NJ to Calgary via Vancouver

Mar 18th, 2011, 06:45 PM
  #1  
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NJ to Calgary via Vancouver

We are from NJ. Planning to attend a wedding in Calgary this summer. My friend told me to fly into Vancouver first and then take the train from Vancouver to Calgary. Will be staying 2 days in Calgary. I am thinking to fly back from calgary to NJ directly on the return trip. I see that Westjet has a promotion for the airfare.

Has anyone taken the train trip to Calgary? Any recommendations?
I am doing a lot of research on the train and Calgary sighseeing. Will appreciate if you can share your experience.
sumplanner is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 08:33 PM
  #2  
 
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The Rocky Mountaineer is a very high class train and is quite expensive IMHO. http://www.bcpassport.com/canadian-r...s/default.aspx

I have ridden the ViaRail "Canadian" all the way from Toronto to Vancouver for less money than they want from Vancouver to Calgary. The trains cover the same tracks from Vancouver to Jasper. You could fly to Vancouver and ride ViaRail as far as Jasper and rent a car to go to Calgary. After the wedding drive back on the Icefield highway to Jasper and catch the next train to Edmonton to fly home from there.
Banff and Jasper both beat Calgary for sightseeing I believe.The one big event in Calgary other than the wedding is the Calgary Stampede (rodeo).
tomfuller is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 05:56 AM
  #3  
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Yes Tom, I am talking to Rocky Mountaineer. So expensive! Thanks for all the info. I will explore viatrain now and check out the route.
We are little uncomfortable driving in Canada. Let me see.
Thanks again!!
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Mar 20th, 2011, 06:58 AM
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The Canadian leaves Vancouver at 8:30 PM three days per week.
It arrives at Jasper at about 4 PM the next day.
It sits at the Jasper station until 5:30.
It leaves Jasper on Mondays at 5:30 which would work for a weekend wedding.
If you can drive in New Jersey, you can drive down the Icefield Highway (Rt. 93). About 4.5 hours from Jasper to Banff. Another 1.5 from Banff to Calgary. Probably better to stay a night in Jasper and drive south in the morning.
Coach-super saver Vancouver to Edmonton is CAD$214/PP
A cabin for 2 from Vancouver to Jasper is CAD$1300
http://www.viarail.ca/en
tomfuller is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2011, 07:52 AM
  #5  
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Hi Tom, while I am amost ready to buy supersaver tickets from Viarail, I just came across these reviews. They arepretty recent too.
Can you comment on this?
Usually I a little pickey about using trian toilets and its being an 18hr train ride, I am thinking..... Please help
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Mar 22nd, 2011, 08:21 AM
  #6  
 
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Did you forget the link to reviews? The one thing I don't like about the toilets on ViaRail trains is that they dump between the rails. That is better than the toilets I have seen overflowing on an Amtrak train.
The ViaRail conductor locks the bathrooms when the train is at a station.
The ViaRail fare will go up as fuel prices rise. If your dates are firm, buy as soon as possible.
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Mar 22nd, 2011, 09:58 AM
  #7  
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http://customerservicenumbers.com/co...-canada-canada
yes Tom, sorry. Too much multitasking.
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Mar 22nd, 2011, 10:43 AM
  #8  
 
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Most of the complaints I read were about conditions at stations and walking the platform to board the train. Some stations do take handicapped passengers on a covered golf cart to the proper door on the train. Yes, if they are short staffed, the attendants will give more attention to the sleeper passengers. They are the ones paying 4 times as much to arrive at the same time as the coach passengers.
The attendants have many more important functions than making sure the bathrooms smell good after each use.
The dome above the kitchen/dining room is a good place to hang out for an hour or two. The sleeper passengers have their own dome car above (I think) a lounge.
tomfuller is offline  
Mar 24th, 2011, 07:53 PM
  #9  
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Yes I am still considering the Viarail. Looks like we will spend more time between Vancouver and Calgary. No driving though. I will take the Sunday Viarail to get to Jasper.
Stay at Jasper two nights, checking out the 3rd day
Take Train (Viarail or what??) to Banff
Stay at Banff for 2 nights, chekcing out the 3rd day
Take Bus or train(??) from Banff to Calgary downtown
I picked up quite a few places from this forum and tour pkg info for day trips.
Would appreciate if you can think off some places in Calgary.
Calgary Stampede is a must
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Mar 24th, 2011, 07:55 PM
  #10  
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also wanted to get some recommendations on the hotels in Jasper and Banff. Called few places like Chateu and BestWestern. Any comments??
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Mar 24th, 2011, 08:13 PM
  #11  
 
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Renting a car in Jasper gives you a lot more flexibility on the 5 hour trip south on the Icefield highway. Brewster is the bus tour company which occupies the eastern part of the ViaRail station in Jasper. Check the dates for the Calgary Stampede to see if it is during the time you are there for the wedding.
There is a HI Hostel near Banff which would be much cheaper than the Chateau.
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Apr 1st, 2011, 08:10 AM
  #12  
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Thanks Tom.
Would like to get info on transportation from Vancouver airport to Viarail Train station. I hear that it's 40 kms from the airport. I can take bus or cab to the train station. But we will have luggage. any other cost effective options?
thnx for your help
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Apr 1st, 2011, 07:05 PM
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Never been to the Vancouver airport so can't help there. I arrive at the Vancouver ViaRail station by Amtrak bus or train from Seattle. You could price the flight to Seattle which has good transport to Downtown and the Amtrak Station which is near the Seahawk's stadium.
Can someone who lives in Vancouver help with this question?
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Apr 3rd, 2011, 11:11 AM
  #14  
 
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Vancouverite here.

You could take the Skytrain from the airport to the rail station in Vancouver.

You would take the Canada Line train to either Vancouver Centre (Granville Station) and change trains to the Expo line and get off at Main Street Station.

Alternatively, you could take the Canada Line to Waterfront Station (last stop on the line) and change over trains there (again Expo line) to Main Street station.

You would exit the station heading East and the Via Rail station is a short walk (less than five minutes) through a park.

The cost from the airport would be...I would guess..around $5 or $6 dollars. Total trip time would be about 45 minutes or so. Taxi will cost you at least $20-$30...but would take a long time (and I have no idea what buses run in and out of the airport).
camelbak is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 11:13 AM
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Oh..and the Canada Line trains were built with the idea that people would be travelling into town with luggage...it's very roomy and you would also be going against rush hour on that line.

What time do you arrive in Vancouver? The expo line can get packed during afternoon rush hour...but if you get on at Waterfront you shouldn't have too much trouble...and besides, we are used to people with luggage on the trains.
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