Via The Canadian - seeking trip tips and consist info

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Re: Via The Canadian - seeking trip tips and consist info

Postby marquisofmississauga » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:56 pm

Trained wrote:Ok, so I decided to upgrade to a cabin for 2 and have a bit more space. I asked the phone rep if they had an F cabin available. He said no but that cabin A is also a larger one. So I booked it in A and after the call I looked at the layout of the cabin. If I’m looking at it correctly, it appears that roughly 1/3 of the window extends past the bathroom wall, unlike the other cabins. So I switched to cabin E figuring I rather have a full view out the window than some extra space. Am I correct about the layout or did I screw up?


The windows are the dark bits in the walls. From my experience I can say they are accurate. I have had many a bedroom "F" and I can assure you the window is in the position as in the diagrams shown. The extra 18 inches in "F" runs from just forward of the window to the door of the toilet annex.
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Re: Via The Canadian - seeking trip tips and consist info

Postby marquisofmississauga » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:07 pm

Trained wrote:Tim, Is there a way to know whether or not it’s a manor car? All I know is that it’s car 114 and all the cabin for 2 diagrams in the online VIA brochure for the Canadian look identical. And according to the diagram, you’re right, cabin A looks no bigger than the others. But the rep I spoke with seemed really knowledgeable and was adamant about cabin A being bigger. But in my experience, enthusiasts in travel forums tend to be the most knowledgeable. 🙂


Of course there can be changes, but in recent years the basic eight Manor sleepers have line numbers 110 through 117 or 210 to 217. Extra sleepers from 118 or 218 have been Chateau sleepers. You can ask an agent to pull up the diagram for your car and it will confirm the type of sleeper.

I am speculating here, but it is possible there could be changes this summer season. With there being only two trains a week on the entire route (three consists needed), it is possible the third train (the fourth consist) operating the Vancouver - Edmonton "short turn" may be shorter than the other consists. If it is, it is possible that more than eight Manor sleepers may be operated on the full-route trains.

I don't like to knock VIA agents, most of whom are knowledgeable and eager to assist, but some of them rarely if ever ride the trains and know only what they see on the computer. The computer is sometimes wrong, especially when trying to find out the marshalling order of sleepers.
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Re: Via The Canadian - seeking trip tips and consist info

Postby Ken V » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:30 pm

electricron wrote:Then why post drawings for passengers to make choices from that can't be taken literally, verbatim? While most potential passengers may not care how accurate these drawings are, obviously some do.

I've looked at two sets of diagrams, the ones posted earlier in this topic by chriskay and the ones on the VIA site at https://www.viarail.ca/en/resources/sta ... eeping-car and both seem to be accurate as far as bedroom window placement goes. Maybe there's another set of car diagrams I haven't found yet.
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Re: Via The Canadian - seeking trip tips and consist info

Postby timberley » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:58 am

Ken V wrote:I've looked at two sets of diagrams, the ones posted earlier in this topic by chriskay and the ones on the VIA site at https://www.viarail.ca/en/resources/sta ... eeping-car and both seem to be accurate as far as bedroom window placement goes. Maybe there's another set of car diagrams I haven't found yet.


The diagrams posted by chriskay do show the window placement accurately, and they also show the large window in the Chateau drawing room properly. The issue is on the diagrams on the VIA site. If you look closely at the window in bedroom A of the Manor, it shows the wall/door of the toilet compartment (to the right) intersecting part of the window. That's what "trained" was worried about, and it is an error. Those diagrams on the VIA site are also what show the Chateau drawing room window too small, and show the window into the shower room - the errors I noted.

Trained wrote:Tim, Is there a way to know whether or not it’s a manor car? All I know is that it’s car 114 and all the cabin for 2 diagrams in the online VIA brochure for the Canadian look identical. And according to the diagram, you’re right, cabin A looks no bigger than the others. But the rep I spoke with seemed really knowledgeable and was adamant about cabin A being bigger. But in my experience, enthusiasts in travel forums tend to be the most knowledgeable. 🙂


If you're in any of the room assignments that could be in either car (any berth, rooms A-D, or roomettes 1-4), the only way to know is the ask a VIA agent to look it up in the system. If you had bedroom E or F you know it's a Manor, and roomettes 5-8 would tell you it's a Chateau. It was the fact that the agent seemed adamant about A being bigger that had me thinking it might be a Chateau, but it's also quite possible (as others pointed out) that the agent in question wasn't familiar with the rooms and made a mistake.

electricron wrote:Then why post drawings for passengers to make choices from that can't be taken literally, verbatim? While most potential passengers may not care how accurate these drawings are, obviously some do.

VIA should provide accurate up-to-date drawings on its web site as a public service.


The diagrams on VIA's site are generally accurate, these very minor window issues aside. I hadn't even noticed that issue with the window in A until the question was raised here - I doubt many would notice it or be concerned. My biggest issue is that the diagrams are difficult to find on the website if you don't know what you're looking for. Hopefully when the new reservations system is eventually rolled out (theoretically supposed to be in the next few years, but it's been coming "soon" for a while) and includes the ability to select seats (and I would hope sleeper rooms) online, you'll just be able to see all of this info directly when booking and not have to go searching for diagrams.
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Re: Via The Canadian - seeking trip tips and consist info

Postby Tadman » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:36 pm

Enjoy your trip! I rode Vancouver to Edmonton once. It was about three hours late, but not a big deal. Once the ride goes over 24 hours, I figured the 12 hours after arrival is flexible time that can be dedicated to arriving late, as that is known to happen. The food is good, the bed was great (even in an open section), and the dome was pretty accessible, even in the park car. I probably did half my ride in the park car and never was asked to move along. The staff in the coffee shop under the park car was happy to make tea and work with the section passengers (as opposed to the Premier passengers). I think it might have to do with the shoulder season being a bit quieter. The train was only half full despite being 27 cars (included three deadhead sleepers mid-train).

Regarding baggage, I had two generous sized carry on bags. Neither was under 9" anything. Nobody said a word, and it all fit under my section bench. The restriction might come into play given the bedroom size, as there might be less space to store stuff. I would look up your bed room and see if a youtube video or pictorial shows a similar cabin. That might help you decide on luggage. Checked service is also available, not sure how early that must be arranged. Via uses a smaller baggage car that appears to be a combine of some sort.

The scenery is amazing, especially west of Hinton. If you have time upon arrival to Vancouver, stay for a few nights. It's easy to reach downtown from Pacific Central via Skytrain, which is clean and inexpensive. If you want a bargain hotel downtown, the Days Inn is clean and inexpensive most of the time. Some times it can get pricey when a convention comes to town or a cruise ship docks, but still probably the cheapest. If you want to splurge, look up Fairmont Hotels. The Hotel Vancouver, right downtown, is a former CN hotel. It's beautiful. If you can make it to Victoria (the ferry ride is the best $17 you will spend in a long time), the Fairmont Empress is ex-Canadian Pacific.

Anyway I hope this helps. Enjoy the ride. Here is a link to some of my Canadian pics: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmuY22X7
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