Train Trips in Canada ’s vast territory makes it an especially great place to take a train journey. When you fly, it’s hard to take in the grandeur of the mountains and plains, and when driving across country we’re often focusing on traffic and navigation rather than enjoying the scenery.
When you travel by train, you can fully appreciate the beautiful vistas of the Canadian country side. There are many options to choose from. For some of the longer trips you can sleep on the train, while others are best for day jaunts based on the destinations at either end of your route.
If you want to avoid renting a car, a great tip is to try to find hotel deals near the train station. Check out some of the available train trips available in Canada:
Traveling By Train In Canada
Canada is one of those vast and amazing countries that can be explored by many forms of transport.
However, exploring the country by train makes it possible for the visitor to sit back in comfort and watch a whole array of vistas as he moves across some magnificent landscapes – also, you have the flexibility to stop on the way and stay in hotels for the time you desire.
But Canada is a big country, and there are many great destinations and routes to travel by train, so which ones should you choose?
First Passage To The West
They cover 4 principal routes in the Canadian Rockies, the First Passage to the West being the most scenic and historically important one.
You’ll pass Castle Mountain, a small pretty station by a lake, Stoney Creek Bridge (awesome photo opportunity) and the Thompson and Fraser river canyons.
Apart from the wildlife that is seen en route, the visitor gets served up gourmet food in the double deck Goldleaf dome coach.
Indeed, most people will use a train to get from A to B, but with this kind of scenery and service (all the food is included in most packages) the visitor can make the train trip the highlight of the vacation. There are plenty of different packages to be found and all of them have something unique to offer.
For example, the Western Explorer takes the visitor on a tour through the mountains, over the ice field parkway and Jasper, and on through Yoho and Banff.
There is even a helicopter ride on offer here to get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding countryside.
Rainforest to Goldruch Route
If you want to venture off the beaten track, then Rainfores to Goldruch route (Whistler-Quesnel-Jasper) is a good option. You get off the beaten track into gold-rush and timber country, through wonderful scenery where yu may even se bald eagles, bears and ospreys.
The cool thing about this kind of vacation is that there are different levels of service for those who are on a tighter budget.
There is the Goldleaf, Silverleaf and Redleaf level with a difference of around fifteen hundred dollars between the most expensive and the more economic of the three.
(photo credit: 1)
The Rocky Mountaineer
Though often referred to as one train ride, the Rocky Mountaineer departs from Vancouver and actually offers a few train routes through stunningly gorgeous scenery.
A fun but quick train ride in British Columbia, the Rocky Mountaineer to Whistler passes through dramatic mountain scenery from Vancouver to ski- and mountain-bike paradise Whistler.
You’ll pass over canyons, rivers and through lush rain-forest before arriving at your destination.
The trip takes about three-and-a-half hours, including the time it takes to get there, a little time to have a look around Whistler, and then head back to sea level.
If you prefer a longer trip through amazing scenery, take the Rocky Mountaineer to Jasper in Alberta. You’ll travel two days through the Rockies, past mountain peaks and secluded lakes — the rails take you places you’d never see if you travel by car. You’ll dip down into the Thompson Valley and stop for the night in Kamloops before enjoying more mountain passes on the way to Jasper.
Kettle Valley Steam Railway
If you prefer to take a trip back in time rather than over great distances, hop aboard the Kettle Valley Steam Railway. This steam train only travels 10 kilometers in the Okanagan Valley, B.C., but passengers will travel 100 years back in time, to when the railway was used to transport fruit and passengers in this farming region.
You’ll see some of the region’s famous wineries and orchards as the train travels along its 90-minute course.
If a ride on steam train sounds like fun, be sure to schedule your trip to the Okanagan Valley during the summer, as the Kettle Valley railway only operates from May to September.
Royal Canadian Pacific Train Trips in Canada
For luxury on the tracks, the Royal Canadian Pacific train’s two routes in the Canadian Rockies provide options for high-class travel through world-class mountain scenery from Calgary.
Choose between a loop that takes in the best of the Rocky Mountains — north to Golden and south to Elko — or one that highlights fly-fishing opportunities in roughly the same terrain. Accommodations are five-star, and the train stops at night so the movement of the train doesn’t disturb your rest. Royal Canadian boasts that the excursions include some of Canada’s “most elite tourism experiences.”
If you prefer adventure to luxury, take Canada’s national train service, the VIA, on its Manitoban routes from Winnipeg to Churchill.
On this route you’ll travel 1,700 kilometres through subarctic terrain over the course of two days. While this train is used for commuting to rural communities, it’s also a highlight of many travelers’ itineraries because it brings them to polar bear and beluga whale territory. In the summer, when belugas congregate in the thousands in Hudson Bay near Churchill, visitors can sign up for kayaking excursions when off train.
In winter and autumn, travelers can go on polar bear safaris and marvel at the Northern Lights.
The Polar Bear Express
The Polar Bear Express operates on weekdays between Cochrane and Moosonee, Ontario, on the edge of James Bay. Canoeists and other outdoor sports enthusiasts can bring their equipment along in the cargo cars and use Moosonee as a base to explore the area.
Strangely, despite the train line’s great name, polar bears are not often seen near Moosonee.