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VIA Rail is Canada’s national passenger rail with service to 52 cities. Founded in 1977, its 12,500 kilometers of railroads serve millions of passengers per year. With 9 distinct routes and nationwide coverage, VIA Rail is a fantastic way to travel around Canada, whether for a quick and convenient commute from Toronto to Ottawa, or for an incredible adventure across the country from Halifax to Vancouver. VIA Rail is known for its modern trains, which don a recognizable (and snazzy) black and yellow paint scheme.
Yes, VIA Rail offers WiFi on their trains. Although most trips with VIA Rail will have WiFi as advertised, some trains might not come equipped with WiFi and onboard WiFi can lose its connection in rural areas. We recommend you bring a book or download a movie just to play it safe. VIA Rail WiFi is generally best used for surfing the web, checking emails and chatting with friends; you shouldn’t count on the WiFi to binge watch your favorite show.
VIA Rail has quite an extensive baggage policy intended to best service all passengers while maintaining standard regulation.
Each passenger is allowed to carry on 2-3 pieces of luggage, depending on the fare class. Economy class passengers are allowed one personal item and one large bag, or one personal item and two small bags. Business class and youth (age 12-25) passengers are allowed one personal item and two large bags as carry on.
For all of these fare classes, one additional carry-on item is allowed for a fee of $40 for each direction. Sleeper and prestige class tickets have a carry-on allowance of one personal item per person and two small bags per cabin; all additional items must be checked.
Each passenger may check up to 2 bags for free. The maximum allowed weight for each baggage item is 23 kilograms, equivalent to 50 pounds. Each bag’s dimensions (length, width, height) must not exceed a sum of 158 cm, or 62 inches. Overweight baggage, oversized baggage, and extra baggage all incur a fee of $40 per item per direction.
Furthermore, you may bring one bicycle onboard for each adult ticket. Most trains have baggage cars with a rack that supports 12 bikes. Your bike should not be in any carrier or otherwise covered.
Yes, there are power points onboard VIA Rail trains. You can generally find one or two sockets per row of seats, so be a good traveller and check if your seat neighbour might want to charge up their devices as well. With the onboard power points, you can charge both a computer and USB devices with a power point USB converter that typically comes with most phones and tablets.
Since VIA Rail might sometimes use replacement train vehicles, not all trips are guaranteed to have power points. We recommend to bring a power bank to charge your phone for all trips over 2 hours, just in case.
The VIA Rail system spans 8 Canadian provinces from coast to coast: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. It is comprised of 9 distinct routes:
Perhaps the two most well known routes are the Canadian and the Ocean. One of VIA Rail’s signature trips as the longest, the Canadian takes you from Toronto to Vancouver. This train is world-renowned and is even featured on the back of the Canadian ten dollar bill. During the ride aboard the Canadian, you will get a view of incredible scenery out the window, from the lakes of Ontario, to the prairies in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, to the boreal forests in Alberta, to the Canadian Rockies, with stops in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Jasper along the way. The Canadian train even has a dome car, made specifically to appreciate the incredible views aboard VIA Rail.
The Ocean is yet another amazing train ride offered by VIA Rail. Its route extends from Montreal to Halifax. Enjoy the beauty of French Quebec before you head through the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
On a typical day, VIA Rail has 207 scheduled train trips in total. However, the exact departure and arrival times vary depending on the day and route. The best way to find the exact schedule for your trip is to use the search tool on this page.
Yes, VIA Rail requires you to present an ID to an agent to be allowed to board the train. Make sure you have identification issued by a government agency that meets the carrier’s requirements. Alternative IDs, such as a college ID, won’t work.
Yes, there are bathrooms on VIA Rail trains. The bathrooms are pretty basic and include a toilet, toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Most bathrooms don’t have running water. As you will be using a bathroom on a moving vehicle, please use caution and hold on to a rail at all times.
Yes, you can modify or cancel a VIA Rail reservation whether it’s an electronic or paper ticket. The easiest way to do this is by phone at 1-888-842-7245 or online on VIA’s website. A cancellation fee may apply.
VIA Rail does not require a printed ticket to board the train. Instead, an eTicket is sent to you by email when you make your reservation. You can use your smartphone to show this eTicket to the ticketing agent as you board.
VIA Rail goes the extra distance to deliver premium features to its customers.
Movies are provided during the train trip to keep you entertained. Don’t forget to bring your favorite pair of headphones, as headphones are not always included on the train. We recommend in-ear noise cancelling headphones due to their small size.
Do you find yourself squished in a regular seat or just love having extra room to sprawl out? Well you’re in luck as VIA Rail offers extra legroom seating. Since there is no standard of what extra legroom is, the extra space you get may vary between train lines, but getting extra is always good.
With 207 VIA Rail trips per day, there are a lot of great deals to uncover for the bargain hunter and VIA Rail tickets start at just £15.69. Check out some of the latest and greatest deals snatched up by Wanderu users.
|Ottawa to Windsor|
|Kingston to Brampton|
|Cobourg to Oshawa|
|Guelph to Brampton|
|Kingston to Toronto|