Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Americas > Canada
Reload this Page >

VIA Rail Canada question

VIA Rail Canada question

Old Oct 4, 11, 12:54 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cypress, TX
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Platinum, Hertz Gold 1 Presidence Circle
Posts: 662
VIA Rail Canada question

Hello all: would like some input from anyone experienced with train service in Canada. This winter, we are planning a family vacation to Canada and plan to visit Toronto and Halifax, NS. We are thinking of taking the train from Toronto to Halifax. I was able to get train schedule but not sure about the type of service we would get on the train or the type of cabin that is recommended for 2 adults and 2 children.

From Toronto to Montreal, I am thinking of getting Economy (special fare) and from Montreal to Halifax, Cabin for 2 with shower.

So here are my questions: is Business fare from Toronto to Montreal worth the fare difference? Will 4 of us be comfortable in Cabin for 2? I don't see an option larger than this. The kids are 11 and 8 years.

Any insight will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.
TXbizman is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 1:05 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: YYC
Programs: BA bronze, Aeroplan peon
Posts: 4,002
You'll be taking a corridor train form Toronto to Montreal, and then changing to The Ocean from Montreal to Halifax.
Personally, I don't think business class is worth it, the standard seats are of a good size. The difference is the meal and wine. I prefer to eat before or after the trip and maybe have a snack on board, but that's just my choice.

I'm not familiar with the east coast service, so I can't comment on the Ocean. However, join this Yahoo group, there are lots of Via experts there who can tell you exactly what sort of equipment will be in the train and what to expect: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/grou...assenger-Rail/
Jagboi is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 1:10 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: YOW
Posts: 750
Originally Posted by TXbizman View Post
...Will 4 of us be comfortable in Cabin for 2? I don't see an option larger than this. The kids are 11 and 8 years.

...
Based on the description and pictures, I'd say no...

Cabin for Two

A cabin for two is designed for two people.

•Room size: 7 ft 3 in. X 5 ft (214 cm x 152 cm), excluding 2 ft 9 in x 2 ft 1 in (84 cm x 64 cm) for private washroom
•Mattress size: approximately 71 in x 31 in (180 cm x 79 cm) on Chateau and Manor cars
•Private washroom available inside each double bedroom
•Mirror over sink with electrical razor outlet (110 vac.)
•Individual control for heating, ventilation and air conditioning system
•Storage for one carry-on baggage
•Day time: two folding chairs
•Night time: upper and lower beds replace chairs
•Large window with blind
•Exclusive access to a shower room (one shower room per car)
•Shower towels and amenity bag for bodycare articles
•Door locks on the inside only (no individual key)
•Other: small closet, drinking water, paper and towels, pillows, sheets and blankets supplied.
sharkshooter is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 1:58 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: YYC
Programs: BA bronze, Aeroplan peon
Posts: 4,002
Originally Posted by sharkshooter View Post
•Mattress size: approximately 71 in x 31 in (180 cm x 79 cm) on Chateau and Manor cars
That is the Budd (stainless) fleet. That is only used on the Ocean part of the year ( I'm not sure which part) the other part of the year the Renaissance fleet is used which is very different. The Canadian Passenger Rail Yahoo group can tell you what is used when.

Another thing to look for is the Express Deals if you want to travel last minute. Those are fares that are up to 75% off.
Jagboi is offline  
Old Oct 5, 11, 1:06 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 5,206
My dad took the train from Halifax up to London a few summers ago (the year they had the free tickets for veterans). It took approximately double the amount of time it takes to drive that distance. The scenic portion of the run was at night, although I can't remember if that was the case on the eastbound train as well. He did say the seats on the Ocean train were comfortable, with 1x2 abreast and plenty of leg room.
DanJ is offline  
Old Oct 5, 11, 6:38 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 195
I took VIA's Ocean from Moncton to Montreal in a Cabin for 2 then onto Ottawa and Toronto in Business Class last spring.......very enjoyable! Here's a link to a Trip Report:

http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/inde..._1#entry291779

PS: A Cabin for 2 on the Renaissance Cars is fine for two persons but would be very cramped for 4.
ghYHZ is offline  
Old Oct 6, 11, 9:42 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cypress, TX
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Platinum, Hertz Gold 1 Presidence Circle
Posts: 662
Originally Posted by ghYHZ View Post
I took VIA's Ocean from Moncton to Montreal in a Cabin for 2 then onto Ottawa and Toronto in Business Class last spring.......very enjoyable! Here's a link to a Trip Report:

PS: A Cabin for 2 on the Renaissance Cars is fine for two persons but would be very cramped for 4.
2 are kids, not adults. Will we be still cramped?
TXbizman is offline  
Old Oct 6, 11, 1:59 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: YYC
Programs: BA bronze, Aeroplan peon
Posts: 4,002
Originally Posted by TXbizman View Post
2 are kids, not adults. Will we be still cramped?
On the Stainless equipment, yes. The double bedrooms ( I'm old school railroad, I call it what its been called for the last 80 years) are a marvel of engineering, not an inch is wasted, but they are only suitable for 2 people. What you can do though is book 2 adjoining rooms and open the partition to make it suitable for 4 - I think, not sure if that is still done. Or just book an adjoining room for the kids and leave them as seperate rooms. I believe the Renaissance equipment is smaller, but I've not traveled in it.
Jagboi is offline  
Old Oct 6, 11, 2:36 pm
  #9  
B1
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,664
Winter is pretty awful along the whole route. This is a strange set of destinations for a winter holiday unless this is a family visit. Halifax is a delight in the summer and a mess in the winter. The ski areas out west are the usual destinations. My attempt to get from Moncton to Halifax in January was delayed by snow storms and I've been on several VIA trains that had engine failures. The claim was that the regular route didn't pass the maintenance yards.
B1 is offline  
Old Oct 7, 11, 6:41 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cypress, TX
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Platinum, Hertz Gold 1 Presidence Circle
Posts: 662
Originally Posted by B1 View Post
Winter is pretty awful along the whole route. This is a strange set of destinations for a winter holiday unless this is a family visit. Halifax is a delight in the summer and a mess in the winter. The ski areas out west are the usual destinations. My attempt to get from Moncton to Halifax in January was delayed by snow storms and I've been on several VIA trains that had engine failures. The claim was that the regular route didn't pass the maintenance yards.
Thank you ALL for your insight and info - each and everyone of you provide me valuable info that I will mull over and decide on this trip.

B1 - I will send you a PM as you seem to be knowldegeable in the area and the routes.

Thanks all again!
TXbizman is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread