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VIA Rail Train Across Canada {Review}

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VIA Rail Train Across Canada

Post Last Modified – August 04, 2023 ¦ gr8traveltips.com

Discover A VIA Rail Train Across Canada Experience

One of the things I’ve always wanted to do in my home country, is to take a …

🚆 VIA Rail Train Across Canada. 🚆
I can’t think of a better way to see our home and native land, than taking the 🍁 Train Across Canada!

A couple of seasons ago, we were able to make this dream journey become a reality.

We chose to start our planned {VIA Rail Train Across Canada} travels departing from the City of Halifax on the east coast, traveling westbound back to Vancouver.

Our Journey Across Canada By Train

VIA Rail Train Across Canada

We began our journey by ✈ flying from Vancouver, British Columbia our home Province, to the City of St. John’s Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada.

After touring the beautiful Province of Newfoundland/Labrador, we hopped a short ✈ flight back to the mainland, to the City of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

VIA Rail Halifax Station

This is where our 🍁 VIA Rail Train Across Canada 🍁 rail journey began.

Halifax To Montreal Aboard VIA Rail Canada – The Ocean

Halifax VIA Rail Station

Boarding our train to depart at 12:45 in the afternoon, we selected a …

🛌 Private Sleeper Plus Class Cabin. 🛌
for our overnight journey to Montreal.

VIA Rail The Ocean Sleeper Plus Cabin

A very comfortable sleeper cabin, equipped with a private bath and shower.

By day, you have 💺 2 lounge chairs to sit comfortably in and at night, they fold down to make room for two 🛌 single bunk beds.

VIA Rail The Ocean Sleeper Cabin

This private cabin comes equipped with; {individual amenity bags} for your trip.

Inside, you’ll find a; large bath towel, soap and shampoo.

Hand towels are also included in this room, for your convenience.

 

VIA Rail The Ocean Sleeper Plus Cabin Restroom

Perfect for our 21 hour trip!

Train Across Canada East To West

VIA Rail Train Across Canada

The views during the daytime were excellent!

This is the time of year where the beautiful changing 🍂 Fall Colors 🍂 occur, and which is also VIA Rail Canada’s busiest time of year!

VIA Rail Train Across Canada

We were able to enjoy all the trains amenities on board, on all our booked trips.

At the same time, relaxing and enjoying the view of 🍁 Canada’s countryside, farms and small towns along the way.

VIA Rail Ocean Dome Car

Sleeper Plus guests enjoy complimentary coffee/tea and snacks throughout the day.

As well, you are welcome to enjoy the {Dome Car and Park Car} in the evening, which is located at the very rear of the train.

VIA Rail Train Across Canada

The Dome Cars are excellent, with great picture and viewing opportunities. As well at certain times of the day, passengers can enjoy 🍺 craft beer and 🍷 wine sampling from local brewers.

A nice added touch and treat! 🙂

VIA Rail Train Across Canada
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Canada's Rivers

On your journey, you will constantly pass by some amazing scenery and 📸 photo opportunities.

Vistas you will most certainly miss, when not traveling by rail!

Quebec Farm Land

VIA Rail Train Travel In Canada

Fabulous Inclusive Dining For Sleeper Plus Passengers

VIA Rail Canada Napkin

Definitely one of the highlights of the trip, was experiencing the amazing meals prepared by their chefs on board.

On {The Ocean}, we were served; lunch, dinner and then a full breakfast the next morning in the dining car.

VIA Rail The Ocean Dining Car

All meals were superb and beautifully presented. Dining car staff were outstanding, always making sure you had everything you needed throughout each meal.

Above, is just a sample of what we enjoyed for lunch. Absolutely delicious and beautifully presented!

Recommendations

VIA Rail The Ocean Staff

What a wonderful first time experience for the two of us riding 🌊 The Ocean. It was a superb way to kick off the first part of our 🍁 VIA Rail Train Across Canada 🍁 journey!

If you can treat and pamper yourself to sleeper class for this overnight trip, I would certainly recommend you do so.

The views were incredible, staff on board were superb and the meals served were outstanding!

Our assigned cabin was very comfortable for our journey. There is also a service car on this route that offers complimentary 📶 wi-fi for passengers.

VIA Rail The Ocean Wifi Lounge Car

The VIA Rail Experience

Montreal to Quebec City – VIA Rail Business Class

VIA Rail Business Class

After enjoying a couple of days in the City of Montreal, we reserved {Business Class} space for a return trip from; Montreal to Quebec City.

Montreal’s Central Station

This is a short journey, that takes approximately 3 ½ hours in duration. Departing from Montreal’s Central Station and arriving at Gare du Palais “Palace Station,” in Quebec City.

Gare Du Palais VIA Rail Station

The train station both inside and out in {Quebec City}, is absolutely beautiful. What a wonderful job they have done to this station!

