A packing list can be a helpful tool when preparing for your Canadian rail vacation. It is also important to be aware of the baggage allowance on the passenger train you will be travelling with. Below you will find answers to the most common questions we get regarding luggage.


How much luggage is allowed?

For both the Rocky Mountaineer and VIA Rail you are allowed two large, checked items per person. For both rail companies, the maximum weight allowed per bag is 22.6 kg (50 lbs)., with a maximum linear dimension (combination of length, width, and height) of 158 cm (62 inches).

If travelling with VIA Rail, the maximum amount of additional luggage allowed is three items per person, and the maximum length is 180 cm (71 inches). Outdoor equipment, such as bikes, skis, and canoes, are exceptions for weight and size.

All checked luggage will be inaccessible while onboard the train, so it is important to pack any necessities, such as medication, into your carry-on.

While onboard the Rocky Mountaineer there is no overhead or under seat storage, so carry-on must fit at your feet. It is recommended that you bring a small purse or backpack with you for essentials. If you have medications, please bring them with you. Your checked luggage will be transported separately to your destinations.

On board VIA Rail you are given a carry-on allowance of one personal item, such as a purse or small bag, and two small items. All three pieces can have a maximum weight of 11 kg (25 lbs)., and the two small items can have a maximum linear dimension of 117 cm (46 inches). Cameras, photography equipment, and any liquids (including perfume) must be in your carry-on luggage.

What should I wear on the train?

There is no dress code for either the Rocky Mountaineer or VIA Rail, with both being casual. It is recommended that you wear comfortable clothing and comfortable, flat shoes with adequate grip. It is also a good idea to dress in layers, bringing a light sweater or jacket with you for when you are on the open air vestibule aboard the train.


What are some essentials that I should pack in my checked luggage?


There are a few things that you will want to have for your Canadian vacation but won’t necessarily need while on the train. These include:

  • A lightweight and waterproof jacket or windbreaker
  • A lightweight but warm jacket if you are travelling in the spring or fall
  • Sweater
  • Warm and cool, quick-dry layers
  • Comfortable, waterproof shoes for sightseeing
  • Extra shoes and/or sandals
  • A scarf, mittens, and a warm hat if travelling in the winter, spring or fall
  • Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
  • Daypack
  • Hiking shoes and bug spray if you plan on hiking

Think about dressing in layers when you are packing. The mornings and evenings can be cold, especially in the spring and fall.

What should I pack in my carry-on for onboard the Rocky Mountaineer?

Although there is no overhead or under seat storage for your carry-on there are a few items that you will want to have with you while onboard the train. In GoldLeaf Service the space available for your carry-on is approximately 16” x 11” x 8”, and in SilverLeaf Service it is approximately 23” x 8” x 8”.

Below are some of the recommended items to have with you on the train.

  • Medications
  • Medical machines and devices
  • Valuables, such as your wallet, passport, and jewelry
  • A sweater or light jacket
  • Sunglasses to help combat any glare in the dome car
  • Reading material
  • A camera and extra batteries
  • Headphones
  • A water bottle
  • Ear plugs and Sea-band acupressure wristbands if you suffer from motion sickness
  • Your travel documents


What should I pack in my carry-on for onboard VIA Rail?

As you will be spending anywhere from one to four nights onboard a VIA Rail train, and will not have access to your checked luggage, you will need to pack your carry-on a little differently than you would for the Rocky Mountaineer.

In addition to having enough clothing and toiletries, there are a few items that we recommend bringing with you onboard the train.

  • Medications and any medical machines and devices
  • Valuables, such as your wallet, passport, and jewelry
  • Your travel documents
  • A book and/or tablet
  • A camera and extra batteries
  • Headphones
  • A water bottle
  • Ear plugs and a weighted eye-mask
  • Sea-band acupressure wristbands for motion sickness
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Rehydrating face mist
  • A hairdryer, if that is something you absolutely need, as there are only a few onboard


If you have any questions or would like any other suggestions on what you can bring on your Canada Rail Vacations trip you can send us an email at [email protected].

Find your Canada Rail Vacations tour package