Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V

  by Tadman
I'm booked on #2 Sunday night Vancouver to Edmonton. Lower Berth. Can anybody give me an overview of what I can expect with regard to:

1. Is diner included like on Amtrak?
2. How is the food?
3. What domes and lounges can I use?
  by Mark0f0
1. Yes. You only pay for alcohol aside from the complimentary sparkling wine pours for departure at Vancouver and Jasper, and the beer/wine tastings that occur in the Skylines.
2. Absolutely fantastic. Better than Amtrak in my experience. You'll have Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner on your Vancouver-Edmonton sector. The dining is perhaps the most memorable part of the experience.
3. All Skylines (including in Economy), the Panorama car, and the Park car subject to this condition: "Sleeper Plus passengers will be able to access the Prestige Park car on the following schedule: from 2:00PM until last call 10:30PM, with the exception of evenings upon departure from Toronto and Vancouver where access will be exclusive to Prestige passengers."
  by Tadman
Mark, thanks!

I seem to recall hearing that if the staff is in a good mood they will let you sit in the dome after last call, any truth to that? The train leaves Vancouver around 1030PM anyway. Thanks.
Check your ticket....but the Canadian leaves Vancouver at 8:30pm (2030)......and I've never been asked to leave the dome at night....even long after the bar closes.
  by Tadman
Thanks for the heads up, indeed it does. Looking forward to the dome. How early do they board? Is there a sleeper lounge in VAC? I couldnt' find one last time when I was there for the Cascades.

Edit: It appears there is a lounge in VAC.

At what time does the porter put the sleeper sections up in the morning/down at night? I assume if there is no second passenger in your section, he does it when you want.
  by Mark0f0
NS VIA FAN wrote:Check your ticket....but the Canadian leaves Vancouver at 8:30pm (2030)......and I've never been asked to leave the dome at night....even long after the bar closes.
The only 'annoyance' with the dome is that they sometimes don't turn the lights off in the Economy Class one. "Shennanigans" has been cited as the reason. But told to/asked to leave, doesn't happen and the promo literature even encourages star gazing (although the floor lighting makes that difficult!).
  by bdawe
Welcome to Vancouver, by the way. Enjoy your stay
  by Tadman
Thanks, I enjoy a good vancouver visit. Vij's is my foodie spot on Cambie.
  by bdawe
Campagnolo Upstairs (conveniently on Main Street near Pacific Central Station) does a pretty mean burger
  by Tadman
Any suggestions on getting downtown from the Via station which appears to be in the middle of nowhere? At 11p?
  by bdawe
Take the Skytrain. Main Street Station is a three minute walk from the VIA station, and trains come every 4-5 minutes at that time of night. Take a train towards Waterfront to get to Downtown proper (any of the next 4 stops). A single-use fare costs $2.85 and will get you on any transit in the metropolitan area for 90 minutes at that time of night

That said, the VIA station is one of those downtown-peripheral stations, so there's a fair amount of a attractions in Chinatown just to the North - a victim of built-too-late-to-draw-downtown-towards-itself and downtown already gravitating in the direction of Waterfront Station (the ex-CP Station)
  by Tadman
Sorry, I meant the Edmonton Via station. I'm semi familiar with Vancouver. Skytrain is nice, as is Pacific Central.

But Edmonton station appears to be on the edge of an old airfield out in the boons.
  by marquisofmississauga
The Edmonton station is "in the middle of nowhere." There is no public transit nearby. The last time I went for a stroll waiting for a late train I noticed there weren't even any sidewalks in the area. Do not expect the Canadian to be on time, but the e/b is usually not too late by Edmonton, unlike the w/b.

The adjacent airport is still used, but no longer for passenger service except chartered planes.
  by Tadman
I can't seem to find if dinner is served on the eastbound leaving Vancouver. Thoughts?
  by Mark0f0
https://web.archive.org/web/20110624143 ... er-touring" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Day 1:
Vancouver: no meal
Day 2:
Kamloops: breakfast
between Blue River and Valemont: lunch
Jasper: dinner
Day 3:
Unity: breakfast
between Watrous and Melville: lunch
Brandon North: dinner
Day 4:
Sioux Lookout: breakfast
Mud River: lunch
Hornepayne: dinner
Day 5 
Toronto: breakfast
Departure canapés and sparkling wine is served in the dome cars at departure from Vancouver, Jasper and Winnipeg. Fruit, cookies, juice, tea, coffee, etc., are available in the dome cars 24/7.