We hadn't been to Halifax in several years, so prompted by a substantial VIA off-peak sale we decided on November. "Halifax in November?" our friends and relatives said, but it was really cheap. With 40% off on sleepers coupled with senior rail fares, it was a very good deal. For those who haven't taken the route before or are at least familiar with VIA terminology here are a couple of explanations: The Ocean uses a combination of British equipment (Renaissance) and conventional stainless steel "Heritage"-style cars. To accomplish this they need transition cars (not to be confused with Amtrak transition cars) to connect the two types, as well as to the locomotives. The lead transition car also serves as a baggage car, whereas the rearmost one is sort of a combination display and storage car for supplementary dining supplies (soda, water, etc.). There are currently two consists for the Ocean - ours was the all-Renaissance plus stainless steel "Park" car one. The other one is quite different, which I'll attempt to explain later when it becomes relevant. A Park car is possibly the best-engineered transportation on 8 wheels. Not only does it house comfortable sleeping accommodation, two nice lounge seating areas and a dome with forward view, but it also has a bar. What more could you want? We were fortunate to secure Bedroom A in the Park car - also formerly known as the drawing room. The big advantage when you're older is no ladders to climb. Both beds are on the lower level with one parallel to the side and the other across. (There is also a third upper bunk suitable for a child, but seldom used on this route.) There is an enclosed toilet and easily accessed sink in the compartment, but no shower. Day 1 We actually live closer to Toronto than Montreal - the starting point for the Ocean, so had to get there first. It was easy to add VIA 1 seats to the reservation and we decided to head to Montreal the day before and spend the night. I've documented this portion of the trip in another thread, including meal pictures, so I'll just summarize by saying it was typical VIA 1 service... decent food, served on real plates with metal cutlery (mentioning this for later reference) and mediocre service. There was only one attendant in the business car on this trip - different from our last trip a couple of months ago, and she was far from energetic (although very pleasant). The car had been "recently modified" and "they left out the one baggage rack", which required those of us not boarding in Toronto to do self-service with our luggage into the baggage car separating VIA 1 and the locomotive. My wife and I didn't board together as we were separated to allow a handicapped person and their companion to board, so let's say she was less impressed with the foray into the old-school baggage car than I was. We had our favourite seats in VIA 1 - the facing pair on the single side with a shared table. The on-board service was complete, but no drink or wine refills were offered as they usually are. They were available if asked for, but the attendant spent most of the trip sitting down and only walked through the car when a new passenger joined. Fortunately the car was never more than half full. We were close to on-time for the whole trip, arriving at Montreal only a few minutes late.