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 Silverliner II
The Ocean, Moncton to Montreal (purposely picked the day that the only Budd consist in the rotation was operating). That was in September, 2005.

All my other rides have been on Corridor trains, at various times between February, 2004 and September, 2007. The segments I've covered were:
Niagara Falls-Toronto round trip and a half (aboard Amtrak to/from NYC; the half was continuation of my trip from Montreal)
Toronto-Ottawa round trip
Montreal-Toronto (continuation of my trip off the Ocean above)
London-Kitchener-Toronto and Toronto-Brantford-London (one round trip)

I would like to ride the rest of the Corridor segments I am missing someday (London-Sarnia, London-Windsor, Montreal-Ottawa, and Montreal-Quebec City). I would especially love to ride the Malahat, as I have always been a Budd car fan, and sadly for me, missed chances to ride Budds under their own power in regular service here at home, in Maryland, and in New York.

Checking out the schedules, I have found it JUST possible to spend a day riding the Corridor Triangle (Toronto-Ottawa, Ottawa-Montreal, and Montreal-Toronto) in one day. It was workable in both directions using Toronto as my starting point, but both required catching the first train out of Toronto on a weekday and ending on either the last train out of Ottawa or Montreal. Makes for a long, but nice day riding....
  by jhdeasy
My first ride on Via was in November 1977. Buffalo to Toronto on the Conrail - TH&B - CP RDC train, then lower section in Via occupancy sleeper Toronto to Ottawa (The Cavalier?), then coach Ottawa to Montreal on The Canadian.

Other trips I remember as a Via passenger:

Montreal to Banff (Canadian), Jasper to Kamloops (Super Continental), Kamloops to Toronto (Canadian), Toronto to Montreal (Turbotrain) ... August 1981

Toronto to Thunder Bay and return (Canadian) ... mid 1980s

Windsor to Toronto to Montreal (corridor trains) ... mid 1990s

Vancouver to Toronto (Canadian) ... Toronto to Niagara Falls and on to New York (Via/Amtrak Maple Leaf) August 1999

Trips as a private railroad passenger car owner with MOUNT VERNON (PPCX 800708) operating rearmost in a Via consist:

Montreal to Halifax and return (Ocean) ... June 2004 ... during the time Via was willing to operate a PV behind a PARK car
http://www.dominionrailvoyages.com/page ... 004_1.html

Niagara Falls to Toronto (Via/Amtrak Maple Leaf) ... Toronto to Montreal (train 68) ... Montreal to Senneterre (Abitibi train 603) and return to Montreal (Abitibi train 606) ... September 2005
http://www.dominionrailvoyages.com/page ... 005_6.html

I enjoyed each and every trip!
  by DonPevsner
(1)I started riding VIA RAIL in late January, 1988, with my first ride in a "Chateau Denonville" duplex roomette straight-through from Vancouver to Montreal, via CPR. (This one car was switched-out at Sudbury, Ontario, and joined a coach and snack car there.) A fantastic trip, which I wish I had begun taking earlier. CPR tore-out the Montreal-consist siding at Sudbury station as soon as "The Canadian" was dropped over CPR (see below).

(2)Since then:

(a)"The Canadian" via CPR from Toronto to Calgary in September, 1989, followed by the then-VIA-owned "Rocky Mountaineer" from Calgary to Vancouver. On January 15,1990 came the infamous Brian Mulroney cutbacks, removing through transcon passenger service between Montreal/Toronto and Vancouver over CPR that had existed since late 1885 (one train) and, regularly, since 1886. The biggest insult to Canadian railroad history: period.
The only reason for its non-restoration is the political clout of the private owner of "Great Canadian Railtours" in Vancouver (Peter Armstrong), who likes to sound-off about "free competition" but who has devoted a lot of time and political effort to keeping VIA RAIL's "Canadian" off CPR rails between Calgary and Kamloops. His overpriced "Rocky Mountaineer" monopoly between Calgary and Vancouver, which has persisted since 1990, remains a major scandal. Indeed, I am paying $263 less to ride a "Canadian" roomette at the Senior rate (60+ on VIA) for the 2,776 miles from Vancouver to Toronto on January 14-18, 2011--including four nights in a roomette and 10 excellent dining-car meals--than I am paying to ride an ordinary ex-CNR coach the 642 miles from Calgary-Kamloops-Vancouver on September 8-10,2010, with cold boxed meals and a second-rate motel room in Kamloops on September 8. (US$953 for Vancouver-Toronto v. US$1,216 for Calgary-Vancouver.)

(b)Two trips on the privately-owned "Rocky Mountaineer" between Calgary and Vancouver, with #3 coming-up September 8-10 Westbound from Calgary to Vancouver. This costs a fortune (US$1,216) for a single in a regular coach, but it's the only way to see the CPR scenery unless you are a double-stack container.

(c)Annual winter trip on VIA's "Canadian" from Vancouver to Toronto, via CNR, between mid-January and mid-February, since 1991. This is a great time to do the trip, as the train is usually deserted east of Jasper, AB, with fares far lower than during the peak Summer season.

