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Good Morning! Breakfast on the Ocean

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Breakfast time on VIAs eastbound Ocean: A Western Omelet with Sausage and Roast Potatoes. Very Good! The Renaissance Diners are table cars with only a small pantry for preparing toast and serving drinks etc. Meals are not cooked onboard but reheated in convection ovens (not microwaves) and replated (no plastic here) in the adjacent service/lounge car.

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Although the Diner was serving breakfast at 7am Atlantic Time..it was still only 6am local (Eastern) time and after breakfast....I sat back in the Renaissance Lounge Car as we rolled down through the Matapedia Valley in eastern Quebec......Then on across the old Intercolonial Bridge into New Brunswick and a servicing stop at Campbellton.

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As we made our way down the coast of New Brunswick.....you could look across to the Gaspe Peninsula where VIAs Chaleur once ran. And later in the day....I got off in Moncton for a photo of Revelstoke Park and to record our 20 car consist which included 5 coaches and 8 sleepers.

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Supper is not usually served as the Ocean is in Halifax at 17:30.....but due to a combination of setting two Budd Coaches off at the Bombardier plant in La Pocatiere for rebuilding.along with an unscheduled meet with a truck at a level crossing in Campbellton (no one hurt) put us 2 1/2 hours down at Moncton. So a call went out to St-Hubert in Moncton....the iconic rotisserie chicken chain in eastern Canada for boxed meals for everyone including coach passengers......A quarter-chicken dinner with all the trimmings. There were 100+ in the sleepers and the coaches appeared well filled.

 

And if anyone has enjoyed a meal from St-Hubert....well worth the late train!

 

And what goes around comes around! St-Hubert is owned by CARA who began operation in the l880s as the CAnadian RAilway News Company.....operating newsstands and snack bars in stations and on trains. They then became an airline caterer.and now they're feeding train passengers again!

 

(BTW.....St-Hubert has a restaurant in the former CPR Gare Windsor in downtown Montreal)

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Edited by NS VIA Fan

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What a great series of photo's to 'wake up' to....thanks so much for posting them....got me thinking I need to ride that train, and soon! :)

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Wonderful trip and pics,thanks for sharing! We're envious!

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What a great series of photo's to 'wake up' to....thanks so much for posting them....got me thinking I need to ride that train, and soon! :)

For anyone in the Northeast US.....a trip on the Ocean is quite doable over a long weekend: Adirondack to Montreal....Ocean to Halifax.....then return to New York on Delta or United....or BOS on Air Canada or WestJet.

 

Depending on schedules.....there will probably be an overnight or two in hotels. And you can also return to the US from Halifax on a shuttle or one-way rental to Yarmouth. CAT high-speed ferry to Portland then Amtrak Downeaster to Boston.

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The Ocean is a lovely train. And the obs crew base in Halifax is really good. Going eastbound I like to wake up at six am eastern just to watch the Matepedia Valley.

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Luckily, there's not a lot of freight traffic on the eastern end of Canada, so CN actually runs it on schedule.

CN's freight line to the Maritimes is the old National Transcontinental Railway that hugs the US border of northern Maine through Edmundston New Brunswick. The Ocean follows a different route: the Intercolonial Railway through Campbellton from near Riviere-du-Loup to Moncton NB.....and in fact on the 60 miles between Bathurst and Miramichi NB, the Ocean is the only train on this line. No freight.

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So jealous! I had no idea the Ocean had such beautiful interiors and upholstery. Definitely orders of magnitude nicer than what Amtrak has to offer. I think I'm starting to get a sense of why VIA Rail is so much more expensive than Amtrak. Doesn't mean I can afford it, though. ;)

Edited by cpotisch

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Luckily, there's not a lot of freight traffic on the eastern end of Canada, so CN actually runs it on schedule.

CN's freight line to the Maritimes is the old National Transcontinental Railway that hugs the US border of northern Maine through Edmundston New Brunswick. The Ocean follows a different route: the Intercolonial Railway through Campbellton from near Riviere-du-Loup to Moncton NB.....and in fact on the 60 miles between Bathurst and Miramichi NB, the Ocean is the only train on this line. No freight.

 

Let's hope the Ocean never suffers the fate of the Southwest Chief being the only train on a route...

Could the Ocean be shifted over to the freight route in the future?

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I think I'm starting to get a sense of why VIA Rail is so much more expensive than Amtrak......

Next week you can get single occupancy of a Cabin for 2 (Bedroom) with private bathroom/shower from Halifax to Montreal for $545.00 (or about $420 US) and that includes 3 meals and use of the Park Dome Observation car.

 

Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited would be a good comparison. An overnight train of roughly the same distance.

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Let's hope the Ocean never suffers the fate of the Southwest Chief being the only train on a route...

Could the Ocean be shifted over to the freight route in the future?

Yes it could...and it appeared quite likely it would a couple of years ago until the Feds and Province came through with funding to repair the line between Bathurst and Miramichi>

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I think I'm starting to get a sense of why VIA Rail is so much more expensive than Amtrak......

Next week you can get single occupancy of a Cabin for 2 (Bedroom) with private bathroom/shower from Halifax to Montreal for $545.00 (or about $420 US) and that includes 3 meals and use of the Park Dome Observation car.

 

Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited would be a good comparison. An overnight train of roughly the same distance.

 

Oh wow. Whenever I've looked it's been at least $1000. I guess I've just gotta take a more thorough look. Maybe we can make it work!

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The ocean was threatened several years ago but it's relatively stable now. I believe that's when a shortline owned the tracks. I believe CN owns it again.

 

VIA's crews are also out of this world. I seriously recommend it CPotish

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