Train Trips Across Canada
Experience some of the world's best scenery while relaxing on a trans-Canada train vacation
A train trip across Canada shows you the sheer scale and diversity of this vast nation. Watch through a giant picture window as the landscape shifts from quaint lakes to sweeping prairie grasslands, from sky-piercing mountains to lush rainforest, before finally arriving at the sparkling Pacific Ocean. There's no other trip quite like it!
Your options for trans-Canada rail trips are equally as diverse. Journey from Halifax to Vancouver on an epic 21-day adventure or begin in Toronto and arrive on the West Coast in less than a week. No matter what trip you choose, you'll have a unique chance to discover Canada's natural beauty and enchanting culture. All while unwinding in pure comfort.
WANT TO MAKE IT BETTER?
Facts about Trains Across Canada
- Canada is huge. The journey between Vancouver and Toronto is approximately 1.5 times the distance between London and Moscow.
- The scenic Rocky Mountaineer is the only passenger train to have access to certain special historic Canadian Pacific Railway routes, such as the 1885 Canadian Pacific route between Vancouver and Banff.
- Some Canadian trains are designed with glass-dome viewing cars, so that you won't miss a minute of the jaw-dropping scenery.
- Canada spans almost 90 degrees of longitude and uses 6 different time zones, so make sure you adjust your watch accordingly!
Experience with all of your senses — the salt spray of the ocean, the smell of pine trees after the rain, the thundering sound of a waterfall, the exhilarating feeling of crossing a rail bridge as a deep canyon looms below. This across-Canada adventure will stay with you for a very long time.
The Canadian Train
VIA Rail – Sleeper Train
Hopping a ride on this train is the ultimate way to discover how big and beautiful Canada is. ["The Canadian"](https://canadiantrainvacations.com/explore/the-canadian-train) was the flagship of the Canadian Pacific Rail line when it began service in 1955. Travelling from Toronto to Vancouver, the Canadian carries you from the forests of Ontario, through the sweeping fields of the Prairies and past the dramatic snow-capped Rocky Mountains.
There are two train routes in Canada which allow you to sleep on the train. Travel between Vancouver and Toronto on [The Canadian](https://canadiantrainvacations.com/explore/the-canadian-train), with stops in Jasper or Winnipeg. Or travel the East Coast of Canada on the Ocean train [from Montreal to Halifax](https://canadiantrainvacations.com/explore/train-trips-east-coast). Both sleeper train routes are available all year long. Sleeper trains in Canada are equipped with special panoramic viewing cars to provide you with the best view of the scenery day or night.
The Rocky Mountaineer connects British Columbia and Alberta, with stops in Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, Vancouver, Whistler, Quesnel and Kamloops. The train runs from mid-April until mid-October. The Rocky Mountaineer is a daylight only train designed so that passengers can experience the most spectacular views and optimal photo opportunities.
VIA Rail – Daylight Train
The Corridor Train travels between Windsor, Ontario and Quebec City, connecting some of the most exciting and hip cities in Canada, including Toronto and Montreal. You'll traverse this important region in beautiful Renaissance, LRC or Stainless Steel train cars, with superb amenities and large picture windows.
The Ocean Train
VIA Rail – Sleeper Train
Onboard the Ocean Train you'll travel from the French speaking province of Quebec, through the blissful backdrop of [lighthouses and seascapes](https://canadiantrainvacations.com/explore/maritimes-nova-scotia-train) in the Canadian Maritime Province of Nova Scotia before reaching your final destination of Halifax. As you relax onboard, you'll see tiny communities along your route, representing French Canadian, Acadian, Celtic and English heritage.
Top 5 Reasons to Take a Trans Canada Rail Tour
- You'll see more – On a driving trip you'll have your eyes glued to the highway. On the train you can sit back and enjoy the view as you travel through swathes of undeveloped forest, vast marshlands, canyons, river valleys and small towns.
- Trains go straight to the centre in most Canadian cities – The train was the very first way to get across Canada - therefore it got all of the best real estate. The train arrives in the downtown core of each city, right in the middle of all the top hotels, shopping, dining and sightseeing.
- You'll make new friends – A cross-Canada train journey can be wonderfully social. During the trip you can relax in the dining cars and get to know your fellow adventurers. There's nothing like card games, local wine and great views to inspire conversation.
