The Royal Canadian Pacific near Bergen, North Dakota in 2012. Click to enlarge.

(Jerry Huddleston, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Royal Canadian Pacific is a luxury excursion passenger train operated by Mount Stephen Properties, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). It made its first run on June 7, 2000, after the CPR received the royal designation for the service from Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.

The train operates seasonally from June to September, on CPR trackage through the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and British Columbia, and is available for private bookings only. All trains are based out of Calgary, Alberta, and use a facility built at the Ogden Headquarters with all the heritage equipment on display. A typical excursion is a 1,050 km (650 mi) route from Calgary through the Columbia River Valley and Crowsnest Pass, passing through Banff, Lake Louise and Kicking Horse Pass before returning to Calgary. Such a trip takes six days and five nights with no operating at night in order to preserve the sight-seeing of mountain scenery during the daylight hours. The train consists of up to eight luxury passenger cars built between 1916 and 1931, and is powered by restored EMD FP9 first-generation diesel-electric locomotives (2 A units and 1 B unit).


Royal Canadian Pacific FP7A No. 1432. Probably at Revelstoke, BC, taking on fuel rather than the oil (or coal) water and sand (oops, almost forgot, it takes on sand too) replenishment needed by its steam-powered predecessors. The steam in the picture is from a steam generator to heat the passenger cars as was the practice till long after Viarail took over passenger service and eventually converted its passenger equipment to electric heat. I shouldn't have to guess at the meaning of the green flags but my brief braking (and B Book) days were long ago. I think they indicate running as a second section of a scheduled train.

The CPR color scheme was rather subdued compared to a lot of railroads but has come, over the years, to seem dignified. It seems appropriately dignified on the head end of the luxury Royal Canadian Pacific excursion trains run out of Calgary. Canadian Pacific Railway could be called a fallen flag since its name change to the rather drab and unimaginative 'CP Rail' with a new and not even remotely dignified colour scheme. Just my humble opinion, of course, but widely shared, I'll bet. - Gordon Hunter. Click to enlarge. (Photo by Gordon Hunter from Nanaimo, BC, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



Headquarters: Calgary, Alberta
Reporting mark: CP
Dates of operation: 2000–present
Track gauge 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge


Banff Station and the beautiful train. Royal Canadian Pacific. Click to enlarge.

(James Koole, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


See Also:

Named Passenger Trains A-K

Named Passenger Trains L-Z



(Above: Royal Canadian Pacific logo, Fair Use)