First Passage to the West
In 1990, Canada's first privately owned luxury passenger train commenced its introductory route into the Canadian Rockies. The train was Rocky Mountaineer, and the path it followed was the First Passage to the West. Over 30 years have passed since this initial expedition, and this route continues to be a favorite of travelers and stun with its immense beauty and authentic look at wild Canada.
Traveling from Vancouver to Banff, with an overnight in Kamloops in between, this train route spans over two comfortable travel days. On the first day, guests board the train in Vancouver and watch as views of the Pacific Ocean and the impressive skyline fade into the distance.
On the second day of travel, the train departs from Kamloops, following the Thompson River past lakes and through the Shuswap region. The distant mountains approach as the train proceeds toward Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven in 1885. Travelers enjoy lovely views as the train crosses the Stoney Creek Bridge and passes Canada's Continental Divide. Soon, the towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies surround, and the train pulls into the station in Banff - a day's journey of just over 300 miles.
Take in all the scenery from the train's domed-glass railcars or from the open-air observation deck, which provides an even more immersive travel opportunity. Guests may choose to indulge in the experience from either SilverLeaf Service or GoldLeaf Service on the train.
A journey on the First Passage to the West route presents the very best of Western Canada.