Planning a Train Journey Across Canada

Ever dream of taking a long train voyage through some of the most spectacular landscapes in North America? Well, taking a train journey across Canada is a great way to see the diverse scenery this huge country has to offer. From the coastal mountains of British Columbia to the sweeping prairies of Alberta and Saskatchewan, to the granite cliffs of northern Ontario, and all the way to the maritime provinces on the east coast – the Canadian is truly a grand adventure by rail.

The Canadian is operated by Via Rail Canada and runs between Vancouver on the west coast all the way to Toronto in the east, a journey of over 4,500 km (2,800 miles). The best way to experience it is in one of their sleeper cars which include a private room with upper and lower berths that fold up during the day. Having your own sleeping accommodation allows you to fully relax and appreciate the constantly changing scenery without worrying about uncomfortable coach seats overnight.

The journey takes around four days from coast to coast, giving you plenty of time to watch the landscapes roll by from the comfort of your room or the dome car. Some of the highlights include crossing the Fraser Canyon and Rocky Mountains in BC, gazing at the prairies of Alberta and Saskatchewan from the dome car, spotting wildlife like deer and bison in Jasper and Banff National Parks, and taking in the rugged beauty of northern Ontario and Quebec.

Meals are included on board and are served in the dining car where you can meet other passengers. Expect hearty Canadian fare like pea soup, steak, salmon, and pancakes for breakfast. You’ll want to refuel, as days on the train can involve a lot of sightseeing from the windows. Make sure to take plenty of snacks too, as the dining car service can get busy.

At night, many passengers enjoy socializing in the dome car or lounge before turning in for the evening. It’s a great way to swap travel stories with other riders. Some evenings you may be treated to a presentation from one of Via Rail’s onboard guides who share insights into the history and culture of the places you’re passing through.

Popular stops along the route include Jasper, Winnipeg, Sudbury, and Quebec City where you can get off for a few hours to stretch your legs and explore. Jasper and Banff are must-see spots for hiking, taking gondola rides, and marveling at glacial lakes and snowcapped peaks.

Once you reach the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, the landscapes transition to giant rocky outcrops, forests, and small towns. You’ll feel like you’ve truly crossed a continent as you near the end of the journey on the plains of southern Ontario before the train curves down to its final destination in Toronto’s Union Station.

So if you’re looking for an epic North American adventure, taking the Canadian across Canada by train is an experience you’ll never forget. With varied scenery, onboard amenities, and multi-day relaxation, it’s one of the best ways to soak in the sheer scale and natural beauty of this massive country from coast to coast. Start planning your trip today – the journey of a lifetime awaits!

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