Rocky Mountaineer Railtours adds 2 dome cars

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VANCOUVER -- Rocky Mountaineer Railtours spent more than $5 million for two new GoldLeaf Service dome coaches.

The coaches are scheduled to make their debut in April.

The addition of the two coaches will bring the company's total fleet of dome cars to 10 for the 2001 tourist season.

The upper levels of the specially designed, double-deck coaches feature domed-shaped glass ceilings and picture windows that afford panoramic views.

The 70 upholstered seats on each coach recline and rotate 90 degrees to accommodate groups of four.

A spiral staircase descends to the lower level of the cars where breakfasts and lunches are served in a 36-seat dining room.

A rear observation platform is also on this level.

On-board attendants serve refreshments and provide commentary on historical and scenic highlights.

"Bringing two more GoldLeaf dome coaches on line for this season will help us meet the demand for this product," said James Terry, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Rocky Mountaineer Railtours.

In August 1999, the company had four GoldLeaf dome coaches. By the next month it had six coaches, all of which were used on its southern route between Vancouver and Banff/Calgary.

In April 2000, as Rocky Mountaineer kicked off its 11th season, it added two more GoldLeaf domes, this time to the more northern route to Jasper, Alberta.

"Having doubled our GoldLeaf capacity in just six months, we still had to work hard to keep up with the demand for this service," said Terry.

According to the company, in 2000 it hosted more than 75,000 passengers.

"Rocky Mountaineer Railtours has experienced double- digit growth every season since 1990 when the company was founded," said Terry.

Terry said the popularity of GoldLeaf Service is due in part to the fact that the coaches were designed by previous guests.

"Guests told us they wanted a dome, they told us they wanted gourmet dining, and they told us they wanted an open-air observation deck," said Terry. "Our GoldLeaf dome coaches were specifically designed with all of these features."

Rocky Mountaineer offers two-day excursions between British Columbia (Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler) and destinations in the Canadian Rockies, including Banff, Calgary and Jasper in Alberta.

For more information, call (800) 665-7245, (604) 606-7200 or visit the Web at www.rockymountaineer.com.

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