Via Rail Canada Train Tickets

Via Rail Canada train tickets official website

How to book cheap train tickets on the Via Rail Canada website

To find and book cheap railway tickets on the official website Via Rail Canada, just fill out the search form and indicate:

  • Departure city
  • City of arrival
  • Departure date
  • Number of passengers
  • Click on the «Search» button.
  • In a couple of seconds, the search system will show you the availability of available seats and you can book train tickets online on the official website Via Rail Canada.
  • You can also find out train timetables in the same way.
  • You can pay for railway tickets in any way convenient for you, for example, using a bank card.
  • Immediately after payment, Via Rail Canada train tickets will be sent to your e-mail.
  • When boarding a Via Rail Canada train, you must present a ticket on your mobile phone screen and an original ID.

Via Rail Canada train company contacts

Date of foundation January 12, 1977
Headquarters Place Ville Marie, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Main services Intercity train services in Canada and the USA
Parent company Government of Canada
Address PO Box 8116 Succ. Centre-Ville Montreal, QC H3C 3N3, Canada
Phones In Canada and the United States: 1-888-842-7245
E-mail: [email protected]
Via Rail Canada official website in English:

Via Rail Canada Routes and Destinations

Via Rail Canada Routes
Via Rail Canada connects Canada’s provinces by rail, such as: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan.

Via Rail Canada is a prominent passenger rail service that operates in several Canadian provinces, including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. This extensive network connects major cities and regions across the country, offering both local and long-distance travel options. Here, we delve into the details of Via Rail’s operations, routes, and its unique characteristics.

Provincial Coverage Via Rail Canada provides rail services in several Canadian provinces, ensuring efficient transportation across vast territories. Notably, the only province or territory not connected to the continental railway network and thus not served by Via Rail is the Northwest Territories. Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon also lack rail connections to the continental network and, consequently, do not have Via Rail services.

Extensive Route Network Via Rail boasts an extensive route network, operating over 475 trains per week across 19 distinct routes. These routes can be broadly categorized into four main groups:

  1. Ontario and Quebec Corridor Service
    • This category comprises frequent regional and local trains that connect major cities within a band stretching from Southwestern Ontario to Quebec City.
    • Notable cities served by Corridor trains include Windsor, Sarnia, London, Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City.
    • In 2017, corridor service was the backbone of Via Rail, accounting for 95 percent of its ridership and 77 percent of its revenue.
  2. The Maritime Way (Ocean)
    • The Maritime Way offers long-distance rail service between Quebec and the Maritime provinces.
    • In 2017, the Ocean accounted for 2 percent of Via’s ridership and 3 percent of its revenue.
  3. The Great Western Way (Canadian)
    • This category encompasses long-distance service connecting Southern Ontario to Western Canada, as well as vital rail services through Northern Ontario.
    • In 2017, the Canadian accounted for 2 percent of Via’s ridership and a substantial 20 percent of its revenue.
  4. Adventure Routes
    • Comprising five regional and long-distance routes, Adventure Routes cater to essential rail transportation needs in rural northern areas.
    • In 2017, these routes collectively contributed 1 percent of Via’s ridership and revenue.
    • The Adventure Routes include:
      • Jasper–Prince Rupert train (formerly known as Skeena) — Alberta and British Columbia
      • Montreal–Jonquière train (formerly known as Saguenay) — Quebec
      • Montreal–Senneterre train (formerly known as Abitibi) — Quebec
      • Sudbury–White River train (formerly known as Lake Superior) — Ontario
      • Winnipeg–Churchill train (formerly known as Hudson Bay) — Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Unique Naming Convention It is worth noting that, unlike Amtrak, which assigns specific names to each route, Via Rail typically identifies its trains solely by their route number and destination. The only exceptions to this naming convention are the Canadian and the Ocean. Previously, the five «Adventure Routes» were branded as the Skeena, the Saguenay, the Abitibi, the Lake Superior, and the Hudson Bay, and these names may still be used in local terminology.

The Maple Leaf is a prominent train route that traverses the international border between the United States and Canada, offering a unique cross-border rail journey. This route, jointly managed by Via Rail and Amtrak, connects the vibrant cities of New York City and Toronto while making stops in Albany, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls along the way.

