The Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix (photo: Benjamin Gagnon)

Charlevoix Ski Train Ready to Roll

Québec (QC), Canada – The Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix is ready to depart for its maiden 140km rail cruise along the St. Lawrence River from Québec City to La Malbaie, with stops this winter at Le Massif  ski and snowboard resort.

The entire Le Massif de Charlevoix development is the brainchild of one man, Le Cirque du Soleil co-founder Daniel Gauthier. Beginning Sept. 9, the classic Pullman rail cars will roll along the scenic river route as part of Le Massif de Charlevoix’s three-pronged development plan. In addition to the train, tourist facilities also being developed at the ski resort and at La Ferme, a multifunctional facility in Baie St.-Paul designed to showcase the Charlevoix region’s growers and producers, and their contributions to the region’s heritage-rich cuisine. La Ferme, slated to open in spring 2012, will also feature a 150-room hotel and luxury hotel.

The Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix (photo: Benjamin Gagnon)
The Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix (photo: Benjamin Gagnon)

The train will provide convenient and scenic access to the slopes from Québec, La Malbaie and Baie St.-Paul. First built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1955 and 1956, the historic Lot 6978 Pullman Standard railcars were originally acquired by the Chicago and Northwestern Railway as that company’s first high-capacity double-decker railcars. Over time, the railcars underwent several restorations including a major overhaul in 1961, with further enhancements made between 1981 and 1994. Before being sold to Groupe Le Massif, they had been operated by Union Pacific Railroad and put into service for the City of Chicago.

Operating along the Québec riverbank, the eight further restored train cars will be equipped with interactive information stations that teach listeners about the Charlevoix’s regional history and culture. Regional gastronomic fare will be also on the menu as the cars are pulled along the scenic railway by two 1,800 horsepower RS-18 locomotives.

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