Planning a lovers tryst or even a longer vacation is a challenge these days. With the high price of gas, airline delays and hotel rooms that are never ready before 3 pm, time away can be more stressful than a week in the office. So pack your partner, book a pair of window seats and thank your lucky stars you left the car at home.
Whether it’s a cross-continent adventure or a romantic interlude pour deux, the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Edna St. Vincent Millay said it right when she wrote ‘My heart is warm with the friends I make, And better friends I’ll not be knowing; Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take, No matter where it’s going.’For grand views of the Canadian West, the Rocky Mountaineer train recaptures the romance of rail as it meanders from British Columbia to Alberta. Rolling along a route that hasn’t changed in a hundred years, the train travels during daylight hours for spectacular vistas of the glacier-fed lakes, majestic mountain ranges and ferocious rivers.
It’s Dome Sweet Dome in a two level; glass-domed GoldLeaf coach that puts you right in the middle of the awe-inspiring scenery of the Canadian Rockies. “We are constantly innovating to keep our product best-in-class while offering greater travel options for our guests,” says Randy Powell, president, Rocky Mountaineer. Visit www.rockymountaineer.com.
For romance on the eastern side of Canada, it’s the stuff of romance novels as the train travels cross-country past mountain sheep grazing in the Rockies, elk lumbering outside Jasper and the bright lights of the Toronto skyline. The aptly named “Canadian” VIA Rail train makes the trip traversing the landscape in high-style with stellar service that’s well worth the splurge. Pampering newlyweds with comfy sleeping compartments, pillow-top chocolates, top-shelf wine, breakfast in bed and 360 degree views from the panoramic Dome car, the Canadian train also starts in Toronto making the same trip westbound to Vancouver. Visit www.viarail.ca.
Built in 1897 to connect the Gold Country and Central Valley, California’s Sierra Railroad has appeared in more than three hundred films including High Noon and Unforgiven. Departing from Oakdale, just east of San Francisco, the historic train hosts onboard entertainment from Wild West shows and wine tastings to murder mystery theatre. Visit www.sierrarailroad.com/
For something completely different, Peru Rail offers a day trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu aboard the art deco Hiram Bingham train. Named in honor of the anthropologist who discovered the Inca citadel in 1911, the 1920’s Pullman ambles past towering mountains and peaceful villages at the foothills of the Andes. Skirting the roaring waters of the Urubamba River and rolling through a dramatic canyon before reaching the World Heritage Site, this heart-palpitating adventure is the stuff of lasting memories. Visit www.perurail.com
Top Train Movies – courtesy Amtrak.com
Movies and trains — what better combination? Here are just a few films you may remember that feature trains or feature memorable train scenes.
- Polar Express, 2004
Tom Hanks, Daryl Sabara
- Planes, Trains and Automobiles, 1997
Steve Martin, John Candy
- The Great Train Robbery, 1979
Sean Connery, Lesley-Anne Down
- Murder on the Orient Express, 1974
Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman
- The Sting, 1973
John Wayne, Ann-Margret
- The French Connection, 1971
Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969
Paul Newman, Robert Redford
- Doctor Zhivago, 1965
Omar Sharif, Julie Christie
- A Hard Day’s Night, 1964
- North by Northwest, 1959
Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
- Some Like It Hot, 1959
Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon
- The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1957
William Holden, Alex Guiness
- Shanghai Express, 1932
Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong
- The General, 1927