1. Partnership between Via Rail and Amtrak

  • The Maple Leaf route is a testament to cross-border cooperation between two major railway operators, Via Rail and Amtrak.
  • While the train operates using Amtrak equipment, it is important to note that on the Canadian side of the border, the Maple Leaf is staffed by Via Rail employees and operated as a typical Via Rail train.

2. Maple Leaf Route Highlights

  • The Maple Leaf route offers passengers a scenic and convenient way to travel between New York City and Toronto, two of North America’s iconic metropolises.
  • Along its journey, the train stops at key destinations, including Albany, the capital of New York; Buffalo, a vibrant city on the shores of Lake Erie; and Niagara Falls, renowned for its breathtaking natural wonder.

3. Other Canada-US Train Routes

  • In addition to the Maple Leaf, two other train routes facilitate cross-border travel between Canada and the United States.
  • The Adirondack route connects Montreal, Canada, with New York City. Like the Maple Leaf, it crosses the border, but it is fully operated by Amtrak.
  • The Amtrak Cascades route links Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland. While it shares stations with Via Rail at its Canadian termini, it is operated solely by Amtrak, and single-ticket connections to Via Rail trains are not available.

4. Integration with Other Transportation Services

  • Via Rail goes beyond just rail services, offering passengers a seamless travel experience through connection agreements with various transportation providers.
  • These agreements encompass local and intercity bus operators, car-sharing services, and airlines.
  • Passengers flying with select airlines have the unique opportunity to combine their air and rail trips under the same record locator, simplifying travel logistics and enhancing convenience.

Via Rail Canada Classes of Service

Via Rail Canada offers a range of distinct classes of service to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of its passengers. From budget-conscious travelers to those seeking the utmost in luxury, Via Rail has a class to suit every type of journey.

1. Escape Fare

  • The Escape Fare is designed for budget-conscious travelers looking for discounted seats in the economy class.
  • This fare comes with certain restrictions, particularly on refunds and exchanges, making it ideal for passengers with fixed travel plans.

2. Economy

  • Economy class provides comfortable seating in coach cars.
  • Passengers in this class have the option to purchase snacks and beverages from onboard employees, who may use service carts for this purpose.
  • Additionally, passengers can enjoy snacks and beverages in a lounge car or opt for a meal in the restaurant car.
  • Free Wi-Fi access is available on the Corridor routes and on the Ocean, enhancing the travel experience for passengers.

3. Business (formerly Via 1)

  • Business class, formerly known as Via 1, offers a first-class travel experience available on most Corridor trains in southern Quebec and Ontario.
  • Passengers in this class enjoy upgraded amenities and enhanced services, providing a more premium travel experience.

4. Touring

  • Touring class is a specialized service available exclusively on the Skeena route during peak travel months.
  • This class is designed to cater to tourists and travelers seeking a unique and immersive experience during their journey.

5. Sleeper Plus

  • Sleeper Plus offers passengers comfortable sleeping accommodations aboard overnight trains.
  • This service class was previously known as Sleeper in certain cases, including on the now-suspended Chaleur route.
  • Each sleeper car provides access to a washroom, and some may offer the convenience of a shower.
  • Passengers in Sleeper Plus also have access to business lounges where available or can enjoy the amenities of the Sleeper Plus Lounge in Halifax on the day of departure.

6. Prestige

  • Prestige class is the epitome of luxury travel on Via Rail Canada and is exclusively available on the Canadian route.
  • In addition to the amenities offered in Sleeper Plus, Prestige class includes modernized, luxurious sleeping accommodations situated at the rear of the train.
  • Passengers in Prestige class experience a level of comfort and elegance that sets this class apart as the ultimate way to travel on Via Rail Canada’s flagship route.

