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The Train.. The Last, Great Esacpe...

Have you ever imaged one of those trips that is so uniquely distinct. That somehow takes you into a different world. I think I have finally found it, the Train. Maybe the last great escape. Word of caution : If you are totally disabled. i.e. paraplegic etc., then train travel is very difficult but if you have some mobility, even with cane then this is the place.

The trip of a lifetime

Imagine a hotel on rails, where you can relax in an armchair and admire immense forests studded with sparkling lakes. Take afternoon tea amid the alluring scenery of the Rockies. This is some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

has 429 trains traveling all over Canada.

In the Corridor

The majority of VIA's trains run in central Canada, in a corridor composed by Quebec City in the east and by Windsor, Ontario in the west.

VIA's Western Transcontinental, the ‘Canadian’, covers the 4,500 kilometers that separate Toronto, and Vancouver.

My trip was from Edmonton Alberta to Vancouver British Columbia on the Silver & Blue class.A luxury train . It was wonderful !! The sitting room (bedroom) was super!! As I needed a couple of hours nap before seeing the mountains.

As a Silver & Blue class passenger, you enjoy:

A private bedroom or private seating compartment aboard the sleeping car. Along with other Silver & Blue class passengers, exclusive access to the famed observation domes of the Skyline cars, an intimate dining experience and a relaxing lounge all within one car. Each Skyline car is the exclusive domain of guests from just three sleeping cars. Superb meals are served in the dining car All meals are included in the price

I found the staff to be friendly, courteous and very attentive to my every need.

Extraordinary panoramas from the Park Car

The Park Car, at the rear of the train, is a whole new world, a peaceful environment combining elegance and comfort. Its three separate salons, reserved for the exclusive use of Silver & Blue class passengers, all have their own individual charms. You'll want to sit back and relax, curl up with a good book, or perhaps chat with other travelers who have come from all over the world to revel in this one of a kind experience--it's like a cruise ship on rails. Note: This area has steps. If using a cane no problem a wheelchair won’t pass.

In the dome, the upper observation deck, experience the true magic of traveling by train, with sweeping views everywhere you look. Note: Very steep steps, but if you can manage it try to get up their right after Jasper. Stay put and enjoy.

There is no better way to see the Rockies!! For several hours I was literally memorized by the mountains. I would say a near spiritual experience. I sat quietly and soaking in the majesty( just staying quiet for me is something!!) You'll want to come back to the Park Car later on to savor coffee or an after-dinner drink by the light of the moon and all those stars...

Below, is the Bullet Lounge, with its wraparound windows. It is a place to relax and let the time and the scenery roll by. I found the members of the Silver & Blue class team happy to tell me all about the regions we passed through, sharing personal anecdotes and plenty of fascinating details. It is never crowed and really a grand place just to sit around and chat with folks. It was amazing the number of Americans we came on at Toronto and doing the whole cross Canada thing. They loved the train. experience.

Delights of fine dining

Silver & Blue guests find that the constantly changing panoramas from the Skyline car create a special mood all their own, whether for breakfast, lunch or any of the three evening sittings. Each meal features an enticing menu--soups and salads, fresh bread, cold plates and superb hot entrees, topped off by delicious desserts. Exceptional food, spectacular scenery and good company.

My fare included all my meals and most non-alcoholic beverages. Gratuities are not included and are discretionary.

Rocking off to sleep

Now it's off to my own private world. From the moment you enter my sitting room, a warm and comfortable atmosphere envelops you, the soft sheen of stainless steel reflecting the roses, greens and blues of the decor and the landscapes rolling by the huge picture windows.

At the end of the evening, my room was transformed into a cozy bedroom by VIA's attentive on-board crew. Lights were dimmed, reading lamps readied, pillows fluffed, soft blankets carefully turned down. And as the gentle rocking of the train lulled me to sleep, I discovered the joy of train travel by moonlight.

Silver & Blue class is not for everyone. In high season, the complete trip between Toronto and Vancouver, with a private room and all meals, is $1,429 for adults. Seniors and students receive a 10% discount.

In low season, you can take advantage of discounts of 25% to 38% (32% to 44% for seniors and students).


Take a Look !!

VIA continued: It's a Must Trip!
Edmonton: A city of so much!
Jasper: Mountain Magic
The Canada Page: