VIA Rail Canada

3 Jan

VIA train travelling along northern Ontario.

VIA Rail Canada is a Canadian rail line that travels across the country. Their trains meander through the Rocky Mountains and Jasper National Park, wander Ontario’s boreal forest and western Prairies, explore the icy north where Polar bears can be seen and in the east, travels along next to the St. Lawrence River. There are VIA stations in all the major cities in Canada as well as many of the smaller towns.

I recently took a long distance train trip from Toronto to Winnipeg which is a two nights and one day stay.  I had a cabin for two which includes two beds, a private bathroom, sink with vanity, a large window and every car has a shower. This is the sleeper plus class which includes meals.

My little cabin was cozy, comfy and clean.  The gentle rolling motion of the train put me right to sleep.

The dome car, which hosts most of the entertainment, activities and socializing, has two levels. Upstairs offers a panoramic view of Canada’s breathtaking landscape.

A view from the upstairs portion of the dome car.

The downstairs has two rooms. The first room has tables, banquettes and a tv, and hence is ideal for watching historic VIA videos, movies and/or playing board games. The second room, which has huge sweeping windows and comfy chairs, acts as the palour room.  This room hosts the live music, wine tasting, all day snacks and drinks as well as interesting conversation from people across Canada and around the world.

Willy Blizzard performing in the dome car.

The dining car is a full service restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu usually has three choices for each meal. There are also options for vegetarians and kids.  The food is classy, simple, healthy and delicious.

The dining car.

At my breakfasts, I had spanish omelettes one morning and the classic bacon, eggs and potatoes the next morning. Don’t sleep in; otherwise you’ll have to settle for a continental breakfast in the dome car.

Two poached eggs, crispy bacon and hash browns.

During lunch I enjoyed a hamburger with potato salad and soup, and chocolate ice cream for dessert.

Angus burger with potato salad.

Chocolate ice cream.

And at dinner I had prime rib with seasonal vegetables, salad and soup with chocolate cake for dessert.

Prime rib with gravy and seasonal vegetables.

A slice of chocolate cake.

My long distance travel on the VIA train was an amazingly fun journey and incredibly relaxing. The service was impeccable, the food scrumptious and the company of the other travellers never dull.

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