(d)"Hudson Bay" Winnipeg-Churchill and return in mid-winter. 40 below zero in Churchill. A side-trip off my usual Vancouver-Toronto trip on "The Canadian."

(e)Last run of "The Atlantic" over CPR through Maine, from Montreal to Halifax. Rode the dome with lights-out and a full moon until I got too sleepy to continue. Large crowds at Sherbrooke, QC and St. John, NB, protesting the train-off.

(f)Overnight train Montreal-Senneterre-Cochrane, over CNR. Rode in a slightly-rusty ex-CNR sleeper to Senneterre, and stayed in it while they deadheaded the sleeper from there to Cochrane. Understand the ex-CNR line is now abandoned between Lassarre and Cochrane; this was one of two transcon routes of CNR. VIA RAIL now runs a daylight train between Montreal and Senneterre instead.

(g)Ontario Northland Cochrane-Toronto, Ontario.

(h)VIA's Budd RDC "essential service" train between White River and Sudbury, Ontario.

(i)Several trips between Toronto and Montreal, including one on the "New York Central 3" PV, which I had chartered for a circle-trip from NY Penn Station-Montreal-Toronto-NY Penn Station.

(j)"The Chaleur" Charny (Quebec City suburb) to Gaspe, and return from Gaspe to Montreal.

(k)Not a VIA train, but steam behind CPR Royal Hudson #2860 over BC Rail from North Vancouver to Squamish, BC. Returned on a fast catamaran.
BC RAIL is now leased by CNR, and hosts yet another grossly-overpriced "Great Canadian Railtours" passenger rail monopoly.

(l)Not a VIA train, but Ontario Northland's Cochrane-Moosonee train (round-trip).

(m)The "Maple Leaf" over CNR from Toronto to Niagara Falls, and on to Buffalo.
  by DonPevsner
(1)The "ROCKY MOUNTAINEER" total fare described above is US$ 1,122.45.

(2)"THE CANADIAN" total fare is US$ 946.92.

(3)Thus, my 2,776-mile, 4-night trip costs US$ 175.53 less than my 642-mile, 1-night trip.

(4)No matter how you look at it, the former is a rip-off on a grand scale.
  by labaienordique
My trips (thus far):

Algoma Central
Sault Ste Marie - Hearst

le Canadien
Longlac - Sudbury JCT
Sudbury JCT - Toronto (return)
Sudbury JCT - Winnipeg - Portage la Prairie
Washago - Toronto (a few times)
Winnipeg - Washago

London - Aldershot
Toronto - London (return)

Hudson Bay
Portage la Prairie - Winnipeg

Lake Superior
Sudbury - White River (return)

Bracebridge - North Bay
Cochrane - North Bay
North Bay - Toronto (return - many times)
North Bay - Washago (return)
  by kmillard
Let's see now.... I've done a whole bunch of Toronto - Windsor or Oakville Windsor trips since I was a small child in the mid 1960's.... I did a Montreal - Halifax trip in 2001 aboard a Budd-equipped Ocean. Haven't yet had a chance to sample the Ren cars but I may make a stab at it this spring or summer. That same trip I went from Toronto to Montreal on the overnight "Enterprise," a service no longer available. I've down a couple of Victoria - Qualicum Beach round trips on the RDC service on Vancouver Island, and in 2002, I did an Edmonton - Vancouver round trip. On that same trip, I was also able to ride BCR's RDC service from North Vancouver all the way to Prince George followed by a trip on the Skeena out to Prince Rupert the following day. (I went from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy the day after that on the "Queen of the North" ferry, a ship that has subsequently sunk.) The Northern Ontario Snow train and Agawa Canton trains are on my docket as is a trip all the way to Hearst. Have not had a chance to sample the Northlander or the Polar Bear Express as this trains don't run on Saturdays so I need to plan them around something more than just a long weekend.
  by Tom6921
This is the part of the VIA Rail system I've ridden:

The Corridor:

Toronto-Niagara Falls

Toronto-London (by way of Kitchener)



Toronto-Windsor (by way of Brantford)

Montreal-Quebec City

The Canadian:



The Ocean:


The Lake Superior:


The Chaleur:


  by Mark0f0
Kitchener-Toronto (Union)

Saskatoon-Jasper (The Canadian)

Jasper - Prince George - Prince Rupert (Train 5, formerly the "Skeena").

Hands-down, the Jasper-Prince Rupert was the best overall experience. Its a crying shame that VIA doesn't promote it more heavily (aside from their recent proposal to give $5 tickets away to 'vulnerable' passengers!).

Trying to go up to Churchill this fall. Have an awful feeling that, between the shutdown of the pulp mill at Le Pas, and the Port of Churchill shutdown, that the train will have some serious viability issues.
  by Silverliner II
My previous answer to this is seriously out-dated now.... so to update:

The Ocean, Moncton to Montreal (purposely picked the day that the only Budd consist in the rotation was operating). That was in September, 2005.

