Photo credit: Rocky Mountaineer
Vancouver Train Travel
If you think the glamour of train travel is long gone, you've obviously never been to Vancouver, or visited the city by way of rail. These days, Vancouver trains offer some of the most luxurious ways to see the lush landscape of British Columbia and its neighbouring regions. Here are four ways to ride the rails in Vancouver and take advantage of this classic form of transportation.
Amtrak Cascades rail service offers a greener and, some might say, more civilized way to travel the Pacific Northwest. The Amtrak Cascades line provides twice-daily rail service between Eugene, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver (and several smaller towns in between) aboard European-style trains where you can sit back and admire the passing scenery, including vistas of Mount St. Helens and the Columbia River Gorge. Cars are equipped with racks for bicycles and skis, there’s a Bistro Car with regionally-sourced food, coffee, wines and beers; and the generous seats offer electrical outlets and Wi-Fi.
This isn't your average train ride. Rocky Mountaineer combines legendary scenery, world-class service and high-class style. The travel company books vacations on its signature rail routes through Western Canada's landscape and into destinations such as Banff National Park. The trains travel only during the daylight hours so you don’t miss any of the scenery; overnight, passengers retire to the comfort of popular hotels. To no one's surprise, the trip captures the nostalgic era of railroads, recapturing both the excitement and romanticism of train rides.
VIA Rail Canada
Operating nearly 480 trains per week and boasting 14,000 kilometres (8,700 miles) of track, VIA Rail Canada is a real Canadian experience. From Vancouver, trains leave from Pacific Central Station and stop in Edmonton, Jasper, Winnipeg, and finally Toronto, taking passengers through the spectacular boreal forests, prairie sunsets and majestic mountain peaks. Enjoy the panoramic views, the first-class cooking and luxurious accommodations, and if you stop in any of the towns along the way, there's always something fun and exciting to experience.
Those who want to see Vancouver by rail just have to hop on the SkyTrain, the city's urban rapid transit system. It's the longest automated rapid transit system in the world, boasting 68.7 kilometres (42 miles) of track, and from downtown Vancouver, it heads both south and east into the surrounding municipalities. The newest of the routes, the Canada Line offers a convenient way for visitors to travel from Vancouver International Airport to downtown Vancouver. For sightseeing ideas, visit our page, Places to See Via SkyTrain.