Seeing Canada through the window of a train is one of the best ways to experience the country. Not only are the views exceptional, but trains are comfortable, low-stress, relaxing and allow you to just sit back and take your time to get to your destination. Train trips can be multi-day adventures from one end of the country to the other, but they can also be small getaways to nearby destinations. While most people are familiar with VIA Rail, there are a number of train companies offering their services across the country, including the Indigenous owned and operated train line, 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 heritages. You can cross the Canadian Maritime provinces in just one day from the comfort of your cozy quarters. Purchase food and drink on board and enjoy the scenic ride.
Vancouver to Lake Louise and Banff (6-12 nights): The luxurious rail trip takes you through historic parts of the Canadian Pacific Railway that other rail tours don’t. Their custom-designed trains have a panoramic glass roof, giving you an unobstructed view of the picturesque Rocky Mountains. This is a daytime-only train, meaning you travel the rails during the day, and you 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 the Great White North of Canada through the panoramic dome on this passenger train. It’s one of the few rail lines where you travel over permafrost so far north. Your trip will take you from one end of Manitoba to the other. Along the way, passengers experience blooming prairie landscapes, untouched wilderness, shining lakes, boreal forests, and the vast tundra. Depending on the weather, you may also see the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights). Upon arrival in Churchill, take an optional excursion to get up close with Canadian subarctic animals, including beluga whales (July through August) and polar bears (October through November).
Quebec City and coastal towns and villages (Daytrips with optional multi-day journeys): This rail journey provides a unique tourism experience. Travel between Quebec City and a series of coastal towns and villages. Choose a round trip in one day, with several hours at your destination to explore, or split the journey over two or more days. Experience the charm of the small communities next to the backdrop of rocky cliffs, ocean, pristine forests, purple hazy skies, and soaring herons outside your train cabin. Their season runs from approximately June to October each year.
Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc.
Tshiuetin Rail Transportation is Canada’s first and only Indigenous owned railway. To ensure the long-term economic and social development of their communities, this train line is equally shared between the Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam, Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach and the Nation Innu Matimekush – Lac John. This track stretches 132 miles connecting Emeril (Labrador) and the Town of Schefferville in Quebec. Tshiuetin means “North Wind.”
Agawa Canyon Tour Train
Agawa Canyon Tour (1 day): Your Agawa Canyon tour begins at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and travels through endlessly mixed forests of the Canadian Shield and the shores of the northern lakes and rivers. Travel over cross towering trestles and set your eyes on the rugged untouched landscapes that have inspired many great Canadian works of art over the years. Commentary about the region is available in several 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, fur traders, explorers and entrepreneurs that opened up this vast wilderness. This train runs from approximately August through October annually.