Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Train Travel Across the Great White North

Kate arrived home yesterday from Winnipeg - by train!  She has been wanting to make the trip by train for awhile now and this seemed like a good time.   She took some photos along the way, although she said it was difficult to get ones that weren't blurry because of the jiggling of the train.

The Via rail train started out in Winnipeg at 11:30 Sunday evening and arrived in Toronto at just past 9:00 on Tuesday morning  - that's 36 hours on the train and she loved it!

We looked up the route and the train goes quite far north and through very remote areas of Ontario.   You can see the red line on the map below where she travelled.  Kate told me that at one point a group of people arrived at the train station on snowmobiles and got on the train to go to the next station.  A lot of aboriginal people live in the area the train travels through and many of their communities are too remote to have road access so they travel by train, airplane, snowmobiles in the winter, and boats in the summer depending on where they live.

Kate said it was a winter wonderland all the way from Winnipeg across Ontario until she got near Toronto and then there was rain - yuck!  Look at how gorgeous the scenery is -

There were beautiful views along the train of snowy forests,

 animal tracks on frozen lakes (she even saw a red fox walking across a lake at one point),

  cabins on an island,

  and watery winter sunshine.

It's so late in the year that the sun is low in the sky throughout the day, and the days are very short.

The train itself was an adventure too.  Kate loved the panoramic views out of the dome car's curved windows and spent a lot of time there soaking up the scenery.

The dining car had beautiful etched glass dividers with different Canadian birds on them, pretty tablecloths and of course great views.


All the meals were great, but Kate's favourite was breakfast with porridge, toast,  yogurt,  juice, and coffee - oh, and cute little pots of jam!

One last action shot.
What an adventure!  It certainly was an epic way to get home.


  1. I'm sure Kate had a wonderful journey home. We travelled from Toronto to Vancouver on the train and it was fantastic. I really enjoyed seeing her photos as it bought back lots of memories.

  2. I love this post, Grace. I've never done anything like it, this train trip... beautiful country, what a way to travel!..and love that little island of red cabins. Would love to stay there!

  3. I've ALWAYS wanted to do a longer trip on the VIA train. I've only ever done The toronto - Ottawa route... which isn't that exciting, but would love to do something longer and have a bunk and eat in the dining car and all of it! Maybe one day! :) Thanks for sharing the photos!

  4. Wonderful journey and I loved all the photos even the ones of the inside of the train!
    I took the train once from Niagara to Montreal in the winter. Lovely but long 12hrs! Got to see lots of countryside that you would never see by car.

  5. What an adventure! I've always wanted to do something like this.

  6. Glad to hear Kate enjoyed her journey... & got some great shots on the way!

    Vivian is Virtual
    VIA Rail's tour guide