Four Nights aboard The Canadian (continued)
Breakfast aboard The Canadian is at pretty much whatever time suits you, but there are two sittings at specific times for both lunch and dinner. Before you board the train you’ll be asked to choose a time for both your luncheon and dinner meals.
The Canadian’s consist—that’s the term railroaders use when referring to the make-up of the entire train (and it’s pronounced CON-sist)—varies according to the time of year and the number of passengers being served. Typical for the most popular times of the year? Two locomotives, a baggage car, three coaches, and a lounge car where coach passengers can purchase packaged food and drinks.
The lounge car has an upper level with a clear plastic dome. Needless to say, it’s a popular spot.
Next come four or five sleeping cars. Each sleeper has four cabins designed for one passenger and six cabins, each accommodating two people. Each sleeping car also has facing seats—two on both sides of a center aisle, which convert to comfortable berths at night—uppers and lowers on either side of a center aisle with privacy assured by a heavy drape which encloses each space for some nightime privacy. (Think of the film Some Like It Hot.)
In addition to the Park car, there is at least one sleeping car on each of these trains that has also been converted to “Prestige Class” and you have to see it to believe it!
Visualize a double bed facing a large picture window, an ensuite TV with a collection of videos, reserved seats in the first two rows of seats up in the dome, and other benefits. Pricey? Sure, but if you’ve got it, flaunt it!
Just a few miles south of Jasper, Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. It’s an impressive 12,972feet high.
Bottom line: The Canadian offers classic sleeping car equipment, reserved seats in the dome/lounge car, excellent food prepared on board, different menu choices every day, first class service . . . and mile after mile of wilderness, with the Canadian Rockies passing by right outside your window!. What’s not to like about that?
In fact, the four-night ride offers passengers a glimpse back in time to the Golden Age of train travel. All things considered, it’s a very enjoyable ride, and I enthusiastically recommend it.
NOTE: In addition to VIA Rail’s flagship train,The Canadian, there is also a privately operated train, the Rocky Mountaineer, that is essentially a tourist train operating on several different routes in western Canada. I’ll offer a review of that train in a future posting.