Four Nights aboard the Canadian.

I am often asked if here is a luxury train operating in North America. 

Yes, there is! The Canadian is VIA Rail Canada’s flagship train that operates twice a week in both directions between Toronto and Vancouver.  In all honesty, it’s really not comparable to a true luxury train like the Simplon Orient Express, but it’s the next best thing, it’s much less expensive, it’s a lot closer to home, and I enthusiastically recommend it.

I was aboard the westbound train on it’s April 2nd departure from Toronto. This was an inaugural experience for my friend, Bruce, whereas, if I’m correct, it was my 10th trip on this wonderful train.

The Canadian’s consist*features classic stainless steel equipment—baggage car, coaches, sleepers, lounge cars, dining cars, and—bringing up the rear—one of the railroad’s wonderful bullet-ended lounge cars, each one named for one of Canada’s national parks. 

Front row seats in the Canadian’s dome car offer close-up view of passing CN freight train.

There are actually four components to each of these unique lounge cars: (1) a plexiglass dome on the upper level in which there is theater-style seating;  (2) a lounge area in the rounded end of the car on the main level where coffee and snacks are served during the day. This lounge area accommodates perhaps 10-12 passengers; and (3) directly below the dome and three or four steps down from the rear lounge area, is a more traditional lounge with padded benches and stools and two or three tables. Furthermore, there is a counter where one or more VIA attendants will mix and serve most any beverage of your choosing. They will even run a tab for you.

So, too, will the dining car steward should you wish to enjoy a glass of wine with your lunch or dinner meal. He also directs passengers to their seats and assists the wait staff as needed. 

(To be continued)