Seeing Canada through the window of a train is one of the best ways to get to know the country. Not only are the views great, but the trains are comfortable, low-stress, relaxing and allow you to sit back and take your time getting to your destination. Train trips can be multi-day adventures from one end of the country to the other, but they can also be short getaways to nearby destinations. While most people are familiar with VIA Rail, there are a number of train companies that offer service across the country, including the indigenously owned and operated Tshiuetin Rail Transportation.
Via Rail’s Ocean
Halifax to Montreal (1 day / 1 night): This one day/one night train adventure takes you between Halifax and Montreal. Pass through small communities along your route, representing French Canadian, Acadian, Celtic and English heritage. You can cross the Canadian Maritime Provinces in just one day from the comfort of your comfortable accommodations. Buy food and drink on board and enjoy the scenic ride.
Vancouver to Lake Louise and Banff (6-12 nights): The luxury rail journey takes you to historic parts of the Canadian Pacific Railway that no other rail tours do. Their specially designed trains have a panoramic glass roof, giving you an unobstructed view of the scenic Rocky Mountains. This is a daytime only train, meaning you travel on the tracks during the day and stay in a hotel at night. With several itineraries to choose from, you can visit Vancouver, Whistler, Kamloops, Jasper, Quesnel, Lake Louise and Banff.
Via Adventure Route
Winnipeg to Churchill (2 days / 2 nights): Enjoy Canada’s Great White North through the panoramic dome on this passenger train. It is one of the few railway lines where you travel over the permafrost this far north. Your journey will take you from one end of Manitoba to the other. Along the way, passengers experience blooming prairie landscapes, untouched wilderness, sparkling lakes, boreal forests and the vast tundra. Depending on the weather, you can also see the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights). Upon arrival in Churchill, take an optional excursion to get up close and personal with Canadian subarctic animals, including beluga whales (July to August) and polar bears (October to November).
Train from Charlevoix
Quebec City and Coastal Towns and Villages (Day Trips with Optional Multi-Day Routes): This rail journey offers a unique tourist experience. Travel between Quebec City and a number of coastal towns and villages. Choose a round trip in one day, with several hours at your destination to explore, or split the trip over two or more days. Experience the charm of small communities against the backdrop of rocky cliffs, ocean, pristine forests, vaulted hazy skies and towering herons outside your train cabin. Their season runs from about June to October each year.
Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc.
Tshiuetin Rail Transportation is Canada’s first and only Aboriginal-owned railway. To ensure the long-term economic and social development of their communities, this train line is shared equally between the Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam, the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach and the Innu Matimekush – Lac John Nation. This route spans 132 miles connecting Emeril (Labrador) and the town of Schefferville in Quebec. Tshiuetin means “North Wind”.
Agawa Gorge Sightseeing Train
Agawa Canyon Tour (1 day): Your Agawa Canyon tour begins in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and travels through seemingly endless mixed forests of the Canadian Shield and the shores of northern lakes and rivers. Travel over towering crosses and feast your eyes on the rugged untouched landscapes that have inspired many great Canadian works of art over the years. Area commentary is available in multiple languages, including French, German, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin, via wireless headsets. Learn about upcoming points of interest and some of the rich history of the Ojibway, the fur traders, explorers and entrepreneurs who opened up this vast wilderness. This train runs from August to October approximately every year.