The Rocky Mountaineer rail-tour company is ready to chug through 2020 and celebrate its 30th anniversary with delivery of its 10th new rail car.
The company, which draws international tourists for a glimpse of Western Canada’s Rocky Mountains, is poised to double guest capacity with the purchase of the rail cars. Rocky Mountaineer estimates it generated between $47 and $49 million of spending in Kamloops in 2017 — figures based on company and passenger spending — and expects that number to increase in the years ahead.
Rocky Mountaineer operates from mid-April to mid-October on four routes through B.C. and Alberta, with a cross-border connection to Seattle. Tens of thousands of people come to Kamloops aboard its trains each year, with the majority staying one night.
The new rail cars — ordered in 2015 from Stadler in Germany — seat 72 guests and feature dome windows that can be dimmed to moderate intensity of incoming sunlight. The rail cars also have redesigned galleys to heighten culinary offerings, as well as other technical features to enhance guest experiences.
Many of the differences, though, have been made to help the onboard team.
Older rail cars continue to be maintained and refurbished. During the summer months, when the company is at peak capacity, Rocky Mountaineer will use all of the cars available.
“We are extremely excited to add these new GoldLeaf rail cars to our fleet and they have been extremely well received by both our guests and our team,” said Steve Sammut, president and chief executive officer of Rocky Mountaineer.
“The delivery of this final rail car marks a key milestone for our team ahead of our 30th anniversary season and we look forward to hosting and showcasing the best of Western Canada to even more guests in 2020 and beyond.”
Rocky Mountaineer has doubled its capacity over the past six years with the addition of the 10 GoldLeaf and another 12 SilverLeaf rail cars.
Rocky Mountaineer employs between 60 and 65 full-time staff in Kamloops, with an additional 30 to 40 workers who are seasonal. Kamloops is home to Rocky Mountaineer’s maintenance, rail operations, engineering, finance, human resources and training teams.
Its operations centre is also run from Kamloops during the rail-tour season.
Rocky Mountaineer is also a consistent supporter of community events in Kamloops, including involvement in the Toys for Kids drive and the CP Holiday Train food bank fundraiser.