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ViaRail Vancouver to Toronto

Travel Forums North America ViaRail Vancouver to Toronto

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1. Posted by heda (Budding Member 15 posts) 7y

This thread is marked as being about Canada

Hi all

I'm planning a trip across Canada and was just wondering what the economy class is like on the ViaRail trains? Is it suitable for sleeping or do you really need to upgrade to get a sleep between stops? Speaking of which is it very expensive to upgrade from the CanRailPass to a sleeper?

I'll be doing it in the winter, November to be exact and was wondering would I be better advised to pay the extra and fly?


2. Posted by Ham Radio (Respected Member 284 posts) 7y

Try this recent forum:

3. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 7y


November is dark and cold there's little to be seen even in daylight @ that time.

The Forum as linked is full of railroad buffs-fine people for the most part but not real travellers just Train Nuts.

I've done the trip twice in high summer and economy class was fine, I had a stash of picnic food to see me through and I survived-barely.

4. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 7y

For cheap flights (reletively speaking) try WestJet. They fly across Canada, to some places in the USA, and to some exotic destinations like the Carribean, Mexico, etc. Their service is very good and they take customer service seriously. It's really easy to book online through their website and often you can get seat sales that way. Fly out of Abbotsford instead of Vancouver because it always works out cheaper- that is, if you can get a ride to the Abbotsford airport, as I don't know if you are solely reliant on public transportation. I've travelled with them many times and have never had a problem.


5. Posted by heda (Budding Member 15 posts) 7y

Thanks all for the great replies

I'm definitely heading West > East. Flying into Vancouver on the 11th and out of Toronto on the 2nd of December. I'd really like to see Jasper though the nearest airport with any real connections seems to be Edmonton.

Basically we (my good lady and I) get into Vancouver on the 11th, stay there for 6 nights and leave on the 17th, then we have a blank space until the 25th when we're booked into Toronto for 7 nights before flying on down to Miami on the next leg of our trip.

So thats the 8 nights in between. Would I be out of my mind insane to suggest hiring a jeep, driving from Vancouver to Jasper, staying there a few nights, then driving down south towards Banff, stay there a few nights and finally on down the Calgary and fly out to Toronto? Considering it is mid to late November and all?

6. Posted by Amie L. (Budding Member 45 posts) 7y

I did the train from Winnipeg to Jasper - stayed in Jasper - and then from Jasper to Vancouver. Given it's November and at least not January, there should still be some scenery. Also, the train is really awesome. There's lots of room for walking around and room in the observatory car. Economy was great - but I don't know how much more than two nights straight I'd want to do. (Wpg to Jasper - one overnight; Jasper to Van - one overnight)

I think there's more to do in Banff or maybe the hostel is more in town. In Jasper the hostel is a bit out of town (although one of the nicest I've stayed at ever) and you'd likely want wheels (or could cab) to get around.

You could rent a car to drive from Van to Jasper and so on, but it will cost a fair bit to drop off in a different spot. Or at least that's what I've found.

Good luck.

7. Posted by Amie L. (Budding Member 45 posts) 7y

P.S. We met really great people on the train and played cards and stuff to pass time.

8. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 7y

How much experience do you have doing winter driving in the mountains?

Also dropoff charges for the vehicle will be steep.

Consider flying Vancouver-Calgary with Westjet and renting there.

9. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 7y

Unless you have business in Toronto i'd subtract 4 days in Toronto and add them to the Florida part of the trip.

10. Posted by heda (Budding Member 15 posts) 7y

Quoting jambo101

Unless you have business in Toronto i'd subtract 4 days in Toronto and add them to the Florida part of the trip.

Ahh I've been to Florida loads of times (my brother lives there) and its just to see him for a couple of weeks really before we go on to New Zealand. There's bound to be plenty to do in Toronto, its a big place?