Gare Du Palais VIA Rail Station Quebec City

VIA Rail Canada – Business Class Lounge

Montreal’s Central Station Business Lounge

VIA Rail’s Business Class Lounges are reserved exclusively for {Business and Sleeper Plus} Class passengers.

Montreal’s Central Station Business Class Lounge

All of their lounges are equipped to offer convenient amenities such as;

✔ Dedicated on site staff member to assist passengers;
✔ Spacious and comfortable seating;
✔ HD television screens with news broadcasts;
✔ Free non-alcoholic beverages;
✔ Free newspapers;
✔ Free Wi-Fi (high-speed wireless Internet access throughout the lounge).

Montreal’s Central Station Business Lounge Amenities

In addition, lounges in Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto Stations offer;

✔ Business centre (PC and Mac computers and color laser printer);
✔ Conference room (Toronto only);
✔ Access to the lounge upon arrival (maximum of two hours, subject to availability);
✔ A wide selection of magazines.

Union Station Business Class Lounge

As expected and because of the time of year we were traveling, these lounges can get extremely busy. Our favorite was the {Business Lounge} at Montreal’s Central Station.

We arrived early enjoying their; ☕ coffee and complimentary 📶 wi-fi access, catching up on the latest news.

The staff member present was always very pleasant with passengers and eager to assist any way he could.

VIA Rail Canada Locomotive

We chose the train departing at about 9am, which would get us in to {Quebec City}, at about 12:25 pm. On board in this business class cabin, we were served a; full breakfast along with coffee, tea and juice.

A nice start to the day! 🙂

VIA Rail Business Class Car

Business class passengers also have access to their complimentary 📶 wi-fi on board and have entry to upper class lounges, at the train stations. Alcoholic beverages are complimentary for passengers, at specific times of the day.

VIA Rail Business Class Car Amenities

We had a very comfortable short, but scenic journey both ways. Meals served were excellent, along with the service from staff members we received.

It is definitely worth treating yourself to {business class travel}, if you can possibly fit this into your travel budget.

Quebec Fall Colors

Montreal to Toronto – VIA Rail Business Class

Union Station Toronto

Time to continue our rail journey westbound to the City of Toronto, where we planned to spend a few days touring the city and countryside.

Union Station Toronto Clock

We chose {Business Class} once again, with our train leaving the station at 08:55 am and arriving at about 2:10 pm.

VIA Rail Business Class Service

This was another short but very comfortable journey. We were served with a nice lunch and a choice of alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic beverages.

Canada Fall Colors

We simply couldn’t get enough of the spectacular scenery, including the beautiful 🍂 Fall colors!

It’s no wonder this is {VIA Rail Canada’s} busiest time of year for travelers.

Toronto to Vancouver Aboard VIA Rail Canada

🍁 The Canadian 🍁

VIA Rail Canada Passenger Car

After enjoying the sites of Toronto and region, it was time to get back on board to begin the longest stretch of our train journey.

A {4 night stretch} from Toronto to Vancouver.

The Canadian travels 4466 km from the 🌲 Boreal forests of Northern Ontario, through the Prairies to the 🏔 Majestic Canadian Rockies.

Toronto Union Station

Departing at 9:45am from Toronto’s {Union Station}, this would be the longest stretch of our journey. We chose not to depart the train along the way to our final destination, the; City of Vancouver.

VIA Rail Canada Route Map

We decided to go straight thru, not opting for other stops in between. We had visited cities on this route in previous years and just wanted to; sit back, relax and enjoy the whole train experience.

You certainly do have the choice to include a 🛑 stop over, in your train travel plans, taking this route. I do recommend a short stay, to visit select cities or towns along the way.

There was no 📶 wi-fi service onboard Via Rail’s {Toronto to Vancouver} train, during our trip. 📱 cellphone service is not to be relied upon either.

So it’s time to sit back, take a break from the real world and put aside all those electronic devices we are so dependent upon these days.

As a blogger when I travel, I enjoy my travel experience and leave the blogging and stay away from most Social Media platforms until I return home. A chance to detox from the electronic world and enjoy travel!

I only take 📸 photographs along the way and the rest is put aside for however long we are away. 🙂

VIA Rail Canada – Pacific Central Station

VIA Rail Canada - Pacific Central Station

Stops on the {🚉 Toronto Union Station} to {🚉 Vancouver Pacific Station} train route include;

🍁 Toronto;
🍁 Sudbury Junction;
🍁 Sioux Lookout;
🍁 Winnipeg;
🍁 Saskatoon;
🍁 Edmonton;
🍁 Kamloops;
🍁 Jasper;
🍁 Vancouver.

Passengers can pick their itinerary and stop overs as they so wish with VIA Rail. You can plan your journey yourself from their official website, or work with one of their {trained agents} to assist in making your travel plans.

