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Everything you need to know about riding this scenic train from Vancouver to Toronto

From the Rockies to rolling fields of wheat, and everything in between.

The train from Vancouver to Toronto is considered one of the world's "greatest" train trips and riding it doesn't have to cost a small fortune. 

The Canadian by Via Rail Canada is a bucket-list train ride for people from across the globe, offering spellbinding perspectives of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains to the rolling wheat fields of the prairies and everything in between. 

"The Canadian" was recently ranked as one of the top 10 train trips in the world and the second-best in Canada. The Rocky Mountaineer placed sixth, with VIA Rail's cross-country route in eighth. 

The journey takes passengers from Pacific Central Station in Vancouver to Toronto Union Station and takes about four days to complete. The train may pick up some passengers at select stops but people do not need to disembark at any time if they've booked the trip across the country. 

Can I make stops in cities along the ride from Vancouver to Toronto? 

A journey from Vancouver to Toronto can be broken down into segments if travellers want to explore some select cities. However, the train won't come through those cities daily, meaning they must stay there for at least a couple of nights before they can resume their journey. 

The Canadian stops in Kamloops, Jasper, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg before arriving in Toronto (see slide two for details).

To book a multi-stop itinerary, travellers can call VIA Rail and make arrangements with a representative. If they only wish to make one or two stops, it may be possible to keep the price they'd pay for booking "The Canadian" minus the stops. However, they should arrange this as the booking is made rather than after in case space fills up. 

Separate segments may also be booked online.

How much does The Canadian cost for economy, Sleeper Plus, and Prestige classes? 

A one-way economy class ticket from Vancouver to Toronto may cost $500 to $700 based on availability.

Economy seats have lots of legroom and "comfortable reclinable seats."  

Travellers hoping to catch a decent night's sleep may want to book Sleeper Plus tickets. These tickets are in upper or lower areas where travellers can fully stretch out in a "semi-private" bed. There is a curtain to close at night but the area is communal. During the day, they may be seated across from other people but also have access to other carts, including the Skyline car, the Park car, the Renaissance car and the Dining car, based on route and season. 

Sleeper Plus tickets include onboard accommodations for one or two people. Passengers have access to common showers. 

Folks who want to travel across the country in ultimate comfort should opt for Prestige Class cabins. These private accommodations feature "a modular leather sofa that can be transformed into a double bed" and a personal concierge. Guests can enjoy gourmet, three-course meals and watch movies from their cabin on a large flatscreen TV. Each cabin also has a private bathroom.  

The Prestige options offer an "unparalleled level of elegance, comfort and privileged service," with prices starting at $2,500. 

Passengers in Sleeper class or higher can relax in the Business lounge and enjoy free beverages, newspapers and Wi-Fi.

Can I book segments in different classes to save money on the cost of my journey?

While the overall cost of an economy ticket from Vancouver to Toronto may cost less money, travellers who only need to travel in a sleeper car for part of their journey may want to book a trip in segments. 

For example, a passenger who departs from Vancouver may want to book a sleeper car for the journey up to Winnipeg and then book an economy-class ticket for the remaining portion of their journey. 

Are there ever any sales that will reduce the cost of my journey?

Travellers can take advantage of Sleeper Plus flash sales throughout the year. 

These sales may reduce the overall cost of a trip by hundreds of dollars and typically happen a couple of times a year. 

A word of caution: Peak travel times may sell out in advance, such as over the summer months of July and August. For travel during this time, you may want to book your trip without waiting for a sale to ensure you get the best deal.

What are the advantages of travelling by train?

Many passengers enjoy a "smoother" travel experience by train than by bus or car.

While flights are quicker, they don't allow for a scenic journey throughout the experience.