The Canadian Train Travel Experience


About Canada

Canada is rated as the second biggest country in the world. This should give you a good idea of how vast the land is. The country has a population of about 32 million people which is very low for such a country. Compare this to countries less than half the size of Canada that have the same population and see what it means. The vast lands are great for travel within Canada. The land is sparsely populated with cities spread across it. Travelling from the Pacific to the Atlantic can be done in many ways. This review, however, looks at crossing Canada by train.

Canadian Rockies – Photo by Rachid Lamzah Creative Commons

Why travel by train?

You can travel across this vast land by bus or airplane. Many will use air as a means of travel to skip from city to city quickly. This is the fastest way to travel. Buses are lesser convenient in terms of safety and speed. They are a little less ideal for the tourist taking a trip across Canada. The trains are a great way to cross this off your bucket list. The trains in Canada will hit the Pacific Ocean right to the Atlantic Ocean passing through various cities. This is a nice way to travel and enjoy the amenities and facilites that come with the train. The first class experience with the sleeping compartments is a thrill. The sociable seating arrangements will see to it that you have the most as you travel. They are also loaded with great cuisines that you can enjoy on the journey. The journies are laced with stops at major cities for you to take in the sites and break any monotony.

Routes to take

You will need to make a decision on which route to take. This can be determined by where you are starting from. The major cites enroute are Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary and Vancouver. Most people will prefer to travel from the East to the West. Going back and forth via train may not be as exciting but the one way trip is a classic. The best train service is provided by the main rail company in Canada, VIA Rail Canada. This offers a great service and itinerary that the traveller can benefit from. Travelling from Halifax to Vancouver will give you the ultimate experience, with the highlight of the Rocky Mountains at the end.

You can travel during the low season from October to April or during the high season from May to September. The tickets are cheaper during the low season. The train service is available all year. Taking a trip in winter is exciting but you will have shorter day hours so you won’t enjoy the sites more. You will also want to stay in the train as the temperaures can hit below 0 degrees Celcius. Spring and Autumn are a great time to travel and enjoy the low season tickets. The trip will take you through the Canadian Prairies with breathtaking views of the Rocky mountains.

There are short journey trains that will see you across in much smaller segments. The Ocean, the Corridor and the Canadian are all on the VIA Rail platter. The Ocean connects Halifax to Montreal. The Corridor will connect Montreal to Toronto and the Canadian will connect Toronto to Vancouver. The short route trains will be available if you want to take longer stops than the scheduled ones via one train. You will need to take a good look at the train schedules for you to get the best out of the train travel trip.

Have you ever travelled by train for great distances? Share your stories in the comment section below!