VIA Rail Information

VIA Rail is Canada’s classic overnight rail passenger service. At Canada Rail Vacations, all of our Trans-Canada tour packages include nights aboard “The Canadian” train. On this nostalgic train, you’ll step into a golden past and relive Canada’s history.

VIA Rail Train Across Canada

Imagine the rhythmic chug of the train lulling you into a peaceful calm as Canada’s diverse landscape unfurls before your eyes. As you embark on a train journey across this vast country, you’ll traverse through towering mountains, endless prairies, and bustling cities. From the comfort of your cozy cabin, you’ll witness the changing canvas of seasons, each bringing a unique charm. The tantalizing aroma of onboard meals, inspired by Canada’s culinary heritage, will whet your appetite for more than just the sights.

This isn’t just a train ride, it’s your chance to intimately experience the heart and soul of Canada. So go ahead, pack your bags and let the train tracks guide your adventure.


Vancouver - Jasper - Edmonton - Winnipeg - Toronto

Step back into a golden past aboard “The Canadian”, VIA Rail’s flagship service. This transcontinental route connects Toronto and Vancouver, traversing a massive 4,466 kilometres and offering passengers a chance to see a vast array of Canada’s landscapes. From the verdant forests of Ontario and the expansive Prairie provinces to the stunning Rocky Mountains, you’ll be treated to a visual feast.

Learn more about 'The Canadian'


Toronto - Ottawa - Montréal - Québec City

Hop onboard “The Corridor” and experience the comfort of the train including complimentary Wi-Fi, and relax as the scenery of Southeastern Canada roll by. Enjoy this heavily travelled route connecting major cities in the Ontario-Quebec region. Here, you’ll be able to appreciate the vibrant urban life of Canada, passing through cities like Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City.

'The Corridor' Information


Montréal - Québec City - Halifax

Board “The Ocean”: lighthouses and fishing villages, coastal trails and ocean views, charming cities with delicious seafood. A charming route that takes you from Montreal to Halifax. This journey gives you a glimpse into Canada’s rich maritime history, passing through quaint coastal towns, and offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Take this trip during the fall season to witness the stunning autumn foliage. Experience Atlantic Canada’s unique culture, history and views on an amazing journey across Québec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.


Prince Rupert - Prince George - Jasper

Take a train ride between the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, and the spectacular Pacific Coast in British Columbia. A unique way to appreciate the splendor of western Canada, between land and sea.

Popular Train Trips Across Canada

Unbelievable Sightseeing & Amazing Destinations

You’ll find a myriad of popular train trips across Canada, each offering a unique journey through the country’s vast and diverse landscapes. These journeys aren’t just about getting from point A to B, but about immersing yourself in Canada’s cultural tapestry, storied history, and breathtaking scenery.

Tours featuring VIA Rail's 'The Canadian'

Tours featuring VIA Rail's 'The Ocean'

Tours featuring VIA Rail's 'The Skeena'

One of the most well-known and longest trips is ‘The Canadian Trip of a Lifetime.’ This 16-day journey spans from the Pacific to the Atlantic, giving you a comprehensive view of Canada’s grandeur. You’ll experience the cultural vibrancy of cities like Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax, and the serene wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. A shorter, yet equally captivating trip is the ‘Canadian Adventurer’ tour. Lasting 12 days, this tour takes you through the Canadian Rockies from Vancouver to Toronto, allowing you to experience both the Rocky Mountaineer train and VIA Rail.

If time is of the essence, consider our ‘Canadian Nostalgic’ tour. This 7-day adventure takes you from Vancouver to Toronto, showcasing the diversity of Canada’s landscapes, from the majestic peaks of the Rockies to the lush forests of Ontario. For a more luxurious experience, the ‘Canadian Prestige’ tour is a 7-day trip, offering top-tier service, gourmet dining, and panoramic views of Canada’s heartland.

