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“Tips”

Royal Gorge Route Railroad
Ranked #9 of 18 Tours in Canon City
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Rail Tours, Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: F-7 streamlined locomotives follow a route along the "Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River" and feature Twilight and Dinner trains.
Illinois
Level Contributor
88 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Tips”
Reviewed 16 July 2013

We recently rode the Royal Gorge Railroad and enjoyed the train ride. Here are some tips:
You can't bring food or drinks on board, but you can bring water, so fill up before you leave the station.
We spent an extra $25 for the Vista Dome car. If the weather is cold, this might be a good choice since the views are amazing. We spent a lot of time on the open air car, so I felt like we wasted money by upgrading to the Vista Dome. If I had to do it over again, I would have just purchased coach fares.
We rode the 12:30 train; if I had to do it over again, I would have gone with the morning or late afternoon departures for better lighting and cooler temperatures. I would imagine that the twilight departures are a good choice.
The south facing windows (facing the station) have better views if you are going to stay inside the train. In the Vista Dome car, the seat next to the window was in full sun ( because of the glass roof) for our 12:30 departure, so it was a little uncomfortable.
We purchased $13 sandwiches, which included potato chips and a pickle - they were OK, but overpriced. Based on our experience, I would skip buying food.
If you want to hear the commentary in the Vista Dome car, don't get seats on the ends of the train car. They don't have overhead speakers, so we couldn't hear anything. The end two seats are by themselves, so you would have some privacy and wouldn't be sitting with strangers.
Go out on the open air car. On our trip, a conductor named Bob was out there. He was very interesting and pointed out a lot of things that you wouldn't normally notice. He made the ride more enjoyable.
Overall, it was a good experience and I would recommend.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank IlliniTrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Micah C, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Gorge Route Railroad, responded to this review, 22 July 2013
Thank you for riding the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, and for taking the time to offer so many wonderful insights!

The Royal Gorge Region is one of the warmest in Colorado, so having plenty of drinking water is always a good idea, especially during the months of June and July, and while we ask that guests do not bring outside food and beverages on board, water bottles are always welcome, but if you forget yours don't worry, we do offer complimentary ice water on board, along with our premium spring and sparkling waters available for purchase.

Our Vista Dome class of service is remains one of our most popular options, not only for the panoramic views of the Arkansas River and the walls of the Royal Gorge that rise over 1,000 feet above us, but for the opportunity to relive history as you ride in 1950's era full-length dome cars. Our dome cars represent the past and embody the spirit of what rail travel was meant to be, while offering a rare experience not easily found elsewhere- our Dome Cars are 4 of only 30 full-length domes ever built, and they carry with them the past, having traveled on the Texas Chief and Milwaukee Road lines in their early days before joining the world of leisure travel.

Of course, for the mos unrestricted views the Open Air cars can't be beat- that's why they are available to all our passengers in every class of service.

And while coach is a great way to travel with us and typically offers snacks and lighter fare in our concession car, the Vista Dome is the way to go if you're looking for a meal and a comfortable place to dine. We offer made-to-order Paninis, Colorado-raised Black Angus and Buffalo burgers, and specialty sandwiches, along with appetizers and desserts. With an average menu price of around $12- no more than most any casual dining venue- we'll throw spectacular views and the best service around, along with locally-sourced ingredients and the chance to dine on the rails in a manner reminiscent of years gone by.

Of course, if you're interested in the history of the Royal Gorge, our train, or the region as a whole, Bob just may be the best resource we have available. If he's not around, all our staff is ready and willing to sharing their vast wealth of knowledge with all our passengers. After all, its our stories that make us who we are! In fact, down the road we may just do away with the recorded narration in favor of something a little more personal and not subject to technological impediments.

Thanks again for riding and sharing such insightful information. We hope to see you again soon!!
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Denver
Level Contributor
87 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Murder Mystery Dinner on the Train - good food, fun night”
Reviewed 15 July 2013

We had a great time. The food was delicious, the mystery was fun, and the local wines that they offered were tasty.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank craig80111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryville, Missouri
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“One of the favorite things we did in Colorado!”
Reviewed 15 July 2013

We absolutely LOVED the Royal Gorge Route Railroad! We purchased the coach class tickets and took the 3:30 pm train. One of the cars you can ride in is outside in the open which absolutely made the trip awesome! The views were amazing! It did sprinkle a little on us, but it was still great! The staff on the train with us was very knowledgable and gave lots of stories and facts to people asking questions. My only complaint is that the food/snacks on the train was very expensive.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank lnicker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
113 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery but take note of package and seating that you select”
Reviewed 14 July 2013

