VIA Rail’s Train Travel Tips | VIA Rail (2024)

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Tips and Tricks

VIA Rail’s Train Travel Tips | VIA Rail (5)

By Sarah Binns

Read time: 3 minutes

What to bring? How to plan? Whether you’re a seasoned expert or a first time train traveller, follow these train travel tips to ensure your peace of mind and get the most out of your next adventure!

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Booking Your Train

Here are some simple ways to improve your train booking experience!

  • Book in advance: This is the key to hassle-free train reservations since you'll be guaranteed a place on board and save a ton of waiting time at the station. It's also an excellent way to ensure the best seat availability and lowest fares for your travel!
  • Keep an eye on our Discount Tuesday offers: More of a last-minute planner? No problem! There are some great discount deals available every Tuesday for travel the following week. Make sure to sign up for our newsletters to get reminders about Discount Tuesday and other offers!
  • Book an Economy Plus ticket: Economy Plus is the perfect fare for flexible travel, since it's fully refundable and can be easily exchanged with no service charge.
  • Create a VIA Rail profile: Are you a frequent VIA Rail traveller? Create a profile on viarail.ca for faster booking. While you’re at it, sign up for VIA Préférence, our membership program, to start earning points towards free train trips.

Before the Trip

It's always a good idea to check your train’s status online, or sign up for SMS alerts during the booking process to be notified by text message of any delays or service disruptions. You can also save time at the station and bypass the ticket counter by having your boarding pass ready; you can find it in your email confirmation and add it to your digital wallet for easy display on your smartphone.

It's best to arrive at the station half an hour before departure for travel within the Corridor, and one hour before departure for long distance trains.

What to Pack?

What you pack for your train journey will depend on whether you are taking a short trip or a long distance journey.

Short Train Trips

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Wi-Fi is available on all short trips within the Québec City – Windsor corridor so you can stay connected. You can bring your own food on the train, and there are also snacks, meals, and beverages available to purchase on board.

Overnight Train Trips

VIA Rail’s Train Travel Tips | VIA Rail (8)

When you’re going to be spending more than 24 hours on our long distance trains like the Canadian, the Ocean, or the Winnipeg-Churchill train, there are certain essentials you won’t want to be without!

  • Non-electronic reading materials: Since Wi-Fi is only available in the lounge car of the Ocean (between Halifax and Montreal) trains, make sure to pack some non-electronic reading materials. There are power outlets available on board to charge eReaders or tablets.
  • Slippers & flip-flops: In addition to your regular footwear, it’s a good idea to pack slippers for moving around at night as well as flip-flops for the shower.
  • Some essentials in Economy class: If you’re travelling in Economy class, you’ll need to bring your own pillow and blanket, or purchase them on board. Earplugs are also also recommended. You can also bring your own food on the train (as meals are not included in Economy class), and there are also snacks, meals, and beverages available to purchase on board.

Travelling with children? Keep them busy and set their imagination free by asking an agent on board for the kids activity bag!

Want to know when it’s time for your stop?

You can follow your train in real time here!

Find Out More

Do you have any questions about planning your next adventure? We're here to help!

Consult our FAQ, or contact us for more information about your train trip.

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We look forward to welcoming you on board soon!

Tips and Tricks Sarah Binns

Tips and Tricks Sarah Binns

Plan your trip

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VIA Rail’s Train Travel Tips | VIA Rail (2024)
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