For those who would like to stay on the east coast of Canada, our ‘Eastern Canada by Rail’ tour is ideal. This 11-day trip will take you from Toronto to Halifax, showcasing the highlights of Eastern Canada. Each journey offers unique sightseeing opportunities, from observing wildlife in their natural habitats to Canada’s architectural marvels. Regardless of your choice, you’re guaranteed a memorable experience. Whichever route you choose, you’ll be captivated by the country’s charm and beauty.

VIA Rail Train Accessibility Information

VIA Rail offers an environment where everyone can travel autonomously and confidently. To ensure the greatest ease and comfort of travel, they also provide special assistance services. Do you have a disability or reduced mobility? Here’s what VIA Rail can do for you.

For more information on the accessible travel, please visit: Accessible Travel

VIA Rail Train Accessibility Information

VIA Rail offers an environment where everyone can travel autonomously and confidently. To ensure the greatest ease and comfort of travel, they also provide special assistance services. Do you have a disability or reduced mobility? Here’s what VIA Rail can do for you.


Frequently Asked Questions about VIA Rail Canadian Train Travel

There are three sleeper trains within Canada, VIA Rail’s ‘The Canadian’ which travels between Vancouver and Toronto, VIA Rail’s train between Winnipeg and Churchill, Manitoba, and VIA Rail’s ‘The Ocean’ which travels between Montreal and Halifax.

The cost varies between routes and the time of year but for the 2024 season for travel between Toronto and Vancouver, it will cost around CAD $2500 per person in the winter months and $4500 per person in the summer months for a Sleeper Plus cabin. For a Prestige Cabin, it will cost around CAD $5500 per person in the winter months and CAD $7500 in the summer months.

*All prestige cabin prices are based on two people sharing the room.
**By starting your trip in Vancouver instead of Toronto you will save approximately 8% on the train portion of your trip
***All prices are in Canadian Dollars. $1 CAD is equal to approximately $0.70 – $0.75 USD

Note that this is just for the cost of the train and all of our tour packages listed online include hotels and excursions on either end of the train journey. For a rail-only quote, please contact us directly.

The Canadian train between Vancouver and Toronto

Total Travel Time: 93 to 97 hours (4 nights spent onboard)
Direct travel between locations with short stops in Jasper and Winnipeg along the way
Total Travel Distance: 4466 Kilometers or 2775 Miles

1 Night in Toronto is necessary between trains as The Canadian route is subject to delays

The Corridor train between Toronto and Montreal or Quebec City

Total Travel Time: 5 to 5.5 hours from Toronto to Montreal, an additional 3 to 3.5 hours to Quebec City
These trains run during the day with multiple departure times available
Total Travel Distance: 542 Kilometers or 337 Miles to Montreal, an additional 262 Kilometers or 163 Miles to Quebec City

The Ocean train between Montreal or Quebec City and Halifax

Total Travel Time: 23 hours from Montreal, 20 hours from Quebec City (1 night spent onboard)
Total Travel Distance: 1346 Kilometers or 836 Miles from Montreal, 1084 Kilometers or 674 Miles from Quebec City

Total Travel Time Across Canada: Approximately 125 hours (5 nights spent onboard the train plus 1 or 2 nights spent in hotels required)
Total Distance Covered on the Train Across Canada: Approximately 6354 Kilometers or 3948 Miles

To fully enjoy the sights along the way, we recommend having some time off of the train. To see our most popular tour covering all of Canada, check out our 16-Day Canadian Trip of a Lifetime tour.

There are a few stops on ‘The Canadian’ route between Vancouver and Toronto, however, none of them are long enough to disembark to explore the area in detail. The major stops in Jasper and Winnipeg are approximately 3 hours, provided that the train is on schedule.

These main boarding and disembarking locations include Kamloops, Jasper, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Sudbury Junction.

On ‘The Ocean’, there are two quick stops, one in Moncton and one in Saint-Foy near Quebec City. Please note, if you are going to Quebec City, this includes a twenty-five-minute shuttle between the downtown Quebec City station and Saint-Foy station.

