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CN taps Great Canadian Railtour to operate tourist trains on BC Rail lines


On Sept. 3, Canadian National Railway Co. announced it selected the Great Canadian Railtour Co. (GCRC) to operate tourist trains in British Columbia and Alberta.

Vancouver-based GCRC — which operates Rocky Mountaineer Railtours in western Canada — best met CN’s criteria, including service quality, prospects and economic development opportunities, according to a prepared statement.

GCRC will launch the "Whistler Mountaineer," which will operate along BC Rail Ltd. tracks between North Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., and expand Rocky Mountaineer service by providing a new route linking Whistler and Jasper, Alberta, via Prince George, B.C. GCRC is scheduled to begin full-scale operations in 2006.

In November, CN agreed to select a tourist train operator for the region as part of its BC Rail partnership agreement with the British Columbia government. Under the pact, the Class I will integrate the 1,400-mile BC Rail into its system, and be responsible for rail transportation and infrastructure maintenance. The regional’s rail bed remains in public hands. CN and British Columbia closed the transaction in July.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/7/2004