Train travel in Canada offers a relaxing and beautiful mode of getting to know this vast country. Your Canada train trip could be as short as a ride with BC Rail to Whistler from Vancouver, or as long as VIA Rail’s The Canadian service which takes you across five provinces.
VIA Rail services almost all of the major cities (except Calgary) and can be a comfortable and scenic way to see Canada. Dining cars, sleeping cars, parlor coaches, and roomettes allow you to get some peaceful shuteye while on an overnight Canada train trip. Luxury trains sometimes offer dome cars which allow passengers panoramic views.
Train travel can get a bit pricey, but the good news is that there are deals that VIA Rail offers which may appeal those desiring a Canada train vacation. The Canrail pass is available for $719 CDN, which gives you 12 days of unlimited travel in the economy class in one 30-day period. One important note: this price is only valid during off-season. Seniors, students and children under 17 get 10% off at any time of year.
The Canada train trip that allows visitors to see a lot while sitting back and relaxing is a train ride through the Canadian Rocky Mountains. VIA Rail offers service on The Canadian through five provinces starting in Toronto, passing through Jasper and ending in Vancouver. Unfortunately, The Canadian only runs three days a week, so it becomes necessary to plan around the train schedule. The Rocky Mountain Rail Tour Company’s Rocky Mountaineer will take you from Vancouver to Banff and on to Calgary. This Canada train vacation offers a service called the “Canadian Rockies Highlights” which consists of 5 nights and 6 days on the train. Highlights include some of the most popular tourist attractions in Canada, such as: tours of Yoho National Park and Banff Townsite, accommodation at the amazing Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and admission to Vancouver Observation Deck at Harbour Centre and Calgary Tower. The Rocky Mountaineer is some of the best train travel in Canada and very popular, so get tickets well in advance!
VIA Rail’s other major train travel in Canada routes are the Western Canada runs from Winnnipeg to Churchill, Jasper to Prince Rubert, and Victoria to Courtenay. In Quebec you can take a mini Canada train vacation between Montreal and Quebec or to Ottawa. Ontario services Toronto, Windsor, Ottawa and Niagara Falls. Other Eastern Canada train vacations run between Montreal, Halifax, and the Gaspé.
Apart from VIA Rail, in the west BC Rail operates trains between some of the most popular British Columbia locations. The Royal Hudson is a steam train running from Vancouver to Squamish from June through September. The Cariboo Prospector runs from North Vancouver through Whistler and Lillooet on to Prince George. The Pacific Starlight Dinner Train serves meals in the evenings in old-fashioned 1940’s and dome cars.
Though prices have gone up and services are more limited than they used to be, it is still a Canada train vacation that is available in many of the major cities and tourist areas.