VIA Rail Canada has perfected the art of ferrying passengers across Canada, day and night. On board VIA Rail's overnight trains, you can enjoy fine dining, relax in a lounge car, and stretch out in a cozy sleeper cabin. Sleeper cabins are a comfortable way to explore the natural beauty of Canada, from coast to coast.
Take a multi-day train journey from Vancouver to Toronto. Wind your way past sleepy fishing villages in the Maritimes. Travel through the countryside of Quebec and Ontario. Head to Churchill for spectacular wildlife viewing. Old-growth forests, mountains, prairies, lakes, big cities - discover it all on one of our tours. VIA Rail trains run all year round, so you can explore Canada in every season.
Canadian Train Vacations have been creating personalized itineraries in Canada since 1996. Our VIA Rail vacations are completely customizable. We combine your chosen train route with activities, excursions, and dining experiences — all catered to your interests. You can choose your hotel class, add extra days and select your level of service on the train.
Most Recommended VIA Rail Trips
For inspiration, check out our most recommended VIA Rail train packages. You can spend a few hours on the train, a whole day, three nights or more — it’s completely up to you.
Short on time? Choose our six-day Canadian Rockies train trip. This itinerary features an overnight train journey between Jasper and Vancouver. You’ll explore Jasper and Banff national parks, tour the Icefields Parkway, and travel to the West Coast on VIA Rail’s Canadian train. Spend one day and one night on the train.
Miles covered on train: 532
Days on train: 1
Nights on train: 1
Settle into life on board the train on a VIA Rail across Canada tour. Spend three nights on The Canadian train as you travel between Jasper and Toronto. You’ll combine this with a Rocky Mountaineer daylight train from Vancouver to Jasper.
Miles covered on train: 2,775
Days on train: 5
Nights on train: 3
Our VIA Rail packages also include daylight train experiences through Eastern Canada. On this trip, you'll hop on board VIA Rail’s Corridor train and travel through Ontario and Quebec. Explore different cities each day - Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. You'll also visit the beautiful Niagara region.
Miles covered on train: 465
Days on train: 3
Nights on train: 0
VIA Rail Classes
Depending on the train route, VIA Rail Canada offers multiple service levels. Need help deciding which one is right for you? Reach out to our travel experts for advice.
Sleeper Plus Class
In Sleeper Plus Class, you have a cabin with a private toilet and sink, and access to a shared shower. Cabins feature comfortable seating next to a large picture window. At night, your attendant sets up your bunk-style upper and/or lower beds. Cabins can sleep 1 to 4 people. Perks of Sleeper Plus class vary on each train route.
Sleeper Plus on the Canadian train: onboard gourmet meals served in the dining car. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are available. On the train, you'll have access to the Skyline viewing car. At the beginning of your trip, enjoy priority boarding and access to the station lounges in Vancouver /Toronto.
Sleeper Plus on the Ocean train: hot meals are served in the dining car. Ask your friendly hosts about available times to visit the lounge car.
#1 Travel tip: Relax in bed anytime
On sleeper trains, you can choose to keep your bed made up during the day if you’d like to return to your cabin for regular naps.
In the VIA Rail Prestige Class, you have 50% more space compared to Sleeper Plus Class. The window is 60% larger, perfect for admiring the views. Cabins feature an L-shaped leather couch that converts to a lower bed at night. The bed faces the window so you can look out at the changing scenery. There is a toilet and sink in the cabin, and you will have access to a shared shower. Perks include personal concierge service, access to the Park Car, and priority meal reservations in the dining car. Enjoy afternoon tapas, unlimited snacks, and complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, too. Prestige Class is only offered on The Canadian train.
#2 Travel tip: Charging your devices
If you have multiple electronic devices, bring a charging extension or portable charger as there are limited electrical sockets in each cabin.
In Business class on the day-time trains, you receive priority boarding and waiting lounge access. Onboard meals and drinks are included and served at your seat. You’ll get breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on your train time. Business Class is offered on The Corridor train.
Quick Facts About VIA Rail Trains
- VIA Rail is a passenger rail service that connects Canada. There are four main train routes. Major city stops include Vancouver, Jasper, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec and Halifax.
- Depending on the route, VIA Rail offers daylight or overnight sleeper train experiences.
- VIA Rail offers a selection of snacks, light meals, and gourmet Canadian cuisine. Options available depend on the train route and class of service.
- Train cars feature large picture windows to highlight the vast Canadian landscape.
- Some trains include the Skyline car which has a dome viewing area.