Sleeper Plus Class Service Aboard The Canadian

VIA Rail Canada The Canadian

For this part of the journey, we had a larger {🛌 Sleeper Plus Cabin} assigned to us. This was special surprise and later discovered you can certainly request this larger cabin when booking your reservation. But only well in advance, as they go quickly.

There’s no guarantee, but it never hurts to try!

Each car in this Class has a larger cabin for 2, which we were pleasantly surprised to see!

The Canadian Sleeper Plus Cabin

This cabin is equipped with a private bath with a washbasin and complimentary toiletries, as in {The Ocean} experience.

VIA Rail Sleeper Plus Cabin

Our cabin included extra cabin space and larger single beds, which was an extra special treat. This cabin is available in each of the {Sleeper Plus Cabin} Cars.

VIA Rail Sleeper Plus Common Shower Room

Each sleeper car has a; shared, very clean and spacious common 🚿 shower for passenger convenience.

Everything was just perfect for our – 4 night journey!

VIA Rail Sleeper Plus Bedding

At night, the steward comes by and makes up your 🛌 bed with fresh sheets and pillows.

Beds can go up during the day for the 💺 lounge chairs, but we opted to have our attendant leave the bottom bunk down while in the room during the day.

We could stretch out on the 🛌 bed with our pillows and relax, while enjoying the incredible views outside.

Canadian Fall Colours
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The Canadian Cabin Selection

VIA Rail Prestige Class Cabin

The Canadian offers three levels of cabin service to its passengers.

Economy, Sleeper Plus and Prestige Class

The Canadian Class Amenities

Economy Class cabins have seats and guests have access to the Skyline car to purchase meals and panoramic dome.

Sleeper Plus Class has berths and cabins for; one, two or four people. 📸  Guests have access to; the dining car where meals are included, a range of activities, access to lounges and glass ceiling carriages.

Prestige Plus is the top level service! 📸  A Few Amenities Prestige Class Offer Include; ✔ Luxurious cabins with an L-shaped couch; ✔ Murphy bed; ✔ Spacious private en-suite toilet; ✔ Exclusive access to reserved seating at the front of the dome car and personal concierge.

Luxury train travel at its finest with – Prestige Class!

VIA Rail Prestige Class Lounge

In the late afternoon, sleeper plus passengers do have access to the lovely rear {Prestige Class} Dome Car and their lounge, after 4pm each day.

VIA Rail Prestige Class Rear Lounge

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed and always looked forward to spending time in this part of the train, each and every day!

The prestige cars were beautifully refurbished and a pleasure to spend time in.

VIA Rail Prestige Class Dome Car
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Dining Aboard The Canadian

The Canadian Dining Car

As with {The Ocean} part of our journey, dining was absolutely outstanding!

How these chefs can prepare and present such beautiful meals in such small quarters and with the train rocking and rolling, is a feat in itself!

Below, is just a sample of some of the delicious dishes we were served on – The Canadian.

Continental Early Breakfast or Brunch

For breakfast, you can arrive early for a nice Continental Breakfast served from 6:30am to 8:30am.

Beginning at 9:30am to 1:30pm, Brunch is served. This gives you the option of having a more lavish breakfast, such as Classic Eggs Benedict or Steak & Eggs.

You also have lunch choices to choose from at this time from the menu.

Dinner Sittings On The Canadian

You have a choice of dinner sittings based on availability. Prestige Class passengers have first pick at dining times. We had no trouble getting the early dinner sitting during our entire time on board the train.

Again, I just can’t say enough about the meals served. They were absolutely fabulous!

Our hats off to the chefs of {VIA Rail Canada} and the beautiful meals they prepared each and every day.

Also, while enjoying each meal in the dining car, it was a great opportunity to sit with and meet fellow passengers while you dine.

It was so great meeting people from all over the world, coming to Canada to experience our beautiful country and by train as well.

Planned Activities On The VIA Passenger Train

VIA Rail Sleeper Plus Lounge Car

There are planned activities that take place at certain times of the day, some of which include; 🍺 craft beer and 🍷 wine tasting.

Staff members will also periodically give small talks in the {Dome Car}, on the specific area the train is passing through.

VIA Rail does bring aboard live entertainers at certain times of the year.

We had the pleasure of enjoying a young couple of musicians, who performed on the train at certain times and at the 🏔 Jasper Alberta Train Station, during our brief stop over.

VIA Rail Canada Musicians

The Scenery Aboard The Canadian

VIA Rail Passenger Train

Most certainly one of the reasons for taking the train across Canada, is to experience the spectacular scenery along the way. You will definitely see sections of this beautiful country, that simply cannot be seen by any other forms of travel.

As you pass along and into each {Province} along the way, the landscape and scenery changes dramatically. It’s hard to stop even for a moment, and not look out the viewing windows during the entire trip.

