Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer snags two including top spot 16 JUL 2009: Two Rocky Mountaineer rail journeys have been selected by the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) as the most exciting and scenic train experiences in the world. SATW, the world’s largest organization of professional travel journalists and photographers with members in the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia, recently conducted a poll on the “Top 10” train rides. Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer took the number one spot, with the Whistler Mountaineer, coming in at number eight.
“It is truly an honour for our Rocky Mountaineer train to be recognized and singled-out as the best in the world by SATW, a prestigious organization with members who are highly respected for providing expert travel advice,” says Randy Powell, President of Rocky Mountaineer.
“Having both of our trains selected in the “Top 10” is an amazing acknowledgement and gives us further indication that we are providing our guests with premier travel experiences.”
Listed in order of votes are the world’s “Top 10″ train rides:
1. The Rocky Mountaineer (www.rockymountaineer.com ) offers spectacular two-day journeys through the Canadian Rocky Mountains from Vancouver to Banff or Jasper.
2. The Glacier Express (www.glacierexpress.ch ) is the famous Swiss mountain railway from St. Moritz to Zermatt, a 7.5 hour railway journey that crosses 291 bridges and burrows through 91 tunnels.
3. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (www.durangotrain.com ) winds through rugged canyons in the remote wilderness of Colorado’s two-million-acre San Juan National Forest. The narrow-gauge train is pulled by a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive along the same tracks traveled over a century ago by miners, cowboys and settlers of the Old West.
4. The Bernina Express (www.rhb.ch ) from Chur, Switzerland to Tirano, Italy, makes the highest rail crossing of the Alps, passing from icy glaciers to palm-shaded piazzas in just a few hours. It crosses 196 bridges and passes through 55 tunnels, while winding around countless spectacular switchbacks. You can take the scenic stretch from St. Moritz to Tirano for lunch in Italy in just three hours.
5. Peru Rail, Cusco to Machu Picchu (www.perurail.com ), carries passengers on a spectacular journey through the high Andes. There are three levels of service, from backpacker trains to Vistadome cars to the luxurious blue and gold Hiram Bingham train, named in honor of Hiram Bingham, the explorer who discovered the Inca citadel in 1911.
The train passes by lush green fields and colorful villages in the foothills of the Andes and climbs along the Urubamba River through a dramatic canyon before reaching Machu Picchu.
6. The Coastal Classic Train on the Alaska Railroad (www.akrr.com ) winds through the wilderness between Anchorage and Seward. Massive glaciers are visible from the track as the train climbs into the Kenai Mountains and travels to the shores of Resurrection Bay for convenient connection to Kenai Fjords National Park, offering whale watching, sea kayaking, tidewater glacier viewing, fishing, and dog sled rides.
7. The Royal Scotsman (www.royalscotsman.com ) rolls through the ever-changing landscapes of sweeping glens, towering peaks and mirror-calm lochs as the train weaves through wild countryside and along virgin stretches of coast on two to seven night journeys in the Scottish highlands.
8. The Whistler Mountaineer (www.whistlermountaineer.com ) in Canada is a three-hour ride along the magnificent coast of British Columbia, from Vancouver to Whistler, famous for its views of cities, old-growth forests, deep valleys, snowcapped peaks and seascapes.
9. Mexico’s El Chepe (www.chepe.com.mx ) ventures into the imposing landscapes of the Sierra Tarahumara and into Mexico’s famed Copper Canyon, passing through 87 tunnels and crossing 37 bridges. The Copper Canyon is four times the size of the Grand Canyon - and deeper.
10. The Flam Railway (www.norwaynutshell.com ) is regarded as one of the highlights of the “Norway in a Nutshell” tour. The 20-km-long train journey from the mountain station of Myrdal down to Flam, beside a fjord, takes 55 minutes. On the journey, you have views of some of the most magnificent mountain scenery in Norway with a panorama of tall mountains and cascading waterfalls. The train moves slowly or stops at the best views
The Society of American Travel Writers, comprised of more than 1,300 writers, photographers, journalists, film producers and public relations professionals, aims to promote responsible journalism and encourages the conservation and preservation of historic sites and natural wonders worldwide.