Across Canada on Via Rail’s Train #1 – Revisited.

I had trouble sleeping last night, so I pulled up photos from my October 2010 train ride across Canada. If you’re a train travel enthusiast, this rail journey from Toronto to Vancouver aboard VIA Rail’s train # 1, the Canadian, is not to be missed.

The food served in the dining car is really excellent and I love the classic single-level sleeping cars. But for me, what sets this train apart are the dome cars.  

Even ten cars back from the twin locomotives, you can often see all the way up past the head end to the track beyond. It’s a whole new perspective.

The scenery is wonderful from the very start of this journey. The pine forests and the great prairies are impressive when viewed from the dome, but nothing prepares you for your first good look at the Canadian Rockies.

The closer you get, the more massive, the more majestic the mountains become. Are you able to see them from your compartment? Sure … but not like this. It can’t compare to the view from up in the dome.

Jasper, Alberta, is where there’s a crew change, the locomotives are refueled, accumulated trash is removed, and new supplies are put aboard. And all the windows are washed, including the domes, because there’s plenty left to see: more of the mountains during the rest of the afternoon and into the evening, and the stunningly beautiful Fraser River valley the next morning … all the way into Vancouver.
Depending on the time of year, the sleeping car accommodations can be pricey. But it’s a four-night journey. Trust me: you do not want to be sitting up in a coach seat for all that time! Besides, this is one of the ten or twelve great train rides in the world! It needs to be done the right way …  and that’s in a sleeper!
NOTE: If you are a member of the National Association ofRailroad Passengers, you will get a 10 percent discount on both the rail fare and the sleeping car supplement.  And that’s a big deal, because on this one trip alone, you will save several times your annual NARP dues! And click here if you’re not a NARP member.