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Anderson

Best time of year for the Canadian?

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What it says on the tin...I'm going to end up on the Canadian sooner or later, I know (almost definitely in the next year or so, and sooner if I get a "bad surprise" out of the Harper government, unlikely though that probably is), but I want to know what time of year I should take a stab at scheduling for.

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Well if by best you mean "price" then the winter and shoulder months is the best.

 

Otherwise, the best time of the year is really anytime you can go!

 

During the summer you'll have more daylight hours for viewing things, however during the winter you don't have leaves blocking your views and you get the majestry of snow covered mountains.

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If you want the best viewing possible why not schedule near the summer solstice? The best prices come from the 75% off "Express Deals" which only occur on very specific dates and are only available relatively close to departure. The 50% off deals offer less savings but allow far more scheduling flexibility. Hope that helps!

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Both bits help. Hmmm...if I can snag a well-timed 75% off deal this winter, that may be a winner (my ability to travel this summer is getting more than slightly constrained by a mix of obligations). I'll look into planning a summer trip next year in that vein.

Edited by Anderson

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Guest NS VIA Fan

Winter!......my favorite time to ride. The crowds are gone and you get almost personalized service from the crew......and theres nothing like sitting in the dome after a fresh snowfall on a moonlit night! Heres a couple of my winter trip reports:

 

http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/4731-an-early-winter-trip-on-vias-canadian/page__p__43308__hl__edmonton__fromsearch__1#entry43308

 

http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/7585-toronto-to-edmonton-on-vias-canadian/page__p__62111__hl__edmonton__fromsearch__1#entry62111

Edited by NS VIA Fan

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Alright, here's what I'm thinking of shooting for (and it'll require a reschedule, but I should have the points for it):

OSC-CHI (paid): December 26

CHI-SEA (points): December 27-29

SEA-Vancouver: December 29

Canadian Vancouver-Toronto: December 30-January 3 (I checked and this is a running date)

Maple Leaf, Toronto-Buffalo (cash): January 4

Lake Shore Limited, Buffalo-NYP (points): January 5

Silver Meteor, NYP-RVR (points): January 6

 

The latter two would ideally be "points-ed" together, as the layover is less than 24 hours. Yes, the LSL does come into NYP on one day and the SM leaves the next, but the LSL's arrival is late enough to preclude a "same day" departure. My alternate plan would be:

VIA, Toronto-Montreal: January 3

Adirondack, Montreal-NYP: January 4

Silver Meteor, NYP-RVR: January 5

 

Finally, I can always run a CZ-CS routing.

 

 

All of the Canada-US crossings are a ham-handed mess if you want to go past NYP given the arrival times. Yes, I am very much cursing the downfall of the Montrealer (among other trains) right now.

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I don't believe that you'll get one award for the LSL to the Meteor, but I could be wrong.

 

If you don't want to spend a night in NYC, take the Maple Leaf as far as Albany and I'd book business class. Overnight there, you can either do a cab ride or catch the local bus across the river where you should be able to find rooms for less than in NYC. Then do an award from ALB to a same day connection in NYP to the Meteor.

 

Frankly, unless you want some faster running or you want to try VIA's Business Class on the corridor, there is little to be gained by going to Montreal and it will cost you a lot more.

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CHI-SEA (points): December 27-29

 

12/26-12/30 are AGR blackout dates. I'd suggest February or March for a winter trip, as there's still plenty of snow but the days are significantly longer. Of course, this year you could book a trip in May on the Hi Line and still get a blizzard in Montana and North Dakota.

Edited by Ispolkom

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Ah, I'd forgotten about that particular blackout period (I usually plan on paying cash for Christmas-time travel to avoid rescheduling hangups).

 

I don't believe that you'll get one award for the LSL to the Meteor, but I could be wrong.

 

If you don't want to spend a night in NYC, take the Maple Leaf as far as Albany and I'd book business class. Overnight there, you can either do a cab ride or catch the local bus across the river where you should be able to find rooms for less than in NYC. Then do an award from ALB to a same day connection in NYP to the Meteor.

 

Frankly, unless you want some faster running or you want to try VIA's Business Class on the corridor, there is little to be gained by going to Montreal and it will cost you a lot more.

 

I'm really not opposed to giving their BC a shot, now that you mention it. I've heard good things...though I wish I could do this during a bout of pro-dollar insanity:-p

Edited by Anderson

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