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How to Travel Across Canada by Train (Cost, Routes etc.)

Here's everything you needed to know about traveling across Canada by Train.


Canadians love to travel by train, but do you know the cost of doing so? It’s a popular pastime, but for the uninitiated, it can be confusing trying to find the best deal.

Traveling across Canada by train can be a great way to see the country’s diverse landscapes and experience its unique culture.

There are several different options for traveling across Canada by train, including taking the iconic Canadian train, VIA Rail, or the Rocky Mountaineer luxury rail service.

The VIA Rail network spans the entire country and connects most major cities.

It is possible to purchase tickets for long-distance trips, such as from Toronto to Vancouver, or for shorter routes within provinces, like from Halifax to Montreal.

Passengers have the option of choosing between Economy, Sleeper Plus, or Prestige classes, depending on their budget and preferences.

In Economy class, passengers can expect comfortable seating, hot meals, and access to Wi-Fi, while Sleeper Plus and Prestige offer additional amenities such as private cabins and upgraded meals.

The Rocky Mountaineer offers a luxurious rail experience through the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

The two routes, the First Passage to the West and the Journey Through the Clouds, take passengers through the majestic scenery of the Rockies.

The Rocky Mountaineer also offers a variety of classes, from SilverLeaf to GoldLeaf, each with their own amenities, such as panoramic windows, delicious meals, and access to the Observation Dome car.

In addition to these two main services, there are a number of other regional train services that offer more localized experiences throughout Canada.

For instance, the Algoma Central Railway runs through Ontario’s rugged boreal forests, while the White Pass & Yukon Route takes passengers through the breathtaking mountain scenery of the Yukon.

When planning a train journey across Canada, it is important to consider the cost, travel time, and available amenities.

Different routes and classes may offer different levels of comfort and convenience, so it’s important to choose one that best suits the needs and budget of the traveller.

How long does it take to travel across Canada by train?

Traveling across Canada by train can take anywhere from 5 to 7 days, depending on the route taken and the number of stops along the way.

The most direct route, known as the Canadian, runs between Toronto and Vancouver and takes approximately 4 days and 4 nights.

This route is operated by Via Rail, Canada’s national passenger rail service, and offers passengers the opportunity to experience some of Canada’s most stunning landscapes and attractions.

For those who want to explore more of Canada, there are several other routes available.

One of the most popular routes is the Ocean, which runs between Montreal and Halifax and takes 6 days and 5 nights.

This route is also operated by Via Rail and offers passengers the chance to visit Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, and many other cities along the way.

For those looking for a truly immersive experience, the Canadian could be extended to include a stop in Winnipeg. This extension adds an extra day to the journey and takes approximately 5 days and 4 nights.

Passengers can also choose to take the Hudson Bay Route, which runs between Toronto and Churchill, Manitoba, and takes 8 days and 7 nights.

This route allows passengers to experience some of Canada’s northernmost regions, including Churchill, The Pas, Flin Flon, and Thompson.

No matter which route you choose, traveling across Canada by train is an unforgettable experience.

With comfortable seating, delicious meals, and breathtaking views, it is the perfect way to explore this beautiful country.

💡 Tip: Get your money back if the trip is canceled. 

If your trip gets canceled, instead of losing money, you can get your money back. If you had bought travel insurance that is.

Most plans only cost less than $20 a day.

Check out popular travel insurance plans and choose one that suits you for your trip.

Can you travel coast to coast by train in Canada?

Yes, you can travel coast to coast by train in Canada. The country’s rail network is extensive and covers most of the major cities and towns.

The most popular route is the VIA Rail Canada service, which offers regular departures from Vancouver to Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax.

The trip takes around four days and passengers have access to onboard amenities such as Wi-Fi, dining cars, lounges, and sleeping accommodations.

The VIA Rail Canada service also offers special packages such as the Canadian Experience Pass, which allows passengers to take advantage of discounts on various routes.

Additionally, the company provides specialty services such as guided tours and meals that can be pre-booked.

Passengers should note that certain routes require multiple train transfers and can take up to five days to complete.

For example, a trip from Vancouver to Halifax involves taking a connecting train from Montreal to Moncton and then transferring to another train for the remainder of the journey.

Aside from the VIA Rail Canada service, there are other options for traveling coast to coast. Amtrak offers a cross-country journey from Seattle to Boston, with stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Halifax.

This route takes around five days and passengers have access to onboard amenities such as Wi-Fi and reclining seats.

For travelers looking for a more scenic journey, Rocky Mountaineer operates a daily service from Vancouver to Calgary and Banff that passes through the majestic Canadian Rockies.

This journey takes two days and includes overnight accommodation in Kamloops.

Whichever route you choose, traveling coast to coast by train in Canada is an unforgettable experience. With its spectacular views and onboard amenities, you’ll enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

💡 Tip: Get your money back if the trip is canceled. 

If your trip gets canceled, instead of losing money, you can get your money back. If you had bought travel insurance that is.

Most plans only cost less than $20 a day.

Check out popular travel insurance plans and choose one that suits you for your trip.

Can you travel by train from Canada to New York?

Yes, you can travel by train from Canada to New York. Amtrak operates a number of routes that connect major cities in both countries, including Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa in Canada, and New York City, Albany, and Buffalo in the United States.

Depending on the route you choose, the journey may take anywhere from 11 to 20 hours, so it’s important to plan your trip in advance.

The primary rail line connecting Canada and the United States is the Adirondack line, which runs between Montreal and New York City.

This route takes around 11 hours and offers both coach and sleeper car options. It also passes through several major cities, including Syracuse, Utica, and Albany.

Other Amtrak routes that connect Canada and the United States include the Maple Leaf, which runs between Toronto and New York City, and the Empire Builder, which runs between Vancouver and Chicago.

Both of these routes take approximately 20 hours and offer coach and sleeper car options.

When traveling by train from Canada to New York, it’s important to keep in mind that passengers are required to have a valid passport or other government-issued photo identification.

Additionally, travelers must ensure that they comply with all applicable customs regulations, including declaring any goods purchased in either country.

Finally, travelers should also be aware that some routes require tickets to be purchased in advance.

Overall, traveling by train from Canada to New York is a convenient way to get between the two countries.

With a variety of routes available and the option to purchase tickets in advance, it’s easy to plan a comfortable and stress-free journey.

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