Last updated: 07:59 AM ET, Mon July 11 2016

Rocky Mountaineer Silverleaf Upgrades

Enhancements include heated seats, tray tables that release from chair arms and the addition of power ports

Vacation Agent | Car Rental & Rail | Theresa Norton

Rocky Mountaineer Silverleaf Upgrades

PHOTO: The Rocky Mountaineer's SilverLeaf rail cars pass by Yellowhead Lake in Alberta.

Rocky Mountaineer, which operates train vacations through the scenic Canadian Rockies and Pacific Northwest, is upgrading the SilverLeaf rail cars.

Alstom, the company that built the train cars, is stripping them to their frames and rebuilding them. Three rail cars have already been upgraded and three more will be completed in time for the 2017 season.

A signature feature of SilverLeaf cars is oversized windows. The refurbishment will add power ports for both U.S. and Canadian electrical and USB plugs. The refurbished cars will have heated seats and tray tables that are released from the chair arm instead of the seat in front, making it easier for eating meals.

“We underwent extensive research to understand what our guests require to be completely comfortable and have every amenity available at their seat,” says Gord Miller, vice president of rail operations and asset development for Vancouver-based Rocky Mountaineer.

SilverLeaf service includes train travel in a single-level dome car with hot breakfast and lunch (some dinners might be included on select itineraries), two onboard hosts and a culinary team member, alcoholic and soft beverages, gourmet snacks and outdoor viewing areas between coaches.

The trains travel during the day and guests stay in hotels along the route.

GoldLeaf Service offers an upgraded menu of amenities, including two-level rail cars with an upstairs seating area and a restaurant on the lower level. It also includes a welcome-aboard toast, an à la carte menu for breakfasts and lunches, and afternoon wine and cheese service.

The company works with travel agents and has an online training program. Visit

Rocky Mountaineer News Update

New ship options: The company is adding Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam as a ship option for rail-cruise vacations that begin or end in Vancouver. The Amsterdam and Westerdam continue to be available for trips beginning or ending in Seattle.

A longer season: Rocky Mountaineer's travel season is being extended by two weeks through Oct. 15, 'due to heavy demand for September travel.

New package options: Rocky Mountaineer has introduced a new five-night "Western Explorer Excursion," which is a shorter version of the seven-night "Western Explorer" package. It operates from Vancouver to Kamloops, Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff. Also new is the three-day "Rainforest to Gold Rush" route traveling between Vancouver and Jasper.

New hotels: Due to increased sales, more hotels in Banff have been added, including Banff International Hotel, Fox Hotel & Suites, Banff Park Lodge and Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge.

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Vacation Agent Magazine

A version of this article appears in print in the June 2016 issue of Vacation Agent Magazine.