The first train is set to arrive on Sunday, July 11th.
Nicole Ford, the Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, says Quesnel remains a big part of Rocky Mountaineer’s plans.
“Absolutely, the Rainforest to Gold Rush route, which is a three day train journey that travels between Vancouver, with the overnight in Whistler, the overnight in Quesnel, and then on to Jasper. It also operates in the reverse direction. It is a route that in most years does sell out, it’s a very popular one for our travelers.”
Ford says they will be running a slightly reduced schedule in July, and then they will ramp up operations to a full schedule in August through October.
The train that arrives in Quesnel on July 11th will be the first one in quite a while.
“We ran our last train in October of 2019, so the pandemic and related health restrictions forced us to suspend all of 2020 and the first part of 2021. So this train out of Vancouver on July 5th will be the first train we are running since October, 2019. And I can tell you our team is very much looking forward to getting back to what we do best, which is having guests and welcoming them onto those trains.”
Ford says before the pandemic the train to Quesnel would have up to 150 passengers on it, but she says they expect it will take a while to get back to those numbers.
“We are definitely seeing a pent up demand for travel, and I think people are itching to get back to traveling, but I do think it will take a few years for us to really recover to pre-pandemic levels.”
Ford says safety is absolutely paramount to their operations.
She says they want to make sure that their guests and team members are comfortable, as well as the community members where they travel to.