Planning Well in early August I revived an invite to come ride the Royal Canadian Pacific’ familiarization Special for the Travel Industry. Of course before I got the invite I had already bought a ticket from Vancouver to Toronto on the Canadian over the same date range. I waited for awhile for the official arrangements to be released before booking my flights from Winnipeg to Calgary, and from Calgary to Toronto. Once I had a verbal verification that the train was still running I purchased my flights. About a week prior to the trip running I received the official email with all of the instructions. We were a bit lost for who would be the people from our agency going because Tom the boss has had a family medical issue, Malcolm couldn’t find a cheap enough flight, and Brian wasn’t sure. Either way Brian our Special Projects Coordinator joined us for this special. The Trip: Words Can Not Describe This I awoke in my king sized bed at the Fairmont Palliser in downtown Calgary at six AM to be sure I was in the lobby for our seven AM bus departure. I was the second person downstairs and I met a lovely travel agent who chartered the whole train recently for two people. As time went on people slowly came down to join the crowd. It was a nice classy social gathering of some of the travel industries brightest stars. And Brian and I weren’t the only set of millennials on board. Which honestly surprised me. At seven AM we got on board a party bus Canadian Pacific has rented to take us to the Ogden Shops east of Calgary. It was a quick fifteen minute bus ride and we were dropped off at the storage shop where the equipment is stored when not in use. We signed our boarding pass and a sharply dressed attendant handed us a mimosa. With drink, and boarding pass in hand we then went over to tour the second newest car in the fleet. The rolling Gym that the CEO wanted so he could workout on the rails. The car has a complete sauna inside it, as well as bikes, weights, and a treadmill. And subject to the CEO’s approval this car can be chartered out with the Royal Canadian Pacific for extra money. After a nice tour of that car we went into one of the sleepers which normally goes out with the Royal Canadian Pacific. But by being a day trip we didn’t require it in our consist. And the rooms on it put VIA Prestige Rooms to shame. I really wanted to test the beds out but I figured that might be frowned upon. After that we switched cuts to look at the Banffshire office car which is more a traditional office car. Followed by another car I didn’t get the name of. All of the cars were very plush. It was 7:45 AM and they wanted us al on board by then so I didn’t get a chance to sit in the cab of the Empress (4-6-4 Hudson). Another first for me boarding a train inside a building. I gave my camera bag to a porter who stowed for me somewhere. I took a seat in the lounge of the Royal Wentworth till they opened the Selkirk Dome. The Selkirk being the newest car in the fleet an EX Southern Pacific 3/4’s dome. And by far it is the nicest railcar I’ve ever been on board. It was beautiful in every stretch of the word. First you walk in via an Art Deco sliding door original to the car from its Espee days. Round the corner around the Bathroom and Bar and are now in a large airy room. There are three windows and a few chairs in this area under the dome which is a full floor above you. Making the space nice and airy. Turn around and you’ll see a well stocked bar which has a folding TV from its roof as well. Climb the stairs into the dome and you’ll find a few U shaped tables, followed by a few prior car style chairs, before more tables. And what makes it better every seat has two electric outlets. After realizing at this point we were free to do whatever we wanted I walked to the rear on the Mount Stephen to ride thru downtown Calgary on the platform. Amtrak May have banned it but vestibule and open platform riding is safe, but it’s also like my favorite thing. So I stood back there as we backed onto the mainline. I talked with our trainmaster Justin for a bit then a few other CP employees as we slowly ran around the railyards. I was on the rear platform by myself for downtown Calgary and I was really hoping someone would photograph me on the rear platform. Alas that hasn’t happened. Most people appeared utterly indifferent to our beautiful train easing by. Shortly the head of hospitality for CP informed me breakfast was being served one car up in the Craigellachie. I found a seat three seats away from where our presentation would be taking place because when it comes to an experience like this I’m a front row kinda pupil. As soon as I set down a waiter came and brought me a fresh squeezed home made Orange Juice. Before our presentation all of the Canadian Pacific employees gave an introduction followed last by our chef in his crisp white uniform with one foot tall white chef’s hat. He told us what we would be eating in our three course breakfast this morning. Shortly before the first course a waiter came and put the napkin in my lap for me, a luxury I have not known before. To be honest I felt a bit out of my league. I was so embarrassed I had to ask our lovely host Tobi which fork do I use. My excuse “I normally eat in the kitchen with the train crew so this is all new to me.” It wasn’t a lie and it was all new to me. During breakfast Tobi gave us a presentation on why we were all gathered there, and what their future plans are. Not knowing what I can publicly say on this forum I’m going to omit most of the details from the presentation. But what I believe I can say is if you are jealous of this opportunity I had there will come a time in a few months where you to can be spoiled rotten like I was. And you can experience the awe of a rare milage route in the Canadian Rockies on an open platform while sipping a glass of local Canadian Wine, while eating food prepared fresh on board from local ingredients. A far cry from what one normally experiences on Amtrak. If you want more information in private or have questions please feel free to message me.