A Few Photos Taken While Aboard VIA Rail Train #1

(Click on the photos to enlarge.)

 VIA Rail’s Train # 1, the westbound Canadian, leaves Toronto at 10:00 p.m. three days a week (twice a week in winter months) and arrives here in Winnipeg two mornings later. While the train is restocked for its continuing two-night journey to Vancouver, passengers have time to investigate a nearby market. My brother-in-law and I retuned with two bottles of an excellent Malbec. We forgot the essential corkscrew, but one was cheerfully provided by the dining car steward.

Dining car meals aboard the Canadian have a justified reputation for excellence. The dinner menu offers soup or salad (Want both? Just ask.), a choice of three or four main courses — meat, chicken or duck, fish and a vegetarian dish — and killer desserts. All meals are included in sleeping car fares. Wine and spirits are extra. (I asked for Johnny Walker Black Label … and got it. How great is that!)

 There were four dome cars on my train and there is no better place to watch the magnificent scenery as #1 winds through the Canadian Rockies. So how do I explain the lady who spent hours up there, grimly working her way through a thick book of Sudoku puzzles? I won’t even try! It sure takes all kinds.

Here’s a shot of the train taken from my sleeper, three cars from the rear, about 15 minutes before our arrival in Jasper. I counted two locomotives, a baggage car, two coaches, three dome cars, two dining cars, 12 sleeping cars and, bringing up the rear, a classic bullet-ended Park car, also with a viewing dome. If there is a better way to travel, I sure haven’t found it.