Riding North America’s Rails

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“This trip is the perfect introduction for anyone interested in experiencing the romance of rail travel,” says Armstrong. “The single overnight gives travelers a great sense of what it’s all about, without forcing them to commit more than one night of their vacation to train travel. It’s a special and memorable component of a very popular itinerary for us, and it’s perfectly complemented by overnights in four incredible Fairmont properties.”

westerly trails Clients with a taste for the Old West and a love of the rails will want to know about Uncommon Journeys’ The Great Trains of the American West, with only three departures this year (June, July and August). It’s an old-fashioned adventure evoking the black-and-whites of the past, with scenic daytime train rides aboard some of the most famous locomotives still running today.

Guests spend two nights in Denver and explore Rocky Mountain National Park before visiting Colorado Springs, then head to Manitou Springs for a ride on board the Manitou Cog Railroad to the top of Pikes Peak. From Canon City, they’ll board the Royal Gorge Route Railroad to get amazing views of Royal Gorge, disembarking to ride the incline railway up to the park.

After an overnight in the mining town of Alamos, it’s off to Chama, New Mexico, over the Cumbres Pass aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. The next day, clients will board the Durango & Silverton Railroad from Durango through the San Juan Mountains and San Juan National Forest and get some down time in Ouray, Colorado, before spending the night at Grand Junction. On day eight, it’s all about the Heber Valley Railroad through Provo Canyon and a spa visit in hot mineral pools before boarding the Great Western Limited, Uncommon Journeys’ own 1940s-style streamliner, for an overnight jaunt from Provo to Sacramento via the Overland Route of the Union Pacific Railroad. Here they’ll indulge in a champagne and chocolate reception and rest well in Pullman accommodations.

The next day, they’ll continue over the Transcontinental Railroad and tackle the gorgeous Sierra Nevada Mountains, then arrive in Sacramento for a 2-night stay that includes a visit to the California State Railroad Museum and a farewell dinner on the Delta Kingriverboat. The 11-day trip starts at $2,795 pp.