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 Flaschenzug

my fiancé and I will be traveling on the 'Canadian' from Vancouver to Toronto in late July, arriving at Toronto Union Station at 9.30am. We would like to continue our trip on to Niagara Falls the same day, leaving Toronto at 5.45pm on the 95.

The German sales office for VIA advised us that we should expect 'extensive delays' on the Canadian, as its route is over 3000km long. However, they could not specify how 'extensive' such delays may be. Although delays of 20 to minutes are already considered 'extensive' on the comparatively short German routes, I would think that it's different with a train crossing a whole continent. :-)

So here's my question: would you say it's safe to book the connecting train with about 8 hrs of transfer time from the Canadian? Or are delays likely to be longer than that? In that case we'd take the first train next day.

Thanks for your help!


  by .missthealcos.
One never knows with the Canadian...I've had it be essentially on time, and I've been 6 + hours late into Winnipeg from Vancouver. If I had to guess though, barring something like having the line blocked by a derailment or some such thing, 8 hours should be enough!
  by jp1822
There is so much padding now on the Canadian's timetable that it should always be running "ahead of schedule" - barring any track problems and the like. With freight traffic down, timekeeping of North American passenger trains has gotten remarkably better. Essentially, on the eastbound Canadian, VIA has put about 12 hours of padding in so this train can arrive into Toronto during the morning hours. Westbound, it does something similiar but just the reverse by leaving 12 hour before it used to - giving passengers a "head start." I'd like to be able to rely more on the Amtrak Maple Leaf to make a same day connection with the westbound Canadian. But unfortunately, one never knows how long this train will be held at the border, even though the Maple Leaf's timetable could lend itself easily to a same day connection. For the eastbound Canadian, one misses the Maple Leaf's departure by a couple of hours. But there is the possibility of the Canadian arriving early into Toronto Union station. But this would be a real gamble. Let's hope that high speed train operations does come to the Empire Corridor between Albany and Niagara Falls/Buffalo area to "speed" these trains along and allow for a Maple Leaf that has less running time. A departure from Toronto Union Station at around 12:30 p.m. with an arrival into NYC around 9 p.m. would be great one day! Right now, the Maple Leaf's schedule may be best served by reincarnating the Niagara Rainbow(?) so it could travel overnight between NYC and Toronto with sleeper cars since the schedule is just SO long. Perhaps a train from Toronto to Buffalo could be worked outso it could make a connection with Lake Shore Limited.