- There are three sleeper train routes: The Canadian, The Ocean and The Winnipeg-Churchill.
VIA Rail Map and Routes
The route you take on your trans Canada journey is up to you - and there are many options to choose from. Let a local travel expert help you put the pieces together. Some of the best via rail routes are listed below.
VIA Rail offers two incredible long-distance routes. You can hop aboard The Canadian, where you’ll embark on a four-day journey from Toronto to Vancouver. Or, opt for a shorter trip and see Eastern Canada on The Ocean route, which travels from Montreal to Halifax.
Hopping 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. The Canadian is an incredible cross-country journey between Toronto and Vancouver. The train covers 4,466 kilometres. Along the way, pass the forests of Ontario, the endless fields of the Prairie provinces, and the dramatic Rocky Mountains.
Major city stops include Sudbury, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper, and Kamloops. This route is a sleeper train experience that takes four days and four nights if you don’t get off at any stops. If you do decide to do a layover in any of the destinations, you should know that you’ll be there a minimum of four days until the next train comes through.
There are a handful of minor stops as well. It’s important to note that most stops are short (between 30 minutes and two hours) and are subject to change to stay on schedule.
The Canadian offers Economy, Sleeper Plus, and Prestige classes.
The Ocean train has been operating since 1904, making it the oldest continuously operated named passenger train in North America. The 1,350-kilometre journey takes you from the French-speaking province of Quebec to the Maritime province of Nova Scotia. Look out the window and you'll see rolling countryside and a backdrop of lighthouses and seascapes. You'll pass by small communities of French Canadian, Acadian, Celtic and English heritage. Major city stops include Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton and Halifax.
This overnight sleeper train experience takes approximately 21 hours. So, without stopping off, you can complete this journey in one day and one night. The best time to enjoy it is from mid-June until mid-October.
The Ocean train only offers Economy and Sleeper Plus classes.
Explore: East Coast Train Tours
VIA Rail trips on The Corridor train carry you through southern Ontario and Quebec, the heartland of Canada. See winding rivers, pristine lakes, rural towns - and the big cities, of course. Stops include Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. This scenic commuter train service offers Economy and Business Class seats.
#3 Travel tip: VIA Rail from coast to coast
You can travel from Vancouver on the West Coast all the way to Halifax on the East Coast by combining VIA Rail daytime trains and sleeper trains.
Food on VIA Rail across Canada
If your wondering about what meals are like when riding the VIA Rail train across Canada, dining on the train is a pleasant surprise. Some trains have a chef on-board, so meals are prepared fresh and can be made to accommodate specific diets and allergies.
The dining car is available on The Canadian and The Ocean trains for those who book Prestige Class and Sleeper Plus fares. Set up like a nice restaurant, you'll enjoy three-course meals with unbeatable views. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in the dining car.
Menus will vary based on which trip you take and what time of year it is. Typically, the dining car menu will offer four different options for each meal, one option always being a vegetarian choice. A selection of local beers and wines will also be available to order off the menu.
Each menu includes some local flavour. So, if you're taking The Ocean route, for example, you can expect to see some seafood on offer. When travelling through Alberta, you'll see beef on the menu.
Examples of meals served on The Canadian:
- Breakfast choices — chef omelette of the day; eggs cooked to your liking, served with a choice of breakfast meat, hash browns and toast; a vegan hash; or pancakes or french toast.
- Lunch choices (served with soup or salad, and dessert) — sandwich of the day; pasta of the day; hamburger; or salad with salmon.
- Dinner choices (served with soup or salad, and dessert) — beef tenderloin; maple dijon chicken; chickpea curry; or baked salmon. * these are just examples and the offerings on your train may differ
Activities on the train
One question you may have is what to do during your trip across Canada on the VIA Rail train. Along with the exclusive sights, VIA Rail offers a selection of onboard entertainment during peak season. Activities like wine tasting, and children's programs, may be available.
For routes without Wi-Fi, such as the Canadian, we recommend downloading some shows or movies to a tablet or laptop. Podcasts and audiobooks are also a great choice for the train. You can listen while you watch the amazing scenery out the window.
Of course, it's also the perfect time to unplug and enjoy catching up on some reading. Train mode is way more relaxing than airplane mode.
Packing for a trip across Canada
It's important to understand the baggage and packing guidelines. The last thing you want is to find out you can't bring all your luggage with you when boarding the train. Always check with VIA Rail about the weight of your baggage and look over the prohibited items before you start packing.
Carry-on and checked luggage allowance varies by train. For sleeper-train journeys, you won’t have access to your checked luggage while on the train, so any important items must be put in your carry-on.
