10 Unforgettable Canadian Train Trips

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There’s something romantic about hopping on a train and travelling across the land. It makes even more sense in a vast country like Canada, which has beautiful and diverse landscapes. From the Canadian Rockies to the Atlantic Coast, there are some amazing Canadian train tips to put on your wish list.

Going on a Canadian train trip is one of the things to do in Canada that many visitors enjoy. So, treat yourself to one of these epic train vacations. All aboard!

1- The Canadian Train

Canadian train trips
Via Rail’s “The Canadian” is an epic Canadian train trip across the country. Photo: Canadian Tourism Commission

The diversity and beauty of Canada’s landscapes are showcased to travellers aboard VIA Rail’s The Canadian.

The trans-Canadian train is a four-day cross-country journey between Toronto and Vancouver and a classic train journey.

It passes through five provinces and offers eye-popping views of Canada’s natural treasures.

Operated by: Via Rail


Train route: The Canadian travels between Toronto and Vancouver, stopping in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Kamloops and Jasper. 


10 Things To Do in Toronto

20 Things To Do in Vancouver

2- Rocky Mountaineer Train

Canadian train trip
The Rocky Mountaineer is one of those Canadian train trips to choose for a luxury vacation on rails. Photo: Rocky Mountaineer. GoldLeaf Service Dome Coach onboard the Rocky Mountaineer Train in Canada.

If you love luxury travel, chances are the Canadian Rockies Route on The Rocky Mountaineer is on your bucket list.

The British Columbia-based company is the largest privately owned luxury tourist train company in the world.

The scenery will give your camera a workout. 

Think glacial lakes, snow-capped mountains and gushing rivers.

The Rocky Mountaineer has three classes: GoldLeaf, SilverLeaf and RedLeaf.

3- Royal Canadian Pacific

When it comes to luxury rail tours, the Royal Canadian Pacific offers a window into rugged and spectacular landscapes on a seven-day journey starting and ending in Calgary in Alberta.

It was once dubbed as a “Tour of a Lifetime” by National Geographic Traveler.

The journey also offers a focus on the heritage and culture of the Canadian Rockies.

Highlights include Banff, Lake Louise, Kicking Horse Pass and the Spiral Tunnels and Columbia Valley wetlands.

4- Le Massif De Charlevoix

Best Train Trips in Canada

The Daytrippers’ Delight aboard Le Massif De Charlevoix connects Québec City, Pointe-au-Pic and La Malbaie on a day trip through eastern Canada.

Sit back and let your eyes drink in eastern Canada while dining on a four-course meal.

It’s worth paying extra for a seat on the riverside.

5- Whistler Sea to Sky Climb 

train travel
Photo: Rocky Mountaineer. GoldLeaf Service Dome Coach on board the Rocky Mountaineer Train in Canada.

The Whistler Sea to Sky Climb passes through some of Canada’s most breathtaking scenery from Vancouver to the resort town of Whistler.

The sounds, waterfalls, mountains and canyons are impressive on this 31/2-hour trip.

The train runs to Whistler in the morning and brings passengers back to Vancouver the same day. But it’s definitely worth staying in Whistler at least for one night.

6- The Polar Bear Express

You’ve probably never heard of Moosonee, Moose Factory or Cochrane.

These are the places on the Polar Bear Express route that gives passengers the opportunity to learn about the people and landscape of Northern Ontario.

This journey is especially appealing to those with an interest in the First Nations culture of Canada.

A $17 million facelift in November 2014 gave the train an overhaul for its 50th birthday.

The refurbished coaches have leather seats, washrooms, modern flooring, luggage space, dining cars and a family car.

7- The Ocean – VIA Rail

train travel
Photo: Alex M. Mosler Canada, Via Rail

Train travel between Montreal and Halifax, aboard VIA Rail’s The Ocean, is a wonderful way to experience the treasures of eastern Canada.

There’s more than a dash of French culture in Montreal while Halifax has an intriguing seafaring history.

Watch the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick countryside whizz past through big glass windows.

During the journey, meals, snacks, hot and cold drinks, and alcoholic beverages are always available. It’s an overnight trip that runs three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

8- White Pass & Yukon Route

train travel
Photo: Paddy Pallin

Relive the gold rush aboard the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway.

The train journey offers a balance of nature and history. The railroad was constructed in 1898 as a means of reaching the goldfields.

The journey is in vintage cars. It’s a worthwhile day trip for train, history and landscape buffs.

9- Churchill to Winnipeg, VIA Rail

train travel
Photo: Canadian Tourism Commission

The two-day 1,700 km journey between Winnipeg and Churchill brings Northern Lights, polar bears, First Nations culture and stunning landscapes.

This train operates all year but if you’re dead keen on spotting polar bears, go in October or November.

That’s when the polar bears make their trek through Churchill and can be experienced close up in “tundra buggies.”

10- Agawa Canyon Tour Train

train travel
Photo: James Smedley

The Agawa Canyon Tour Train is an adventure round trip from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. It offers views of the rugged landscape along the pristine northern lakes and rivers.

There are the granite rock formations and vast mixed forests of the Canadian Shield. Best time to go? In Fall, when the golden leaves are an awesome sight.

Discover Canada

Canada is a wonderful destination for bucket list views, such as the Icefields Parkway, cool food trails, where you can discover fun places such as sugar shacks, and a myriad of cultural experiences, from French culture in Quebec to First Nations. From the soaring Rocky Mountains that take your breath away (Canada has so many of the world’s top ski resorts you can’t go wrong in winter) to relaxing coastal destinations and remote islands, Canada has plenty of choices for all types of travellers.

10 best train travel

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Christina Pfeiffer
Christina Pfeiffer is a writer, photographer and video blogger based in Queensland, Australia. She has lived in three continents and her career as a travel journalist has taken her to all seven continents. Since 2003, she has contributed travel stories and photographs to mainstream media in Australia and around the world such as the Sydney Morning Herald, CNN Traveller, The Australian and the South China Morning Post. She has won many travel writing awards and is a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.