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Canadian Railroads > Suggestions for Train #2


Date: 08/08/19 08:09
Suggestions for Train #2
Author: bbethmann

Finally, at long last, my wife and I get to rail cruise on board the Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto starting next Tuesday, the 13th. We signed up for a tour package on #2’s middle class (can’t recall the title) stopping for a few days in route at Jasper. We are quite experienced traveling LD on Amtrak but would like any input relative to expectations of #2 from our TO friends to the North. We are aware of the usual lateness going East but really very little else looking forward towards the trip.

Any thoughts or comments would be much appreciated.

BB in Spokane

Posted from iPhone



Date: 08/08/19 09:58
Re: Suggestions for Train #2
Author: nonamemal

Just enjoy the trip!
It's as close to riding in a time machine as you'll ever get!!
Mike



Date: 08/08/19 10:01
Re: Suggestions for Train #2
Author: andersonb109

Sounds like you are already aware of the timekeeping issues. And didn't make a same day connection out of Toronto. I think you find the biggest difference between VIA and Amtrak is in the diner. There, they prepare full meals cooked on board with a different menu every day. With two waitstaff and an actual Steward who does the seating and drinks. Operation is generally smooth. I do find however that often sleeping car attendants on VIA sometimes disappear. And are much less hands on than Amtrak's better ones. They do the beds and that's about it.  But that might be because they are responsible for one care and a half so their room might be in the car next to you.

You should have two refurbished Skyline domes on the train. One just to the front of the rear diner, and the other just to the front of the front diner. Your diner is assigned based on your sleeper location.  Reservations for the first night's dinner will be done in the Vancouver Station. Then you get your next day's reservations at dinner the night prior.  There will be at least two, and possibly three sittings in Summer depending on the load. As you probably know, Park Car access is limited to Prestige passengers excepting after late afternoon. And even then, the dome section will have most of the seats reserved for them. But on my last trip I found the Skyline to be perfectly acceptable. Assuming you have a "cabin for two" you will find it to be less spacious than an Amtrak Bedroom. And the shower is down the hall. The ride might be a bit rougher than on the upper level of a Superliner. But pay no attention to anti-Canadian poster "Streamliner" who has made many negative comments about the train in the past including fear for his life do to the rough ride. It's no better or worse than any other main line passenger train. Probably better than many in the States.  You will see so many freights you will give up counting them.Just be patient and enjoy the ride.

Last, if you get to Winnipeg on time, take the hour to go to the Forks...a shopping center in the old CN workshops. Just go out the back door of the station and turn right. You can't miss it. Other option if you have the full hour layover is to go to the historic Fort Gary Hotel (former CN). Go out the front door, cross the street and it's on your left. You also can't miss it.  Hope you have a great trip on the last "real" passenger train in North America. A true throwback to the grand era of passenger travel. 



Date: 08/08/19 14:47
Re: Suggestions for Train #2
Author: viatrainrider

Absolutely agree with andersonb109! Remember that he stated your car Attendant may be in the car ahead or behind! And regardless of timekeeping, enjoy North America s last real streamliner and best regularly scheduled passenger train! Have a great trip!

Posted from Android



Date: 08/08/19 16:32
Re: Suggestions for Train #2
Author: co614

Net, net you'll find it light years superior to Amtrak...no comparison. It's truly the last remaining No.American train worthy of the name. Enjoy !!!

  Ross Rowland



Date: 08/08/19 23:11
Re: Suggestions for Train #2
Author: railsmith

First off, if you are leaving on Tuesday, you will be on Train No. 4, not 2.  Your train will only be going as far as Edmonton, but that's irrelevant as you'll be getting off at Jasper.

That said, as an informal "market survey", it would be interesting to know how many of your fellow passengers are travelling beyond Jasper on that train.

Both No. 2 and No. 4 have been departing Vancouver on time very consistently this season, so you should assume the train will leave at 15:00.

Arrival at the CP division point of North Bend in the Fraser Canyon is timed for 19:36.  Of the last eight eastbound departures (either No. 2 or 4), three have been within 10 minutes of that but most of the others ranged from 20:28 to 21:50.  I mention this because it will be effectively dark by 20:30, and unfortunately that means you'll miss seeing the upper Fraser Canyon and lower Thompson Canyon, which some (including me) consider the most scenic part of the whole Vancouver-Toronto trip.

The above will give you some idea of what dinner sitting you should choose for that first evening. If you get dinner out of the way soon, you'll have a better chance of a dome seat in the lower Fraser Canyon approaching North Bend in the early evening. That's not as spectacular as the section beyond North Bend, but still worth watching. The river will be on the right side of the dome.

As far as Winnipeg goes, you'll be very lucky if you arrive on time. I've been tracking departure times from there (TT calls for 23:30), and the closest to on time since July 1 has been 00:05.  Aside from that, the best was 02:03 and all the nine others were between 03:15 and 09:00, so in those cases arrival at the 'Peg would have been well after midnight. In most cases, a little late for a shot of "Winnipeg champagne" at the Fort Garry.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/19 19:08 by railsmith.



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