Our History

In 2010, Armstrong Group, owners and operators of the award-winning Rocky Mountaineer celebrated a milestone anniversary – 20 successful years. Since its inception in 1990, the British Columbia based, family owned business has grown to become the largest privately owned passenger rail service in North America and has welcomed over one million guests onboard. While Armstrong Group’s past is rich in history and rooted in success, the goal from day one remains the same: provide the most spectacular and unforgettable travel experiences in the world.

1990

All aboooard! The Rocky Mountaineer departs on the inaugural trip.

1991

Named one of the “World’s 20 Best Rail Experiences” by The International Railway Traveler magazine (same honour in 1998).

1995

Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf Service is launched.

1996

Sets the record for longest passenger train in Canadian history (37 cars).

1999

Sets new record for longest passenger train in Canadian history (41 cars).

2002

Welcomes our 500,000th guest and is recognized again by The International Railway Traveler magazine’s “10 Best Rail Experiences in the World”.

2003

Featured on BBC Television, “50 Things To Do Before You Die”.

2005

Wins the prestigious “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train” at 2005 World Travel Awards (earns the same honour in 2006 and 2007).
Named as “One of the Great Train Rides in the World”, by Outside magazine.
Named one of “The World’s Top 25 Trains” by The Society of International Railway Traveler (earns the same honour in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009).

2006

Launches two new routes: Whistler Sea to Sky Climb (Vancouver to Whistler) and Rainforest to Gold Rush (Whistler to Jasper).

2007

Wins Tourism British Columbia’s “Foresight Sustainability Award” for leadership and advocacy of sustainable tourism.
Named one of the “World’s Greatest Trips” by National Geographic.

2008

Welcomes aboard our one millionth guest!

2009

ABC’s hit reality TV series, The Bachelorette, showcased the Rocky Mountaineer on a four-day journey.
Voted #1 on the Society of American Travel Writers Top Ten List of the most scenic and exciting train experiences in the world.
Rocky Mountaineer has been honoured with a World Travel Award in the category of “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train” for the fourth year.

2010

Launches its iconic brand with a completely new look. From the logo, website and route names to a sleek new paint job for the rail cars, this fresh new look continues across the entire company.
Proudly accepts the World Travel Award’s “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train” for the fifth time ,and new honour, “World’s Leading Luxury Travel Product of the Year.”
Receives two prestigious marketing awards: Marketer of the Year Award from the BC Chapter of the American Marketing Association and British Columbia’s Tourism Award for Best Tourism Marketing Campaign.
Ranks #5 on Reader’s Digest’s list of “World’s 10 Best Train Journeys.”
Listed as one of the “Top 10 North American Train Trips” by National Geographic.

2011

Rocky Mountaineer proudly accepts its sixth World Travel Award as "World's Leading Travel Experience by Train" and is listed as one of the "Top 5 trains in the world," by Conde Nast Traveler and by Travel + Leisure magazine Western Living as one of the "Best Life Changing Trips" and among the "Top 5 Trains in the World.Recieves Travel Weekly Readers' Choice Awards for "Best Rail Vacation" and UK Travel Agents Choice Awards for "Long-haul Rail Operator of the Year."

2012

Launches its newest and third level of service, SilverLeaf Service on the First Passage to the West route.  Also begins running its bi-level dome cars on the Whistler Sea to Sky Climb for a limited time in the 2012 season.