Two rail companies plan to bring tourist train to Whistler 

Another tourist train company, the famous Rocky Mountaineer, has set its sights on providing a tourist rail service between Whistler and Vancouver.

It would be called the Whistler Mountaineer.

It is not the first company to plan a tourist train in the Sea to Sky corridor.

Only two months ago, Whistler Rail Tours announced a partnership with Via Rail that would revive passenger rail service to Whistler.

Whistler Rail Tours plans to target cruise ship visitors going through Vancouver and entice them to see more of the province by train. The company could also access other Via Rail trains in the north and link up with the new cruise ship terminal which will open next summer in Prince Rupert.

Like Whistler Rail Tours, the Great Canadian Railtour Company, owner and operator of the Rocky Mountaineer, also has its sights set beyond Whistler.

GCRC has also proposed a second tourist train service that would leave from Whistler and go to Prince George as an overnight stop. Passengers would then be able carry on to Jasper on the Rocky Mountaineer.

"The extension of this service, and the introduction of the Whistler Mountaineer would provide GCRC with an opportunity to showcase British Columbia through our network of 320 tour operators and 30,000 travel agents," said GCRC President and CEO Peter Armstrong.

Armstrong was in Whistler recently pitching the Whistler Mountaineer to business and community leaders.

But before any passenger service is finalized the province has to decide who will operate the BC Rail line for freight service in the corridor. Three potential buyers are in the bidding and any tourist train company would have to negotiate a deal to use the rail with the new freight operator.

The province is not expected to make a decision on the new BC Rail operator for several more weeks.

In the meantime, the Nita Lake Lodge development has been approved in Whistler and a brand-new multi-million dollar train station will be coming to Creekside in the coming years. Proponents of the Nita Lake Lodge development are also involved in Whistler Rail Tours.


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