All my other rides have been on Corridor trains, at various times between February, 2004 and September, 2012. The segments I've covered were:
Niagara Falls-Toronto, multiple trips (via Amtrak's Maple Leaf)
Toronto-Ottawa (three round trips)
Montreal-Toronto (a one-way trip)
London-Kitchener-Toronto (a one-way trip)
Toronto-Brantford-London (a one-way trip)
  by NeoArashi
Silverliner II wrote:My previous answer to this is seriously out-dated now.... so to update:
So is mine (wow, 6 years and 4 months since I made this topic. To think I've taken quite a few more trains since. Here's an updated list:

-Anything between Shawinigan and Casey (between 1988 and 2007, this is the only route I have ever taken)

-May 2009: Round Trip between Charny and Moncton
-October 2010: Round Trip between Charny and Halifax
-May 2011: Shawinigan-Weymont and a few days later: Weymont-La Tuque
-November 2011: My first Quebec-Montreal, Montreal-Alexandria round trip
-December 2012: Quebec-Montreal-Weymont-Shawinigan (ended up getting off at Grand-Mere, one stop before)
-May 2013: Quebec-Ottawa round trip
-August 2013: Chambord-Montreal-Quebec
-Janurary 2014: Quebec-Toronto Round Trip

-August 2014: Ste-Foy-HGalifax round trip
-October 2014: Quebec-Montreal Round trip
-Feburary 2015: Quebec-Montreal-Jonquiere
-May 2015: Quebec-Niagara Falls-Toronto-Quebec
-Janurary 2nd 2016: Quebec-Montreal
-Janurary 3rd 2016: Montreal-Halifax one-way
-Janurary 8th 2016: Amherst-Ste-Foy
-Feburary 2016: Jonquiere-Motreal-Quebec
-June 2016: Quebec-Montreal-Weymont Round-trip

Everything in bold means that I did not travel alone.

Also, I may have forgot a few Quebec-Montreal trips.

but in a nutshell, that's pretty much all my VIA trips since I was born.

Basically, I've taken a VIA train at least once every year since 2009, and at least TWICE since 2013
  by tk48states
Wife and I rode #2 eastbound Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto September 2016 in prestige class and entire trip was a real treat, wonderful to be back in the marvelous Budd equipment especially the rear Park series dome lounge. This 28 car behemoth was pulled by only two FP 40's without seemingly much strain. In Jasper got out and spoke to engine crew and found out why, ruling grade on the former Canadian Northern line is only .2 % nothing for modern diesel power.
While the CP line over Kicking Horse and the spiral tunnels is undeniably more scenic the CN route has plenty to offer traveling by Mt Robson and Canada's highest peaks and really liked the river valleys in Manitoba. Going back to visit Portage la Prairie Mb sometime, looks like a terrific rr town with main lines of both CN and CP crisscrossing with tracks everywhere and lots of movement. Only regret, missed a lot of viewing because of traveling at night.
  by jp1822
- The Canadian
- The Ocean (before and after Renaissance equipment)
- The Enterprise (short lived overnight train from Montreal to Toronto)
- The Chaleur (train to Gaspe - glad I took this train a couple of times before it was cancelled out. Beautiful trip!
- The Skeena (train to Prince Rupert)
- Toronto to Montreal to Quebec Corridor Train

The misses:

- Northern Quebec trains (I just wish the train out to Senneterre had a Park Car or perhaps the Glen Fraser Lounge Car seasonally)
- Sudbury-White River RDCs
- The Malahat on Vancouver Island (RDCs)
- The Hudson Bay (came close!)
- The Atlantic (came close!)
- The RDC (and Bras'd'Or to Sydney, NS (came VERY close!)
- Southern part of the corridor from Toronto to Sarnia etc. and out to Ottawa
jp1822 wrote: The misses........
Northern Quebec trains (I just wish the train out to Senneterre had a Park Car or perhaps the Glen Fraser Lounge Car seasonally)
>>>>Still can do but to operate a Park Car or the Glen Fraser? That's a big expense for little pay-back. These trains serve mostly locals. Not a tourist train

- Sudbury-White River RDCs
>>>>Still can do!

- The Malahat on Vancouver Island (RDCs)

- The Hudson Bay (came close!)
>>>>Still can do

- The Atlantic (came close!)

- The RDC (and Bras'd'Or to Sydney, NS (came VERY close!)

- Southern part of the corridor from Toronto to Sarnia etc. and out to Ottawa
>>>>Still do-able and VIA is planning additional Sarnia trains. But I don't under stand 'out' to Ottawa. Ottawa is located in the corridor with frequent Toronto-Ottawa and Ottawa-Montreal service and there is at least one Toronto-Montreal train per day that runs via Ottawa. Just check schedules and again....easily do-able

  by trainsinmaine
The Atlantic, once back in the 1980s and again in the early '90s, from Jackman, Maine, to Moncton and back --- one of the most pleasant train trips I've ever experienced, and boy, do I miss that train!
  by jbvb
In the summer of 1983 or 1984, my 1st wife and I rode a pair of VIA RDCs Yarmouth - Kentville R/T.
Summer of 1993 my 2nd wife and I rode the Canadian Vancouver - Toronto, coach to Jasper, sleeper thereafter. Then the Maple Leaf to Depew.
Summer of 1994 we rode the Ocean Montreal - Halifax, then the Atlantic Halifax - Saint John - Montreal.