Train travel is not only luxurious and relaxing -- it's iconically Canadian. In 1881, anxious to bring the west into confederation and shut out U.S. expansion, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) was pushed through to the West Coast. For this reason, trains are important to our psyche, and with this beautifully scenic country we live in, the ride is worth its weight in gold.
“There's a real aura of age-old romance,” explains travel expert Chris Robinson, host of the Chris Robinson Travel Show. “It represents the days when travel was still fun, and getting there was part and parcel of the whole travel experience.
One of the best ways to take in the Rockies and Whistler without getting behind the wheel is to ride the Rocky Mountaineer. Travellers can choose from four routes, each exploring different mountain vistas.
The Rocky Mountaineer runs from the end of April until the first week of October, giving passengers an opportunity to take in the scenery in different seasons.
“The colours are glorious in the fall. It's a fabulous way of seeing the fall foliage and have someone else keep their eyes on the rails. You can lie back and luxuriate in the glory of nature,” says Robinson.
And then there's the close-up view of nature. The salmon are spawning and the train gets very close to where this happens, you can see them running up the river,” explains Kate Hillary, eastern Canada representative for Rocky Mountaineer.
Chugging along the rails is also a great experience for children. Unlike air travel, kids have room to roam and aren't cooped up in a seat for hours at a time.
Train travel is also exciting because it's for everyone. There are adventurous trips like the White Pass Yukon Route Railroad or luxury trips like the Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix that runs along 140 km of breathtaking scenery from Québec City to La Malbaie.
“Its'a really relaxing way to travel -- you're not rushed, everything is taken care of for you, like food and other amenities,” Hillary gushes.
Here's a list of some popular train trips you can take throughout Canada: