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Overnight Train - Montreal to New Brunswick

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When last we left this family of 4 (girl 10/boy 13), they were picking up luggage from their Montreal hotel and heading off to the train station for an overnight trip. Click on my name to read the Montreal report.
Day 3 – we got to the train station about 1 hour early to check our luggage for the trip to Moncton, New Brunswick and the Hopewell Rocks on the Easterly (which ends in Halifax). We had the top class tickets because we wanted to be sure we had the full train experience. For some reason, my daughter was dying to go on an overnight train trip. This fit perfectly into our plans for Canada – and is a contender for best part of the vacation. The thing I loved most about the train travel was the chance to sit and talk to people headed the same way you are but coming from so many different places.
We checked all our bags except for two small carry-ons. The cabins are VERY VERY small so you really don’t want to take more than you need to. There was a kiosk by the gate that opened about 30 min before the scheduled departure time. We checked in there and made our dinner reservations. There are two seatings – right away (about 6:30) and 8:30. We opted for the second seating.
The train was a little delayed so we sat and played cards in the waiting area. There was a big line forming for the train but that was for the non-sleeper people. A smaller line formed by the escalator for the sleeper class. We went on first and found our compartments. They were small (have I mentioned that?) but very cleverly laid out. My daughter was thrilled as she opened the door and saw the little sofa against the wall. There was a little tray with nuts, chocolates and water waiting for us. I was thrilled when I found a little door that was the toilet! No leaving the compartment for that. There was a shower in the toilet room but we didn’t use it. It must leave the toilet room absolutely soaked.
The compartment sleeps two so my husband and son were down the car a bit. Once the train took off, we headed to the observation car at the end. This was exactly what I expected. A champagne/apple juice toast as we rolled through the city and then country. As the sun was setting, we were called for dinner. The menu had a pork option and a fish option. Turns out that the entire first seating asked for fish so my husband got the last one on the second seating. The food was surprisingly good and the meal was very enjoyable. By the time we finished, it was dark and we were pretty tired. The beds had been made up (two bunks – 5’10” long – I don’t know who some of the men on the train fit). Sleeping car was a bit of a misnomer as it was hard to get to sleep and then hard to stay asleep – at least for the adults. But we must have fallen asleep eventually because we woke to an announcement of the last call for breakfast! We dashed into our clothes and headed to the dining car. To us, the fruit/cereal was a better choice than the eggs. More time in the observation car after breakfast. We packed up and left the train at Moncton slightly before noon. The kids were very disappointed to leave the train and would do the trip again in a heartbeat.
We had booked a car with Avis. They didn’t have a booth at the train station (Hertz did) so I called them on the phone. They picked us up in our rental car and took us back to the office. I could not believe the traffic on Moncton. We didn’t linger in town as we wanted to get to Hopewell Rocks for high tide. We did make a stop at the McDonalds for a McLobster . It was one of the best lobster sandwiches on the trip!
Coming next… high tide, low tide and raspberries….

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