Discussion in 'VIA Rail Canada Discussion' started by PaulDobbs, Mar 12, 2019.
IMO much better on Canadian.
Food on the Canadian is prepared in the Dining Car and excellent!
On the westbound Ocean…meals are prepared in the kitchen of the Westin Hotel in Halifax which is part of the VIA Station Complex. They are chilled, put aboard and heated in convection ovens (not microwaves!)....but still very good! (Not sure where the meals in Montreal are prepared for the eastbound train but it’s the same arrangement and also very good).
Here’s Breakfast on the Ocean last summer:
Paging Amtrak! Paging Amtrak!
I thought the food was much better on the Canadian than on the Ocean. In fact, I like Amtrak diner food more than I liked the food on the Ocean (when I traveled in 2011).
I like VIA service overall better. They also have rigid standards for their crews.
The northward view from Smith Tower.
The view looking southeast from Smith Tower. King Street is visible FYI.
The menu changes regularly I believe but when I was there they have one amazing roast beef sandwich.
Scroll down to pages 25 to 30 in this brochure for the 'Ocean'...... Sleeper floor plan is on page 29 'Sleeper Plus Class - Cabin for Two" There's also a floor plan of a 'Renaissance Diner'
Are you certain about that?
I was in a Skyline Dome last year on the Jonquiere train, and I thought that dome had an outlet at the table. I could be wrong...I might have just charged my phone at my regular seat in the next car...not sure...
I'm not sure enough to bet my money, but I suspect that nomenclature might be part of the problem. In the Park Car dome itself, I had no outlet. On the other hand, I didn't have what I would call a table either (there was a dropdown tray), so maybe we're not talking about the same thing. At the rear of the Park Car, where the seats face inward rather than outward, there were outlets. In the center of the car, where I believe there were tables and there definitely was a bar, I don't know.
We found them to be of the same quality which is excellent! Sorry for the slow response but the switch over it me out of contact and way behind!
My doctor has asked me what the highest elevation is on this trip because of my COPD. Does anyone know?
The highest point the ‘Canadian’ will reach is near Obed Summit just east of Hinton, Alberta (and before you are even in the Rockies!)
Elevation is 1,164 m (3,819 ft).
Thanks. That’s definitely a non-problem! I had thought it would be more like the Empire Builder.
Here's a Link to my recent 'Ocean' Trip Report:
Thanks. I enjoyed that. I may need to change my habits, since I don’t usually take very many photos, and the photos definitely made your report. I find myself wishing that August wasn’t so far away. I’m getting impatient.
Thanks, I just use the camera on my smartphone……in fact that’s all I carry now instead of an SLR, GPS, Maps, Timetables, Laptop etc. Everything is on my phone…in my pocket with Apps for VIA, Amtrak, Airline and Hotel reservations. So convenient when I think of what I used to lug around on a trip.
Agreed. Although I also cart around an iPad. I have a GPS moving map application on it that stores all its maps on the iPad, so it does not need a network connection to work. It has the railroads as nice, bright magenta lines, and will even tell you the name of the subdivision (but not the name of the railroad).
I lug around a DSLR, lap tops, sometimes a camcorder. Along with a first aid kit, and other odds and ends.
New question: Traveling in August, when this Texan is going to be acclimated to 90 to 100 degree days (I still think in Fahrenheit), am I going to want to carry more than the nylon windbreaker that I always carry on Amtrak against overachieving air conditioning?
Also, I am starting to be tempted to upgrade to Prestige class on the Canadian. I'd like to hear some comments pro and con, other than the ridiculous cost. I have the money, and at 75, with house and car paid for, not much else to spend it on.
I had friends who went the Prestige route and loved it. It was too rich for my blood! The bedroom was expensive enough.
My wife and I took the Via Canadian train in 2017 and splurged and stayed in the Prestige Class. We both loved it. The room was much larger (about the size of 2 rooms), the day couch was roomy and the sleeper bed was very comfortable for 2 people side by side. The room had a DVD player and monitor. The window was larger than a standard size Pullman car. The bathroom was a nice size and the shower was clean and the water pressure was excellent. The only complaint about the Prestige class room was that the bathroom sink was awkwardly sized and water would inevitably end up on the bathroom floor. In Prestige class you have access to the rear bullet-shaped observation car that is reserved for Prestige class customers. The Via employees were very accommodating and helpful. The day prior to the trip we took the day train from Quebec to Toronto and the Vice President of the railroad was on the train. I got to talking with him and learned that he had helped set up the Prestige Class service. He was a very nice man who seemed to be profoundly concerned about the upscale service and I sent him a lengthy review of the train after our trip. He was genuinely appreciative. When we arrived at the Toronto Train station and entered the First Class lounge, we were pleasantly surprised that he had left word that we were traveling and that everyone seemed to know our names! That was a wonderful surprise.
As with any train travel in Canada, the freight trains have the right-of-way over all passenger trains and you will spend a lot of time on switch tracks watching the 1-2 mile long freights pass by. It drastically affects the on-time performance of the Canadian. Via only leases the tracks and the owner of the tracks makes sure that Via is treated like the minute entity that it is. We arrived in Vancouver 14 hours late, but to me, a true railfan, that was like a bonus- extra time on the train! The route is beautiful! Canada is such a beautiful country. And, running 14 hours late, we saw some of the rugged western portion of the country in daylight. It was wonderful.
In conclusion I will say that the Prestige Class, while indeed expensive, was quite the step up from the next level of service. The next level cars were not in the same league. They were not as cared for and appeared to be a bit ragged. I will say that the food in the diner was wonderful. The chefs go out of their way to provide excellent food and the waitstaff was excellent. Even arriving 14 hours late, no one was complaining.
Thank you. You convinced me. Of course, I wanted to be convinced, but your reply was very useful.
It’s funny to me I’m good with an open section. The way I look at things is the whole day I’m not going to be in the room. I get up around eight AM and I’m either in the dome, diner, or the lounge in the skyline till midnight. So to me a bed is a bed.
Good for you! All your drinks are included in the ticket as well. Enjoy.
Thank you for this wonderful review!
Separate names with a comma.