- Train travel is comfortable – Sit back in your large reclining chair. Feast on gourmet cuisine and local wines in the dining car. Drift to sleep to the click-clacking rhythm of the train in your private berth.
- You'll have plenty of time to relax – Cross-Canada train travel is all about long, leisurely journeys where you simply sit back, read a book and watch the mountains and rivers go past your window. It's a wonderfully calm way to travel.
The route you take on your trans Canada journey is up to you – and there are many options to choose from. Let a Canadian Insider help you put the pieces together.
Vancouver to Toronto
Hopping a ride on this train is the ultimate way to discover how big and beautiful Canada is. 'The Canadian' was the flagship of the Canadian Pacific Rail line when it began service in 1955. Travelling from Toronto to Vancouver, the Canadian carries you from the forests of Ontario, through the sweeping fields of the Prairies and past the dramatic snow-capped Rocky Mountains
Vancouver to the Rockies
The Rocky Mountaineer is a daylight only train, perfect for experiencing the most spectacular views and optimal photo oppotunities of the Canadian Rockies. The train connects BC and Alberta, with stops in Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise, Vancouver and Whistler on three unique routes. Your overnight stay during your journey will be in Quesnel or Kamloops.
Toronto to Quebec City
The Corridor Train runs between Toronto and Quebec City, with stop overs in Ottawa and Montreal. Travel through the heartland of Canada. This scenic commuter train service offers Economy and Business Class. In Business class guests reveive priority boarding and waiting lounge access as well as onboard meals and drinks served at your seat.
Montreal to Halifax
Onboard the Ocean Train you'll travel from the French speaking province of Quebec, through the blissful backdrop of lighthouses and seascapes in the Canadian Maritime Province of Nova Scotia before reaching your final destination of Halifax. As you relax onboard, you'll see tiny communities along your route, representing French Canadian, Acadian, Celtic and English heritage.
A train journey across Canada is an opportunity to experience this vast country not in bits and pieces, but as one cohesive whole. These across Canada train adventures can also be paired with other expeditions, such as a flight to Churchill Manitoba to ride on a dog sled or to take a safari to view wild polar bears.
Biking the Vancouver Seawall
Vancouver is a delightfully liveable city throughout the year, but it really shines in the summertime. You'll have the best of both worlds - the culture, dining and shopping of a world class metropolis and mountains and hiking trails right on the doorstep. The climate of Vancouver is also ideal in the summer — not too cold, but also not scorching hot. It's just the right temperature to treat yourself to some ice cream as you wander around the city.
Jasper is the gentle giant of the Rockies and this small mountain town offers visitors a more laid-back mountain experience – with equal options for adventure, discovery and relaxation.
Winnipeg will surprise you – a sophisticated, cultured metropolis rising out of an endless sea of flat prairies. It's gaining attention for its diverse dining scene, excellent new museums and the quality of its theatre, comedy and music.
Overlooking the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac
The tiny cobblestone streets, steep hills and welcoming squares of this European-esque city are a delight to explore under blue summer skies. Once you have had your fill of the quaint, French-Canadian charm after wandering through the streets, you can head to the The Baie de Beauport, the city's beach. Watch the locals play beach volleyball as the sunlight sparkles on the water.
St. Lawrence River
Predominantly French-speaking, Montréal is set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River and named after Mt. Royal. Its 19 boroughs, many of which were once independent cities, include neighbourhoods from cobblestoned, French colonial Vieux-Montréal – with imposing Notre-Dame Basilica at its center – to industrial Sud-Ouest and artist-friendly Plateau.
Argyle Street, Halifax
Halifax is the largest port in Canada's Maritime Provinces and its links with the sea and the Celtic people are evident in the dialect of the locals, the songs and fiddle music played in the pubs, and the wonderful maritime museum on the harbourfront. Stroll along the cobbled streets exploring galleries and shops and dine out on fresh lobster on your visit.
Recommended Trans Canada Train Tours
Canadian Cross Country Journey
9 days from Loading... pp
Across Canada by Train
Toronto, Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, Vancouver
13 days from Loading... pp
Sign up for vacation inspiration, insider tips, exclusive offers and more.