You simply don’t want to miss anything along the way!

Pyramid Falls Alberta
Beautiful Pyramid Falls

Dome Viewing Car

VIA Rail Canada Dome Car

The view from the {Dome Car} is excellent, but space is limited for the many passengers on the train at this time of year.

Helpful Tips Banner

Please, don’t be a dome car chair 🐷 hog during your trip. The train is usually always full to capacity and sometimes getting a seat can be difficult at times.

Try to be courteous of other passengers and give them a chance to enjoy the dome car and views.

Dome Car Train Hog

On {The Canadian} route, we and fellow passengers remarked on one gentleman who stayed in the dome car day and night, hogging the seats around him with all his personal items.

His companion would come up to take his seat, only when he would go down to eat or use the facilities.

This reminded me of lounge chair hogs on cruise and all inclusive resort vacations, that you see all the time. I actually have an article I’ve written here called …

💺 Pool Chair Etiquette Tips! 💺 🙁

VIA Rail Canadian Train Vacations

Our Experience and Recommendations

gr8traveltips author

If you have the time, want to sit back, relax and enjoy everything rail travel has to offer, then choosing {VIA Rail Canada} is a great choice. Step back in time and experience how travel used to be years ago.

Taking the passenger train in Canada is not inexpensive, but you do have options to make it affordable for you and your travel budget. The cost of taking the train varies significantly between; economy, sleeper and prestige classes.

Traveling during the off season and taking advantage of online specials does help to reduce the cost. Economy class is the cheapest way to travel and can be quiet enjoyable, if you make plans to stop over at certain destinations along the way.

Especially if riding {The Canadian}, to/from; Toronto and Vancouver.

VIA Rail Canada Passenger Train

To sit back, relax and be able to view the ever changing landscape of Canada from Province to Province by rail, is an amazing experience.

The cabins were spotless, dining fabulous and staff always friendly and eager to assist in any way they can, to help make your journey as enjoyable and memorable as possible. It’s also a great way to meet fellow travelers, enjoy their company and share travel experiences with them!

You have a variety of cabin choices for your train travel, depending on your budget and individual wants and desires.

On 🍁 The Canadian 🍁, I would highly recommend stopping over if you can, for a few days in; Jasper, Alberta and catching the next train stopping by.

There’s so much to see and do in this part of the {Canadian Rockies}, that should not be missed for first time visitors.

Final Thoughts Banner

All in all, my wife and I had a wonderful train journey across Canada. We were finally able to see many parts of the country we have so longed to visit. I highly recommend this form of travel to be included in your 🪣 Bucket List 🪣, at least once in your lifetime.

Train Delays On Route

VIA Rail Canada Lounge Car

I do recommend preparing for delays that may occur during your train travel experience. Freight trains have priority on the tracks and there are a lots of them. Don’t be surprised when the train comes to a stop many times and in the middle of nowhere.

You’re simply stopping to wait for another freight train to pass. 🙂

It’s not uncommon for passenger trains to be hours late, arriving at stations. So be sure to make room for delays in your travel and booking plans. Especially, if taking the 🍁 VIA Rail Train Across Canada 🍁 complete route.

We stopped several times on this journey and were late getting into the City of Winnipeg. We still arrived well in advance of our scheduled time, at our final destination in Vancouver.

VIA Rail Vancouver Train Station

For those of you taking the {VIA Rail Train Across Canada} like we did, you will pass through; five different ⏰ time zones along the way. [Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific].

Staff always announced the changes in advance and we experienced no difficulties or sleep disruptions whatsoever, with each change throughout the journey.

Of Special Note

Advance reservations are highly recommended, especially if booking during their {Peak Season} months. Below, I have included VIA Rail’s Official website for your convenience.

On their website, you can access much more detailed information for planning and booking your 🍁 VIA Rail Train Across Canada journey!

VIA Rail Canada Logo

🚂 VIA Rail Canada 🚂

As well, I’ve included the 🍁 Official Destination Canada website link below. Their site is filled with everything you need to start planning your travels to Canada.

Destination Canada Logo

🍁 Destination Canada 🍁

 

😎 Safe and Healthy Travels!

signature of author and owner Robert Tellier at https://gr8traveltips.com

Although our train journey was in collaboration with VIA Rail Canada, rest assured all content and opinions are that of the author and reflect my personal experience only.

All personal 📸 photographs on this post are the property of gr8traveltips.com and are copyright protected. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. 🚫

 

✨   Did You Know …

“VIA Rail Train Across Canada Passenger Service Was Established By The Canadian Government In 1977.”

 

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A Blogger Since 2012, Robert has a {Passion for Travel}, having worked in the industry for over 35 years. He enjoys sharing special moments & tips on; Travel, Health & Wellness, Book Reviews and much more!

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