The Canadian

Apr 14th, 2017, 07:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 15
The Canadian


Has anyone ever taken The Canadian VIA rail train one way from Toronto to Vancouver? I have never considered it before but this looks so wonderful.

What are the ages of people who take this train? Is food included in the price? Is there a place to exercise?

SentimentalLady is offline  
Apr 14th, 2017, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 806
We’ve taken it sleeper class from TO to Vancouver and TO to Winnipeg. Loved it! Travelling sleeper class all meals are included and they are very good. I’d say about ½ travelling sleeper class are seniors like ourselves, but younger people probably predominate in coach.

You can walk the aisles and up a few stairs to the observation cars, but if you are in coach/economy you can’t get through to sleeper class, and vice versa. Much easier to do than the tight space on an airplane. You do stop a couple of places on the route and can get our and walk on the platform for a bit of fresh air. Northern Ontario, Winnipeg and Jasper, if I recall. Also, if you have an upper berth, that requires some flexibility and physical exertion!

I think there is no better way to get a sense of the vastness and beauty of Canada. I would highly recommend this trip. Fares are discounted during the off season and often for ‘last minute’ travel depending on availability. I’m often tempted to go on impulse.

This year Via Rail is offering a youth pass for $150 for unlimited travel in July in honour of our 50th birthday. There was an article in one of the papers a couple of days ago that it was so popular the website couldn’t handle it, but at that time there were still some passes left. I thinking the age requirement was up to 25 years, older if a student.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2017, 04:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,078
Doing that next Tuesdsy!
Micheline is offline  
Apr 18th, 2017, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,488
I rode in the other direction, with a stop off in Jasper. Highly recommend both the train and the stop.


thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 18th, 2017, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 33,578
I must admit we have done this trip either alone or together FIVE different times and three times westbound (which I think is the better direction). Most recently we sprang for the "prestige" sleeping accommodations.

If you are really THAT concerned that a bunch of "old people" are on the train then don't bother. People enjoy conversing but not with ageists.
Dukey1 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2017, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,083
My first trip westbound was in October 2001. Toronto to Winnipeg. I spent a couple days in Winnipeg before taking the train north to Churchill. The train remains in Churchill for 12 hours and then starts back to Winnipeg.
I went onward on the Canadian to Jasper. I spent 2 days in Jasper before going onward to Vancouver.
On my way from Toronto to Winnipeg I got acquainted with Jason Earle who has since founded a great company (1800GOTMOLD). He is at least 10 years younger than me.
If you can tolerate it coach seats are much cheaper even if you do add in the cost of food.
tomfuller is offline  
Apr 19th, 2017, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,488
If I were economizing I would consider the sections (berths with curtains) but that's too far in seats for me. I loved my roomette, and that Via Rail didn't make a solo traveler pay for a double room like Amtrak does.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 20th, 2017, 02:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 806
We did the berths with curtain on our Toronto to Vancouver trip. They were just fine. Actually better in some ways if two are travelling together because during the day they make up into double facing seats and you can move about freely and chat with the passengers across the aisle. In the compartments you still have an upper berth for one person to clamber into and during the day you are in a small enclosed space with seats that in our case faced backward and weren’t all that comfortable. Having your ‘ensuite’ toilet and sink in the middle of the night is convenient, of course, although I never had a problem or lineup for the shared facilities.

No matter how you do it, just a great way to travel.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2017, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,964
Hi SentimentalLady,

I've taken this train cross country multiple times (always used the berth). I think eliztravels2 covers it well. Only thing I can think to add is that there's a games car and a bar car (the bar is below the dome car and it's a great place to try Canadian wines and beer) which are always good fun, thanks in no small part to the activities coordinator. Every time I've been there has also been a young musician on board (my understanding is they get travel & food for free in exchange for their entertaining the passengers at set times), typically someone who specializes in Canadian folk music. I've always found it an enjoyable, sociable experience which draws a very international crowd (lots of Americans, Brits, Australians, Northern Europeans in particular; Japanese for the Canadian Rockies part).

Best wishes, Daniel
Daniel_Williams is offline  

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