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john65 Jun 9th, 2008 09:39 AM

via rail silver & Blue
My wife and I just returned from Vancouver. We took the via rail silver and blue from Toronto to Vancouver. We have had it booked for amost a year. If your not in a hurry this is the ONLY way to go. Great staff great food great scenery.

April Jun 9th, 2008 09:53 AM

Can you elaborate a bit? Did you have a berth, a bedroom? Your own bathroom? Is there anything you would do differently?

My husband and I are thinking of taking this trip next year. I didn't care for the overnight trip on Amtrak. I found the sleeping quarters cramped and stuffy, and the bathrooms down the corridor were not the cleanest.

john65 Jun 9th, 2008 11:43 AM

All my american friends onboard said that there was no comparison between amtrak and via. the double bedroom has its own bathroom, showers are down the hall. Great showers to lots of hot water lots of room. the room has an upper and lower bunk (we didnt use the upper) lol the bunk is roughly the size of a single bed.
If you book ask for bedroom F (same price but luck of the draw, ask if it available when you book you got it)
it is about 18" bigger. That may not sound like a lot but on a train you will say thank you for it. The meals are out of this world good
to see menu go to and look at menu for train 1. perhaps can share more later

April Jun 9th, 2008 04:23 PM


john65 Jun 9th, 2008 04:59 PM

We stayed 5 days in Vancovour including a day visit to Victoria then flew home. If want a great hotell in Vancovour Sutton Place is fantastic. It 5 star hotel but only because they dont have 6 stars lol

April Jun 9th, 2008 09:13 PM

We'd be going the other way, Vancouver return. So we'd be looking for a places to stay in or around London and Barrie.

john65 Jun 9th, 2008 09:44 PM

we are about 40 minutes from London
London is about two hours west of Toronto Barrie is about 2 hours noth of Toronto

April Jun 9th, 2008 10:47 PM

We would probably rent a car in Toronto and then go from there.

john65 Jun 10th, 2008 06:07 AM

If you are interested in live shakespeare or musicals you should consider a visit to stratford.

Bobmrg Jun 10th, 2008 07:41 AM

April, we learned long ago that to compare Via with Amtrak is apples and oranges. If we ever decide to do a transcontinental trip the first leg will be Seattle-Vancouver to catch VIA.

April Jun 10th, 2008 11:33 AM

This is sounding encouraging, Bobmrg.

John65 - not sure that's our thing. We're not big on crowds... unless it involves airplanes and then we're okay with them. ;-)

dfr4848 Jun 11th, 2008 11:15 AM

We've taken the Canadian twice [Jasper - Toronto; Banff - Vancouver] using Silver and Blue with a bedroom. The Banff - Vancouver leg was done before they switched the route to the CN line through Jasper. It's definitely not Amtrak and is a very pleasant, relaxing trip. Excellent food and service.

Daniel_Williams Jun 11th, 2008 01:02 PM

Thanks for reporting back... the Toronto-Vancouver trip for me is one of my all-time-favourite life experiences so far.

SallyCanuck Jun 11th, 2008 01:16 PM

Stratford, Ontario is not a place I'd associate with crowds - yes, the theatre might be full but it's not a crowd-type small city.

john65 Jun 11th, 2008 01:20 PM

The only problem with Stratford is the still letting me live here.

April Jun 11th, 2008 04:39 PM

I know I would want a bathroom, but would it be a miserable trip without one? Just throwing in dates on the Via website, it comes up with a return fare of about $3300 for a double berth, but nearly $8000 for a double bedroom with bathroom! More than double for a bathroom - is it worth it?

Does everyone get the same meals whether they are in a berth or bedroom?

Daniel_Williams Jun 12th, 2008 06:49 AM


Meals come with the berth option, yes.


April Jun 12th, 2008 09:48 AM


Meesthare Jun 13th, 2008 09:17 AM

I'm finding the ViaRail website discouragingly difficult to navigate. Is anybody else having this problem? I plugged in all the info for one-way, senior's companion fare (not sure if that applies for the double bedroom, if not, then senior's discount rate) for a double bedroom. It gave me back a rate for "one adult" although I indicated there would be two of us travelling. If I double that, and there is no way to check this without actually entering personal information for booking, it seems like an insanely expensive trip. I'm not sure where the "discount" part comes in. I've tried this before and eventually gave up - it just won't tell me what I want to know, or if it is telling me that, it's not clear.

April Jun 13th, 2008 03:31 PM

I thought the senior companion discount did not apply to double bedrooms - they didn't in all the searches I did up until now, but today I am seeing it available for one date.

If you click on the down arrow beside Train 1 or 2, a pop-up list should show the categories and which include the senior companion fare.

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