Via Rail Canada Fares, Baggage and Hand Luggage Allowances

Fare Conditions Carry-on Baggage Checked Baggage
ESCAPE 1 personal item Max. 11.5 kg (25 lb.) Max. 43 x 15 x 33 cm (17 x 6 x 13 in.) 2 large checked items Maximum weight per item: 23 kg (50 lb.)
Maximum linear dimensions per item: 158 cm (62 in.)
ECONOMY 1 personal item Max. 11.5 kg (25 lb.) Max. 43 x 15 x 33 cm (17 x 6 x 13 in.) and 1 large item Max. 23 kg (50 lb.) Max. 158 linear cm (62 linear in.) or 2 small items Max. 11.5 kg (25 lb.) each Max. 54.5 x 39.5 x 23 cm (21.5 x 15.5 x 9 in.) each 2 large checked items Maximum weight per item: 23 kg (50 lb.)
Maximum linear dimensions per item: 158 cm (62 in.)
ECONOMY PLUS 1 personal item Max. 11.5 kg (25 lb.) Max. 43 x 15 x 33 cm (17 x 6 x 13 in.) and 1 large item Max. 23 kg (50 lb.) Max. 158 linear cm (62 linear in.) or 2 small items Max. 11.5 kg (25 lb.) each Max. 54.5 x 39.5 x 23 cm (21.5 x 15.5 x 9 in.) each 2 large checked items Maximum weight per item: 23 kg (50 lb.)
Maximum linear dimensions per item: 158 cm (62 in.)
BUSINESS 1 personal item Max. 11.5 kg (25 lb.) Max. 43 x 15 x 33 cm (17 x 6 x 13 in.) and 2 large items Max. 23 kg (50 lb.) each Max. 158 linear cm (62 linear in.) each 2 large checked items Maximum weight per item: 23 kg (50 lb.)
Maximum linear dimensions per item: 158 cm (62 in.)
BUSINESS PLUS 1 personal item Max. 11.5 kg (25 lb.) Max. 43 x 15 x 33 cm (17 x 6 x 13 in.) and 2 large items Max. 23 kg (50 lb.) each Max. 158 linear cm (62 linear in.) each 2 large checked items Maximum weight per item: 23 kg (50 lb.)
Maximum linear dimensions per item: 158 cm (62 in.)

History of the Via Rail Canada train company

Via Rail Canada, the nation’s premier passenger railway company, has a storied history that spans several decades. This article chronicles the remarkable journey of Via Rail, from its inception to its role as a vital mode of transportation connecting Canadians across this vast and diverse nation.

Early Beginnings

The seeds of Via Rail Canada were sown in the early 1970s when the Canadian government, recognizing the importance of passenger rail services, took the ambitious step of consolidating several struggling rail services into one national entity. On July 29, 1978, Via Rail Canada was officially born, inheriting the passenger rail operations of Canadian National Railway (CNR) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).

Inaugural Years

Via Rail embarked on its maiden journey on October 29, 1978, with high hopes and a commitment to reinvigorate passenger rail travel in Canada. The company introduced a modern and comfortable fleet of trains to replace aging equipment, emphasizing safety, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

The Corridor and Beyond

One of Via Rail’s most significant achievements was the development of the «Corridor» service, a dense network of routes connecting major cities in the densely populated region of Southern Ontario and Quebec. This corridor quickly became the backbone of Via Rail’s operations, providing frequent and convenient service between cities like Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City.

Challenges and Triumphs

Via Rail faced numerous challenges during its history, including financial struggles, labor disputes, and competition from other modes of transportation. However, the company persevered, constantly improving its services, expanding its network, and embracing technological advancements to stay relevant in the modern age.

Route Expansion and Diverse Services

Over the years, Via Rail expanded its reach beyond the Corridor. The company introduced long-distance services to serve the diverse regions of Canada. Routes like «The Canadian» and «The Ocean» offered passengers breathtaking journeys across the country, highlighting the natural beauty of Canada’s landscapes.

Modernization and Sustainability

In the 21st century, Via Rail embraced sustainability and environmental consciousness. The company invested in energy-efficient technologies and explored ways to reduce its carbon footprint. Initiatives like the installation of Wi-Fi on some routes and the introduction of new train cars showcased Via Rail’s commitment to modernization.

Partnerships and Connections

Via Rail also forged partnerships with other transportation providers, enabling passengers to seamlessly connect between rail, bus, and air travel. These partnerships enhanced the convenience and accessibility of Via Rail’s services.

The Future of Via Rail Canada

Via Rail Canada continued to play a vital role in the nation’s transportation network. Plans for high-frequency rail in the Corridor were in development, promising faster and more frequent service between major cities.

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