One thing that had been on my bucket list for years was to ride the train across Canada. I booked my train ticket with Via Rail from Toronto to Vancouver with a stop in Jasper. We booked just under two months in advance and were lucky to get seats on the same car together. My advice is to book at least three months in advance and sooner if your traveling with a large party.
We left Toronto on a Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. and arrived in Jasper on Friday at 1:00 p.m. We picked up our rental car and explored Banff and Jasper National Parks. On Tuesday, we got back on the train at 2:30 p.m. until we arrived in Vancouver the next morning around 9:30 a.m. Overall we spent four nights on the train. The time on the train sort of rolled by. We would get up, shower, eat our breakfast, go back to our seats and read or visit, go eat lunch, have a cocktail, visit, go eat dinner, visit, and go to bed. Every day sort of took on the same routine. When the train stopped, we got off and explored what we could. I really found the meals on the train to be top notch. Here is a link to the train schedule.
The costs were incurred are detailed below:In addition to the costs above, my train fare for lower berth (more expensive) was about $1100 US (one can go with the less expensive option and sit in a seat all the way. This fare doesn’t include showers or meals and runs around $386 US) and my one way return ticket from Vancouver to Detroit was $200. Overall the trip cost me $1872 plus meals. Probably one of my more expensive trips, yet I don’t regret it.
Overall the scenery from the train was beautiful, yet it didn’t compare to the views I had taking the California Zephyr across the USA.