Rocky Mountaineer Train Part 1

Crossing the Canadian Rockies in Style!

Trip Report:  20070805

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The Trip

The Rocky Mountaineer train left from essentially the same building as the hotel. We did not have to go outside to reach the boarding point. Due to the number of folks on the train, we were required to be at the boarding area at 0545. An early start, but it was worth it. Since it was summer and we were far north, it had been light for some time. This made getting photos somewhat easier. The first day would take us over the main part of the Canadian Rockies and deposit us in Kamloops for the night. The terrain was off the chart and the colors were bright enough to make your eyes hurt. Over all, the whole experience exceeded my expectations on every front - food, accommodations, service, etc. If you have the time and the money, this is truly a trip worth taking.

The photos below are what we saw.

With the "Gold Leaf" service, they laid out the red carpet -- literally. Here, 2 of our attendants assist me in the boarding process. On the left is Cora and on the right is David.

Here, we are in the lower level of our car where the dining room was located. Breakfast was great and the food was excellent.

Our first view of the Canadian Rockies was just outside of Calgary and had not only nice rock faces but an aspen grove punctuated with cattle.

As we proceeded up the canyon, I was surprised to see this mineral operation. In retrospect, it should have been obvious, the mountains are heavily mineralized and therefore one would expect these operations. I am hoping that the plume is only steam as opposed to industrial pollutants.

Another 20 miles up the canyon we came to another operation. I think this is gypsum, but I am not sure and was unable to read the sign on the facility as we sped past.

Yet another facility with an awesome backdrop to its operations.

The Gold Leaf cars were richly appointed with comfortable, reclining seats and several full time attendants serving cocktails (included in the price) and snacks between meals.

We stopped at a ski town near Banff to pick up additional cabin attendants. These stores were visible from the train with an incredible backdrop of mountains.

Just before we hit Banff, we came upon this waterfall cascading down the sheer face of this mountain.

Banff station. We took on a substantial number of passengers. These folks are ready to board the train.

The lakes in the Banff area were a milky blue color. The color comes from dissolved minerals and salts in the water. Later in this photo set, we will see that the water turns from blue to white as the suspension gets more concentrated.

Nice reflections of the mountains in the lake.

The train prepares to pass beneath a large range of mountains.

This is Castle Mountain.

The views from the train were breathtaking. We were lucky that the weather held for the entire train trip.

The Canadian Rockies get heavy snows in the winter. Here is a snow plow that was stored aside the main track as we past.

Lake Louse station.

There were many osprey along our route. Also called "fish eagles", these birds nest atop trees and phone poles. Note the hooked beak on this fellow as he waits for lunch.

The grass lands were very green and here the blue sky makes a nice contrast to the greens of the forest.

One of many high alpine ice fields that we passed.

Some of the peaks were very high with steep faces with extensive ski slopes at the bottom.

More ice fields though in this case I think they would be called glaciers.

I amassed this set of photos before lunch. I burned through several hundred frames and this set represents the best of these morning shots. The next set has many nice photos as well, see the link below.

Rocky Mountaineer Part 2

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