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White Pass Railroad compare to Rocky Mountaineer


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We are doing the Rocky Mountaineer train prior to boarding our Alaskan cruise.  For our excursion in Skagway on the cruise, we are considering doing the White Pass Railroad because everyone tells us it is a must do.  However, I'm worried that it will be a let down after being on the Rocky Mountaineer.  Has anyone done both and can comment on whether the scenery is different enough between the 2 to help us decide if we want to do White Pass or find a different excursion in Skagway?  Thank you for any input!

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It is certainly a different experience but I’m not sure I would call it a let down.  Hubby is a train buff so we’ve ridden many different trains and have enjoyed all of them. We’ve been on the White Pass a couple of times—once in the regular cars and once in the private car pulled by the historic steam engine.


 The scenery is different enough to be enjoyable but  I would say the main difference is the Train ride itself.  I would characterize the White Pass train as more ‘rustic’ than the Rocky Mountaineer.  You’re not going to have food/beverage service or as comfortable seats!  I felt and appreciated the history of the region in the White Pass more than on the Rocky Mountaineer.  I was more focused outside of the train—very interested in seeing the passes/sights in Alaska; on the Mountaineer, I liked having a glass of wine and looking at beautiful scenery passing by.

Maybe take the train one direction to experience the train and then bus/van the way back to port?  You can’t stop to see views/sights while on the train.  

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13 hours ago, Ashland said:

We've also enjoyed the WPR...bus up and train down. We booked directly with Chilkoot.


That's the way I did it as well, all the way to Carcross.  A really great trip through--what I counted--were 4 different climates the day I traveled.  

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I have done both and very different.  The White Pass is narrow gage and history rich.  

There are several options-  which the above 2 don’t detail???  

 Combo trips have 3 options.  


Train to/from Fraser- road other direction.    This option does NOT get into the Yukon 


Train to/from Fraser -  road distance to Emerald Lake 


Train to/from Carcross.   Road turn around point Emerald Lake.    This is always my preference-   Section is only accessible by train and includes a stop at Lake Bennett.  

I have done all the train routes multiple times.   Spectacular scenery and history 


I’ve taken VIA but always independent and always have a car for Lake Louise and Banff.    Route is scenic.    I find the highlight off the train and what you do.    

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  • 3 weeks later...
13 hours ago, gaylemh said:

How long is the train and how long is the bus ride?

It depends how far you go.     
Take a look at the White Pass web site in addition.   And do your homework on the different routes.   It’s a significant advantage to get to Emerald Lake.    

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2 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

And do your homework on the different routes.   It’s a significant advantage to get to Emerald Lake.    


Yes!  The further one goes, the topography and, during my trip, the weather kept changing.  It was a great tour!

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