Here’s a recommended packing list for your trip across Canada:
- Lightweight and waterproof jacket or windbreaker
- Midweight fleece or wool sweater or cardigan
- Comfortable, waterproof shoes for sightseeing
- A pair of slippers for wandering on the train
- A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
- A small backpack or daypack
- A good book
Places to Visit with VIA Rail
From the bright city lights of Toronto to the looming Rocky Mountain peaks, our personalized Canadian train tours on VIA Rail offer adventure on a grand scale. Our VIA Rail holidays take you to the best Canadian destinations.
Vancouver is a delightful city all year round. The city offers the best of both worlds - it has the culture, dining and shopping of a world-class metropolis, with mountains, ocean and hiking trails right on its doorstep. The climate of Vancouver is ideal in the summer, not too cold, not too hot. Treat yourself to ice cream as you wander through the city or cycle around Stanley Park.
Jasper is often called the 'gentle giant' of the Canadian Rockies and offers visitors a more laid-back experience.. This small town is the perfect base for exploring Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is something for everyone: adventure, discovery, and relaxation. Popular activities include hiking and wildlife viewing.
Toronto sits on Lake Ontario's northwestern shore and is the capital city of the province of Ontario. A walk through the city's vibrant neighbourhoods reveals the incredible diversity of Canada's population. Discover ethnic restaurants, lively bars, Broadway shows, concerts, art galleries and museums. Notable landmarks include the CN Tower, the The Rogers Centre (the Skydome) and the Royal Ontario Museum.
Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, is a lively prairie city with a buzzing arts and culture scene. The city has diverse dining, new museums, and high-quality theatre, comedy and music. No trip to Winnipeg is complete without a visit to The Forks, the city's top gathering place filled with restaurants, shops and attractions.
Montreal sits on an island in the Saint Lawrence River, and the city is predominantly French-speaking. There are 19 boroughs, many of which were once independent cities. Neighbourhoods include cobblestoned, French colonial Old Montreal, industrial Sud-Ouest and colourful, artsy Plateau. The iconic and imposing Notre-Dame Basilica stands in the middle of Old Montreal.
Quebec City's narrow cobblestone streets, steep hills, and public squares are reminiscent of a European city. After wandering through the streets, you can head to The Baie de Beauport, the city's beach. Watch the locals play beach volleyball as the sunlight sparkles on the water.
Halifax is the largest port in Canada's Maritime Provinces. The city's connection to the sea and the Celtic people across that sea are evident. You'll hear it in the local dialect and the songs and fiddle music played in pubs. Down on the historic harbourfront is the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. After learning about Nova Scotia's maritime heritage, you can explore galleries and shops, then dine out on fresh lobster.
What Our Customers Say
A great experience not to be missed
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Frequently Asked Questions
The Coast to Coast by train is the ultimate train trip across Canada. You’ll see the country’s top highlights, including Peggy’s Cove, Niagara Falls and Lake Louise.
The Coast to Coast by train package starts at $12,340 for a 19-day trip, including transfers, hotels, and some meals and activities.
One train does not travel coast-to-coast in Canada. VIA Rail connects the Atlantic coast (Halifax) to the Pacific coast (Vancouver) with four different train routes.
VIA Rail's train routes connect Western Canada to Atlantic Canada, covering 7,770 miles. You can travel by train from Vancouver in British Columbia to Halifax in Nova Scotia.
Wi-Fi is available between Quebec City and Windsor on The Corridor train. The Ocean (between Montreal and Halifax) has Wi-Fi available in the train's service cars. There is no Wi-Fi on board The Canadian train (between Vancouver and Toronto). Select train stations and Business lounges have complimentary Wi-Fi.
Yes, you can bring your own food onto the train. Canadian train tours on VIA Rail sometimes include meals, depending on the route and service level. Food and drink are available for purchase in Economy Class. Please check with your vacation advisor to see if your service level includes meals.
On VIA Rail’s overnight train routes, shared shower facilities are available on each train car. Sleeper Plus and Prestige class passengers have exclusive access to these facilities. Towels and toiletries are available.
VIA Rail is a different train company from Rocky Mountaineer. Rocky Mountaineer is a daylight sightseeing train between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies. You do not sleep on board Rocky Mountaineer trains and they only run during the summer months.
About the author: Hannah Poaros-McDermott is the Senior Content Coordinator at Fresh Tracks Canada. She has previously written for and shared her local knowledge in Where Vancouver, Where Whistler, and Essential Vancouver magazines. Originally from the UK, Hannah travelled... Read more
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