their choice of three motels in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Courtesy Emotion Cinema

The upcoming day’s route amongst Glenwood Springs and Moab is 194 miles, extended than the earlier working day. But, mainly because this journey follows a decrease in elevation, the journey requires only five several hours.

Yesterday, you bought to see the how the city of Denver and the Front Selection changeover into the substantial elevation of the Rocky Mountains. Now, you are going to find how Colorado’s Western Slope transitions from substantial alpine forests to crimson rock cliffs and canyons.

The convergence can take place west of Glenwood in the Grand Valley, wherever the 11,000-foot Grand Mesa and its thick, environmentally friendly forests are juxtaposed with the beige, sandstone cliffs of the Reserve Cliffs Mountain Variety.

As you enter the Grand Valley, you’ll go by the little town of Palisade, property to the Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway, with extra than 30 wineries and about two dozen peach orchards butted up in opposition to the Book Cliffs.

From there, it truly is 25 miles by Ruby Canyon and its purple sandstone cliffs, an place only accessible by teach, foot or raft. The teach then crosses into Utah, and the Rocky Mountains give way to the expansive desert that leads into Moab.

Applying the prepare as a launching issue

Classic prepare journey wisdom states it’s the journey and not the vacation spot that matters. Luckily, Rocky Mountaineer’s solution is a small more present day and a minor far more inclusive.

Obviously, the two-day working experience on the teach is the major dish, but Rocky Mountaineer encourages its company to spend extra time in its locations with pre- and post-excursion scheduling services.

When scheduling, it will assist company make a greater trip of it by arranging prolonged stays at the origin and spot. It also companions with tour organizations to aid adventures in the bordering spots.

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 teach passes close to sights these types of as Arches National Park in Utah. The rail line delivers incorporate-on tours to the park and other spots on both conclusion of the journey.

Courtesy Rocky Mountaineer

There are package selections for add-on tours, functions and hotel stays in Denver and Moab, such as Arches and Canyonlands Nationwide Parks, as effectively as within-get to places these kinds of as Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell, Salt Lake Metropolis and Las Vegas.

The inaugural time for Rockies to the Pink Rocks will operate now although November 19. The 2022 year will be extended to 7 months and start following spring.

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