Canada’s Via Rail

This year marks the 150th ‘birthday’ of Canada on the basis of the Dominion of Canada being created on the 1st July 1867 by way of the British North America Act. 

There are actually several different ways you could define the ‘age’ of Canada in its present form – see the excellent article written by Christa Couture. 

Canada’s Via Rail has as you would expect joined in the celebrations, both by decorating their trains and by organising themed trips.

This set me looking at their site and now I am dreaming of a route taking me from Vancouver to Winnipeg, on to Toronto and then to Montreal. 

I even priced up the trip for October 2017 – just under Canadian $13,000 for two in a private cabin including meals for around six and a half day’s travel. Too steep for me now but perhaps a retirement present to myself in a few years?

I viewed the videos, downloaded the brochure and drooled over the pictures. 

It’s definitely a case of when rather than if, only now the when could well be a whole lot sooner than I had contemplated before!

Have you ridden on Via Rail before? Any tips on how to avoid being too touristic? 

This was definitely the downside on my Swiss rides on the Bernina & Glacier Expresses, something that I would like to avoid as far as possible. 


  1. I took Via Rail from Vancouver to Jasper, Jasper via Toronto to Ottawa, and Ottawa to Montreal in 2012. Loved it! Great scenery and great food. I got a super break on the price (I think it was 50% off) by booking in January and traveling before the middle of May.

    Start here for details:

    I found the Vancouver to Toronto route carried a lot more tourists that the Chicago to San Francisco Amtrak train I had ridden earlier on the same trip. Quite a few tour groups use that route.

    Note that Ottawa doesn’t get much respect in the guidebooks but I thought it a worthwhile stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant! I will certainly have a read in the morning.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Barrie @ railwayblogger · · Reply

    We’re booked to visit Canada this year. Sadly the train between Montreal and Toronto is twice the price of an air fare and with the family I can’t justify the extra cost for 4 people. We are going to get the train to Niagra from Toronto though. This is great value compared to the cost of organised coach excursions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Enjoy the ride. Via Rail is expensive as you say. Need to save up!


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