on Via Rail Canada
for larger picture
It's safe to say that Via Rail Canada's premier train is the transcontinental Canadian. from Toronto to Vancouver via Sudbury, Sioux Lookout, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper, and Kamloops. The train goes thrice weekly each way during summer, and twice weekly during the winter months. It's a leisurely three days and four overnights from Toronto to Vancouver (or vice versa), with en route stopovers that provide time for a city tour of Winnipeg and a walking tour of Jasper.
The Canadian is like time a machine to the 1950's. Vintage streamliners have been beautifully restored, and equipped with modern electric climate control systems. I have found the service to be impeccable. Travelers using these trains are in for a real treat.Canada's overnight trains (Canadian, Chaleur, Ocean, Hudson Bay) are like time machines to the 1950's. Vintage streamliners have been beautifully restored, and equipped with modern electric climate control systems. I have found the service to be impeccable. Travelers using these trains are in for a real treat.
The Chaleur, Ocean, and Canadian are similarly equipped, with coaches, one or more Skyline dome cars, dining car, sleeping cars, and the Park Car - a round-end observation lounge and dome car. Coach class offers comfortable, roomy reclining seats, with leg rests. Pillows are provided.
Depending on the train and time of year, food service for coach passengers might be offered in a Skyline dome car, a dome car with lounge and food service. Or, food service might be provided in a full service dining car.
A roomette, or single bedroom, is a private compartment for one person. It has an upholstered seat, wash basin, toilet, mirror, and a small amount of storage space. For sleeping, a bed is lowered from the wall. Though small, a roomette is a comfortable accommodation for one person.
A double bedroom has two upholstered chairs or a long sofa for daytime use. Upper and lower berths are made up for sleeping. The room contains a wash basin and vanity, storage space, and a private toilet. A drawing room is similar to a bedroom, but is larger and accommodates three people.
Depending on the train and the season, dining service for first class passengers is offered in a beautifully appointed full-service dining car, or in one or more Skyline dome cars. The advantage of the latter arrangement for first class passengers is that it puts more than one dome car in the first class section - a plus during peak seasons when there are six, seven, or more sleeping cars.
The Park Car, which brings up the rear of the train, is a round-end dome-observation car. There's a lounge, called the Bullet Lounge, at the end, with views out both sides and to the rear of the train. It has lounge chairs, current magazines and newspapers, carafe's for coffee and hot water (available around the clock). The stairs to the dome (complete with lighted lucite handrails!) are at the forward end of the bullet lounge. The dome provides spectacular viewing to the front, sides, and rear. Below the dome is the Mural Lounge, which houses a small bar from which the attendant sells snacks, sandwiches, and beverages. There is also a foldout video player, and the attendant has a small supply of videos which he or she can play on request in the Mural Lounge. The Bullet Lounge. Mural Lounge, and dome are, of course, open to all first class passengers.
Via Rail has frequent service in busy "corridors" such as Toronto-Montreal, Toronto-Quebec City, Toronto-Sarnia, and Toronto-Windsor. Most corridor trains feature VIA 1 - "The affordable first class". Amenities include advanced boarding and spacious reserved seats. Depending on the time of day, Via 1 passengers are served a hot breakfast, or a 4-course lunch or dinner, with aperitifs, wine, and liqueurs. Passengers also receive a complimentary newspaper.
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