This train us beautifully furnished. The route along the Arkansas River is pretty but views are limited even from outside cars and dome car. If you pAy for inside seating - esp dome car -be sure to demand the river side or book the outside car. We had reservations in the dome car for dinner. Due to special whitewater event ( which was super neat and unique) the normal dinner menu was not available. The a la cart menu is EXTREMELY limited. There is microwaved nachos, potato skins, or artichoke dip and chips. None of these looked really good especially since we ordered a flight of wine. There is nothing available to compliment a wine serving- I mean NOTHING. Also on our trip bourbon of any brand was not available. The Colorado wines available are not outstanding at all.. Not horrible but not worth the price. In regards to seating - if you are not on the river side you really have nothing and I mean nothing to look at except the sheer wall of a mountain. The train does not rotate on the return trip due to fact there is a locomotive in back of train for the return trip..... Soo... If you are not on the river side the view never changes. I enjoyed the trip and would not have missed it but would have saved myself money by drinking beer. I do recommend the river side of the dome car as you have full view overhead and access to an outside car if you desire. For extra money, you can also reserve the entire table( normally seats 4) for a more intimate ride.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank JeanP777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Micah C, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Gorge Route Railroad, responded to this review, 16 July 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experience. We appreciate your comments and value the opinions of you and all our guests.

While it sounds like your enjoyed your trip with us it also seems as though there were a few things you feel we could have done better. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to address these.

Our Vista Dome cars are by far our most popular option, and it is true that our guests often prefer to sit on the River Side. As we seat guests according to time of reservation and party size we do our best to accommodate everyone but are limited to those seats we have available at the time of booking, the total number of guests riding on any given day, and the size and dynamics of those guests.

Of course, the Open Air car does offer the best views, and best of all our Open Air cars are not a class of service that can be reserved or paid for, but are available to all our passengers regardless of class of service booked.

As stated, you rode the Whitewater Festival Raft Race train. The Whitewater Festival is an annual regional event and we are proud to be a part. This particular train is designed to "chase" the rafters along the river as they race 10 miles down the Arkansas River. This is a very fun and unique event, but because of the nature of the race the time of the train ride is unpredictable, and as such we choose to offer our limited appetizer and lighter fare menu during this ride rather than our full menu.

During the course of our regular season we offer Dinner in the Dome, as well as in our Classic Dining Cars, on select Friday and Saturday evenings- a different class of service hosted in our First Class dining cars. The menu we offer on our Dinner trains consists of a 3-course meal with entree selections such as Pork Osso Bucco, Pilon de Poulet, and Colorado Prime Rib (the best Prime Rib around, most say). With this option we also offer a much broader variety of wines with selections from the California coast, Chile, Argentina, France, and Italy.

Of course, if this was not clearly explained to you at the time of purchase I apologize.

Again, you are correct in stating that our route runs forward and backward along the same path. This is due to the design of the tracks rather than the layout of the train. We operate on live tracks that are used by another railroad, and the tracks run well beyond the distance we travel- all the way to California, in fact. Originally laid in 1879, our tracks offer no location to turn around or switch views- another reason we are pleased to offer our Open Air cars to all passengers.

Naturally the panoramic views from inside the Vista Dome cars can't be beat- especially as you travel below the Royal Gorge Bridge setting over 1,000 feet above.

And beer- we've got it! We offer local draft selections from Colorado Springs, Denver, and Alamosa, including a true craft beer created and brewed specifically for us by the San Luis Valley Brewing Co.!

Also, please know that had your dissatisfaction with the wine selection been shared during your ride our On Board Manager would have been more than happy to credit that purchase back to you and ensure you were offered something more pleasing.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to share these thoughts and concerns with us. I would love to speak to you personally about your experience and am happy to do so at your convenience. Please feel free to contact me any time at micahc@royalgorgeroute.com.

Thank you for riding, and we hope to see you again soon.
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Awesome Royal Gorge Trip”
Reviewed 14 July 2013

Had a great ride out on the Royal Gorge railway in Canon City. Sat in the dome car to get a view. More fun actually standing in the open air car - got a real sense of the Gorge. Food was really really good and reasonably price. Special shout out goes to our server Dani. Very attentive service and gave us some great information on the trip. She even came running after us when my son had forgotten to pick up his souvenir cup. Great service. Thanks Dani. Great trip. Totally recommended.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank dhuskiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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