Ron Stern | Global Gumshoe
For a bit of romance on the rails, see the Royal Gorge in Colorado the old fashioned way with a unique train excursion. Train travel, like air travel, was once an elegant affair. People weren’t in a hurry, service was king and half the fun was getting there. Today, one can still experience the grand old days of travel by rail aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad.
With several itineraries and routes from which to choose, you can see some magnificent country in leisurely style while enjoying a sumptuous lunch or dinner. My wife and I recently took the three-hour gourmet dinner trip that runs from Cañon City, Colo. to the town of Parkdale and back.
The three-course dinner on our excursion included prime rib, salad and dessert. For an additional $25, you can choose from several selections of locally produced wines. We chose to sit in the Vista Dome, which has the advantage of affording beautiful views through their oversized windows.
The train features three vintage diesel locomotives from the 1950s, as well as kitchen and dining cars. There is also an open-air platform that offers unobstructed views of some of the most scenic country in Colorado, including the Arkansas River, canyon walls, meadows and the awe-inspiring Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge. The famous hanging ridge, considered an engineering feat for the 19th century, currently holds the distinction of the world’s second highest suspension bridge.
Each year, the train makes 560 trips carrying more than 1,000 passengers along its rails and the Royal Gorge Route has been named one of America’s top eight train excursions by Trains Magazine. In addition to the dining options, there is a murder mystery train as well as the Santa Express, where the kids can enjoy hot cocoa, holiday stories and a visit from Santa Clause.
For more information and pricing, visit royalgorgeroute.com.
—Ron Stern can be contacted at email@example.com or by visiting ronsterntravel.com and globalgumshoe.com.