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Finding the SilverLeaf Lining

SilverLeaf train

Canada Rail Vacations’ journeys through Western Canada and its rugged terrain are among the most spectacular voyages in the world. They snake along silver rails through superlative scenery and with Rocky Mountaineer’s new SilverLeaf Service, guests will find a balance between vistas and convenience, engineering and elegance.

The SilverLeaf Service takes some of the value of the RedLeaf Service and marries it to some of the exacting standards of Rocky Mountaineer’s acclaimed GoldLeaf Service. And it delivers all that comfort and convenience beneath ceiling height glass – quite literally a traveler’s windows on the outside world. These raised windows over your reclined seats protect from the elements while Mother Nature’s show constantly unfolds beyond the glass, making this a unique journey among the world’s great train trips.

Inside the SilverLeaf’s single-level coaches are comfortable seats where passengers are served breakfast and lunch each day and complimentary snacks with refreshing drinks. Alcoholic beverages are also available and are included as part of the service to toast the start of the rail journey. Wine or beer is also served with lunch, regardless of whether you’re on a circuit route or just heading in one direction.

If you begin your journey in Calgary, at the western edge of the great Canadian prairies, Banff, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies or in Vancouver, gateway to the Pacific, your journey will include a motorcoach transfer between train and hotel for your overnight stay in Kamloops.

This city in the British Columbia interior marks the approximate halfway point of the journey. To the east of Kamloops lies the Okanagan, a large region of semi-arid transition between the sky-scraping peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the lush forests of the wetter West Coast. To the west of Kamloops are the Fraser Canyon and the remnants of the famous Cariboo Gold Rush. Once upon a time a person could walk onto a sandbar in the Fraser River, bend down and pick up fistfuls of gold nuggets. Likewise, those traveling between Vancouver and Jasper also spend a night in Kamloops.

Those guests travelling on the North Vancouver – Whistler – Jasper route will enjoy an overnight stay in Quesnel at roughly the halfway point of the journey. This city was built on the forest industry and logging remains at the heart of its economy. Running through the centre of town is the Fraser River, which eventually winds its way south to pour into the Salish Sea at Vancouver. Each of British Columbia’s cities has its own unique character and Quesnel is no exception. Those arriving from Vancouver will find a remarkable contrast.

Back onboard the train, allow the attendants to entertain and educate with facts, stories and interpretations. These men and women are dedicated to sharing with visitors the great tales of how the railway helped shape the West. They will explain how to identify wild animals; what makes the grizzly and black bears so appealing and so dangerous; the diets of bald eagles and any other land feature, historical anecdote or interesting piece of information inside and outside the scenic domes.

The range of services and amenities within the three levels of service include chilled breakfasts and lunches with RedLeaf Service and standard scenic windows. SilverLeaf Service offers a choice of chilled and hot breakfasts and lunches, single-level dome coaches and a guide to entertain and astound.

Meanwhile, GoldLeaf offers hot breakfasts and lunches, bi-level dome coaches for unparalleled scenic viewing, not to mention a platform outside for unobstructed views and photography, as well as the finest available hotel accommodation.

Whatever your budget, whatever your priorities, Canada Rail Vacations has a package to match. It’s the ideal way to see vast portions of Western Canada. Where driving a car is too demanding and flying a plane skips over the views, traveling by rail is the ideal solution. Someone else does the driving, no views are missed and all the while staff wait on you hand and foot.

So come for the holiday and take home a world of memories and photographs and all the new friends you can make during your Rocky Mountain holiday.

At days’ end, when the train rolls into its final destination, guests will also receive a commemorative Rocky Mountaineer pin. For those who didn’t bring a camera, this might be the only physical proof that it wasn’t all just a wonderful dream.

quintin winks
writer photographer
victoria british columbia



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