B.C. Rail reviving romance of rail travel with Whistler Northwind 

Visitors to B.C. are being invited to indulge their pioneer souls and enjoy some of the province’s finest scenery and cuisine on a new luxury rail tour.

B.C. Rail’s Whistler Northwind experience is so glamorous that even its own brochure says it’s decadent and extravagant.

The tour starts in North Vancouver and follows a three-day itinerary to Prince George, with overnight stops in Whistler and 100 Mile House. There’s also a southbound option, boarding in Prince George and finishing in Whistler the following day.

The train is comprised of six refurbished classic cars (one more than 60 years old) and three new custom-built dome cars offering 180 degree views of the route’s spectacular scenery.

Travellers opting for the Panorama class of service will savour a la carte cuisine and world-renowned wines from British Columbia and beyond in the comfort of their own seats in the dome cars. They can also enjoy the amenities of their own elegant club car.

Passengers choosing the superior Summit service are served gourmet meals in a vintage dining car and can relax in their own cocktail bar.

But such luxury comes with an equally extravagant price tag. A three-day northbound trip costs between $1,200 and $1,375 in Summit class and $900 to $1,050 in Panorama class. The return two-day journey costs between $600 and $1,100 depending on class and date of travel.

Trips can also be extended to include visits to health spas, gold rush towns and working ranches.

B.C. Rail says it’s launching this ambitious new service to cater to affluent older travellers and cruise ship enthusiasts looking for new travel opportunities.

"As tourism continues to enlarge its share of export dollar earnings each year, it made sense for us to establish a new level of passenger rail service allowing us to participate in British Columbia’s success in this global market," explains B.C. Rail’s Robin Kelleher.

The train will operate weekly northbound and southbound departures from May 6 to Oct. 3. B.C. Rail anticipates it will bring between 6,500 and 7,000 new people to Whistler this year alone.

The Crown-owned railway launched the new train after extensive research of popular tourist trains around the world. B.C. Rail has made a long-term commitment to the Whistler Northwind and even though this summer’s trips are considered a "soft" opening for the new service, extensive marketing is expected to bring customers from California and Britain.

More information on the Whistler Northwind can be found on B.C. Rail’s Web site www.bcrail.com or by calling 1-800-663-8238.

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