Travelling across Canada onboard a VIA Rail train is absolutely worth the time and money. Taking the train is the best way to experience the country and discover the diverse landscape, especially if it is your first time visiting Canada.

The best Canadian Rockies train trip that you can take onboard VIA Rail is our 7-Day Rockies Nostalgic tour during the summer months, or our 8-day Rockies Winter Wonderland tour during the winter months. These trips makes use of ‘The Canadian’ train from Vancouver to Jasper, giving you one night onboard the train. We then include a sightseeing tour of Jasper, a sightseeing transfer to Banff that includes the Columbia Icefield Excursion, a Banff sightseeing tour that includes the Banff Gondola, and finally a transfer to the Calgary International Airport. For a Canadian Rockies tour that includes a longer stay onboard The Canadian train, our Canadian Adventurer and Trip of a Lifetime tour options may be a better fit.

There is no Wi-Fi available on The Canadian train between Vancouver and Toronto.

There is Wi-Fi available in Business Class on The Corridor train between Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City.

There is Wi-Fi available in the lounge car on The Ocean train between Montreal, Quebec City, and Halifax.

There are standard electrical outlets in all cabins onboard VIA Rail and at your seat on ‘The Corridor’ (110 volts, 60 cycle AC). Guests traveling from the USA will not require an adapter in Canada, however, guests coming from overseas locations such as The UK or Australia will require an adapter for their devices.

If you are travelling from Vancouver to Toronto, or Toronto to Vancouver, you will be entitled to breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. There are two to three separate seating times available for lunch and dinner, depending on what time of year you are travelling, and you will be able to sign up for a time prior to boarding.

If you board or detrain at a location between Vancouver and Toronto, you will be assigned a dining time and will not be entitled to every meal on the day of embarkment or disembarkment.

Alcohol is only included for Prestige guests and is available for purchase for Sleeper Plus guests.

You can bring your own snacks and drinks onto the train; however, Provincial laws forbid passengers from consuming personal alcoholic drinks on the trains. Personal alcoholic drinks may only be consumed inside private sleeping cabins.

The maximum luggage allowance per guest is two 50-lb standard suitcases, two small 25-lb carry-ons, and one personal item. Keep in mind that all large suitcases will be checked, and you will not have access to them while on the train. You will want to pack enough clothing and essentials into your carry-on for the duration of your time onboard and any necessities such as medication.

For more information, you can read our blog here: Packing for a Canadian Train Trip.

Towels and linens are provided for both Sleeper Plus class passengers and Prestige class passengers. Sleeper Plus guests will have access to the common showers at the end of their car by reserving a time slot. Showers will be sanitized after each use. Prestige guests will have a private washroom with a shower in their cabin.

Tips for your trip when travelling with VIA Rail

  • Turn off your camera’s automatic flash to prevent glare and if you are using your mobile phone to take pictures, press your camera lens directly against the window to avoid reflections. 
  • Prepare for upcoming photo-ops by listening to host announcements.  
  • Be patient – the train shares the rails with freight trains so there may be delays.  
  • Be aware of time zone changes. The train can travel through up to six time zones, so make sure you keep your watch updated. 
  • A full breakfast is served shortly after departure, but you may want to grab a coffee and snack before leaving your hotel.  
  • Remember to have your onboard daypack.  
  • Prepare for motion sickness by having either motion sickness medication or acupressure wristbands. Eating a green apple can also help with alleviating motion sickness symptoms.  

VIA Rail News & Blogs

Christmas in the Rockies

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A Train Lover’s Dream Feature

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The Best Books About Trains – A Reading List for Riding the Rails

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Wildfires in Canada and the Impact on Rail Travel

Everything you need to know about the wildfire situation.

Accessible Train Travel in Canada

Accessibility on the Rocky Mountaineer and VIA Rail.

What to Pack for a Canadian Train Trip

Tips on what to pack for a Canadian train trip and how much luggage you are…

Sleeping on Canada’s VIA Rail Train

Information about what it's like to sleep onboard the VIA Rail train in Canada.…

Canadian Rail Vacations & Alaskan Cruises

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