All Aboard the World’s Best Luxury Journey
Few inventions have shaped our settlement of the world as we know it quite like the train. And while there are other ways to get around, there is not quite anything that replaces the romance, nostalgia and experience of a luxury train journey. And while the world has a lot of bucket list journeys to get through, Rocky Mountaineer, a luxury train experience that offers travellers the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada, has recently taken out the top gong with the 2022 “Luxury Train Journey of the Year” at the World Travel Awards.
Rocky Mountaineer operates four rail routes, connecting Vancouver to destinations in the Canadian Rockies and the Southwest United States. These routes offer up stunning views of steep canyons, lush forests, and sparkling lakes through the train’s spacious, glass-domed coaches. Additionally, guests are treated to first-class comfort and impeccable service, as well as meals and award-winning wines from British Columbia.
One of the unique aspects of Rocky Mountaineer is that all the routes are operated during daylight hours only, which allows guests to fully appreciate the stunning scenery and natural beauty along the way.
The 10-day “Journey through the Clouds Mountain Adventures” package, for instance, is ideal for adventure seekers and includes two-and-a-half days of guided heli-hiking, three nights in mountain lodges, and scenic gondola rides.
The 8-day “First Passage to the West” package, on the other hand, is perfect for history buffs, as it explores the history and culture of the Canadian Rockies, and includes stops in the towns of Kamloops, Lake Louise, and Banff.
The 8-day “Rainforest to Gold Rush” package provides an opportunity to explore the unspoiled beauty of the Pacific Northwest and stops in Kamloops, Quesnel, and Whistler.
Lastly, the 7-day “Coastal Passage” package lets travellers experience the rugged beauty of the Pacific coastline and includes stops in Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria.
Among the fleet of Rocky Mountaineers railcars, the GoldLeaf class carriages stand out as the most luxurious, offering guests a unique and customisable experience.
The GoldLeaf class carriages are built by the Swiss company Stadler Rail, a company that specialises in the manufacture of passenger railcars. These carriages are two-level, with a capacity of 72 seats, and feature large panoramic windows that provide spectacular views of the surroundings. These windows are made of an advanced material that utilises a technology called SPD (Suspended Particle Device) to allow guests to customise the opacity of the glass.
SPD technology is a cutting-edge innovation that is embedded in the curved portion of the upper panorama glass of the GoldLeaf class carriages. It works by using a small electric current to control the movement of tiny particles suspended in a liquid solution within the glass. When the current is applied, the particles align and become opaque, blocking the light and providing privacy. When the current is removed, the particles scatter and become transparent, allowing for maximum light transmission and unobstructed views.
This technology allows guests to customise the glass opacity upon request, from completely clear to completely opaque. This feature is particularly useful during the morning and evening hours when the sun is low in the sky and can cause glare, making it difficult to see the surroundings which of course is highly important.