Where in the World

by Sarah Welch

Living in Rusk, we’re all familiar with our very own Texas State Railroad. Many of us fought to keep this treasure on the tracks when the state wanted to close it and allow it to rust. I am so thankful that private companies stepped up and kept it rolling for the enjoyment of many. There is something magical about train travel. Sitting back while someone else does the driving, you can watch the scenery fly by your window.

I’ve ridden trains in Europe which operate like clockwork. If you’re late, you miss your train! Europeans depend much more on public transportation than we do in the United States, so their rail lines are extensive with regular service with most areas readily available.

The most beautiful and luxurious train trip I’ve experienced is the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver, British Columbia to Banff, Alberta, Canada. From the glass-domed car you will view breathtaking mountains, forests and rivers as the Rocky Mountaineer travels through otherwise inaccessible terrain, all while enjoying complimentary drinks and gourmet snacks. There is even an outdoor viewing platform if you want to get an even closer look at nature.

The dining car is down one level and serves a three course dinner, prepared on board by their executive chefs and served by delightful young attendants.

Day one of the trip departs Vancouver and journeys through the green Fraser Valley with mountain peaks always in view and the raging whitewater of Hell’s Gate on the Fraser River. There is a stop at Kamloops for riders to disembark for the night and rest in a local hotel.

Day two continues east along the South Thompson River and past the location where the last spike was driven on the Canadian Pacific Railway, uniting the nation.

Arriving in Banff, riders check in at the historic Banff Springs Hotel where their trip can be extended a few days. A must see is Lake Louise, located north of Banff.

Rocky Mountaineer offers a variety of itineraries longer than the one I took, including more majesty of western Canada.You fly back to Texas from Calgary. Oh, Canada!

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. Genesis 1:1.