All aboard!

When you hear the “All aboard” cry and the old train whistle echoes mournfully around the Rocky Mountaineer departure hall, you can’t help the hairs standing up on the back of your neck.

OK, so it’s a bit corny, but hey, this is the start of one of the great train journeys of the world.

Crisp, early morning sunshine threw long shadows over the concourse as Bob and Pat dropped us off at the Rocky Mountaineer’s Vancouver terminal.

“The service starts here”, Bob said as cheerful young guys whipped our cases away. We knew we wouldn’t see them again until the following night, so had packed overnight, carry-on bags for the two-day journey.

After a cheerful and efficient check-in, there was time for a quick coffee with Bob and Pat in the concourse as we thanked them for their hospitality and for showing us around their fabulous part of our world.RM All Aboard

Then that train whistle blew, like a line from an old song, and it was time to climb on board.

Janos was our car steward, looking after the 40 or so people in our 60 seat carriage.

We backed up for nearly a kilometre through an urban industrial landscape in order to switch tracks. The depot-based Rocky staff lined the track waving Canadian flags as we left the marshalling yards. Corny, but everyone was grinning from ear to ear as we picked up speed out through the Vancouver suburbs alongside the Fraser River.

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