Quebec City, September 6 2011 – "From this moment, as the Train pulls out of the station, Le Massif de Charlevoix becomes more than a mountain. A destination is taking shape, sweeping across 140 kilometres between Quebec City and the Charlevoix, enriching the tourist offer in two exceptional regions."
It was along these terms that Daniel Gauthier, Chairman of the Board of Groupe Le Massif, spoke this morning to VIPs and media representatives assembled for a preview of the Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix whose inaugural voyage is set for Friday, September 9. On this occasion, Quebec’s Minister of Finance and Minister of Revenue Mr Raymond Bachand and numerous elected officials from the Charlevoix and Quebec City regions gathered at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency Station to experience the rail cruise, which this fall will be offering 27 departures until October 16, with stopovers at the Mountain starting February 2012.
The Experience: Panoramic, Gastronomic and Unique
The Train’s entirely refurbished railcars offer passengers rare exposure to the breathtaking vistas drifting by throughout the journey, and to a number of points of interest: Île d’Orléans, Cap Tourmente, Petite-Rivière-Saint-François, Baie-Saint-Paul, Isle-aux-Coudres, Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive, Les Éboulements and Saint-Irénée.
The rail cruise menu has been carefully devised by Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu Executive-Chef Jean-Michel Breton. Be it the three-course lunch served on the morning rail cruise or the four-course gastronomic dinner proposed on the return journey, both showcase the Charlevoix’s rich and bountiful terroir.
A multimedia iPad presentation created exclusively by Réalisation Inc. featuring lively informational content also greatly enhances the passenger experience. On the two-way rail cruise, fresh video clip content is displayed by the Train’s built-in GPS-activated entertainment system.
The Convoy, the Railway Line: New Beginnings
At maximum capacity, the eight Pullman Standard railcars accommodating up to 68 passengers each convey 528 passengers. With a complete mechanical makeover performed by the team at Centre de réalisations d’outils innovateurs (C.R.O.I.) and a new look designed by Morelli Designers, the railcars’ minimalistic, timeless decor accentuates the clean, pure lines of its loft-style architecture and the views of the fleeing landscape. Each railcar is equipped with its own kitchen, while interior appointments offer all the comfort and flexibility required for appreciating the many pleasures of this adventure in gastronomy.
The track rehabilitation programme conducted by Services ferroviaires SEMA Inc. over a 22-month period was carried out to optimize the line’s safety, comfort, speed and load capacity for passenger transportation. It included the replacement of 22 km of track, 28,500 railway ties, 90 culverts, upgrades on 25 bridges and embankment riprap along certain portions of the territory.
Beyond offering passage to the Train and the rail shuttle that will travel between Hôtel La Ferme and The Mountain in Spring 2012, the programme ensures lasting service on the Quebec City–Clermont corridor and guaranteed passage to freight trains in the years to come. It also presents a range of mid- and long-term regional rail transit alternatives.
Le Massif de Charlevoix
Le Massif de Charlevoix is a tourism and recreation destination that unfurls over three environments in the Charlevoix: The Mountain, Hôtel La Ferme and The Train. Beyond the ski area, it is poised to offer a full range of experiences in tourism – from Québec City to La Malbaie, and Petite-Rivière-Saint-François to Baie-Saint-Paul – by way of a touring train and a diversified lodging offer both at the Mountain, and at its 150-room hotel complex in Baie-Saint-Paul.
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