Canadian Geographic
Left navigation image
Tracking rail


VIA Rail’s tourist service has been internationally acclaimed both for its spectacular scenery and for its courteous bilingual service. VIA offers several tourist-oriented routes, most of which stop at Canada’s landmark Canadian Pacific Hotels.

The Canadian is VIA’s signature train, providing a four-day journey between Toronto and Vancouver. Some trains include Canadian Pacific Railway’s original 1955 stainless-steel coaches. All offer views of endless boreal forests and vast prairies and a winding trip through the Rocky Mountains. The Canadian has been described as North America’s Orient Express.

VIA’s Ocean, which began service in 1904, is North America’s longest-running named passenger train. The Montréal-to-Halifax train makes an overnight journey along the St. Lawrence River before crossing New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. A connecting train, the Chaleur, continues on to the Gaspé Peninsula.

The Winnipeg-Churchill train, formerly known as the Hudson Bay, completes the 1,700-kilometre journey north to the subarctic in two days. The trip provides an opportunity to watch the prairie give way to boreal forest and then the treeless tundra. Churchill boasts northern lights and polar bears.

The Rocky Mountaineer offers two-day scenic tours along the Kicking Horse Pass, Yellowhead Pass and Fraser River routes. The original “Rockies by Daylight” route, sold by VIA in 1990, has become the largest privately owned passenger rail service in North America. More than a million passengers have travelled the acclaimed route.

Other popular tourist trains include Algoma Central Railway’s Tour of the Line (north from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., for an overnight stay in Hearst), Ontario Northland Railway’s Polar Bear Express (Cochrane to Moosonee) and VIA’s Jasper-Prince Rupert train, formerly called the Skeena.


This piece provides statistics about Canadian rail tourism, and is supported by a bar graph.


On the next page:

High-speed rail

Go now!  Go now!
Quiz :

What percentage of all Canadian surface freight is transported by rail?