Travel

Travelling via Via Rail to Jasper

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  • Jul 10th, 2020 1:09 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 13, 2016
805 posts
411 upvotes
Vancouver, BC

Travelling via Via Rail to Jasper

I'm interested in potentially travelling from Vancouver to Jasper via Via Rail. (And for Covid police, not this year, its not even running this summer.) Has anyone taken the train here? Was it scenic and worth it? I assume on a train you are able to get up versus on a bus where you are stuck in your seat which may make it ok for this long a trip, but i'm not sure.
16 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 26, 2007
1425 posts
640 upvotes
I'd assume the cost of the train would be a lot more than just flying to Edmonton and renting a car yourself to drive there. Is cost at all a concern or are you insistent on taking the train? My only concern cost aside for via is that delays happen. Via runs on the same tracks as freight so any time a CP or CN train hauling goods come in, via has to pull to the side to let them pass first.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
3800 posts
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Toronto
OP - I haven't taken the Rocky Mountaineer train - I expect that is what you are referring to. I know people who have and enjoyed the trip. The only issue that could arise (and it did happen to one couple) is that the train left very late and it was dark when the train travelled through the most scenic areas which kind of ruined the trip for them.

This is a different scenario than than mentioned by Clement.
Member
Dec 8, 2008
406 posts
389 upvotes
Winnipeg
I did this on Via a number of years ago. It was great. I imagine things have changed. Find out where you are during the daylight hours. That was the most important for me.
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Oct 30, 2008
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GTA
I took the Canadian (name of the train) last September from Vancouver to Toronto. Train left Vancouver in the afternoon and we arrived the next afternoon in Jasper. It is definitely the most scenic part of the trip. Best to go in the Summer for increased daylight but also the most expensive time. Once it gets dark, you cannot see anything outside except the stars. For reference, I remember Vancouver to Jasper on sale in September for a bunk was about $350 which would have included Dinner and Breakfast. Its a very lovely experience. The food was wonderful, people quite friendly, and arriving in Jasper will be beautiful.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Please don’t confuse my kindness for weakness.
Member
Dec 11, 2013
475 posts
382 upvotes
Richmond
We did this several years ago and it was a good experience. I recommend the sleeper cars for a better night’s rest. The non-sleeper class trains have nice wide seats but don’t recline all the way flat.
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Jan 2, 2015
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NOT centre of Univer…
Latebuyer wrote: I'm interested in potentially travelling from Vancouver to Jasper via Via Rail. (And for Covid police, not this year, its not even running this summer.) Has anyone taken the train here? Was it scenic and worth it? I assume on a train you are able to get up versus on a bus where you are stuck in your seat which may make it ok for this long a trip, but i'm not sure.
It’s a beautiful and breath taking trip. It is like a travelling hotel with food and bunk cars. I haven’t ridden the full way on the via rail , but I have been on it, and the service is great. I have also been on many train rides. It’s quite pricey though, but if you have the money then go for it.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it bothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
Deal Guru
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Sep 6, 2002
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My have non drinking family that did the rocky mountaineer and took the lowest class. Wasnt disappointed but also said totally not worth it.

There were classes with free drinks but it’s probably like via business 2-4 drinks per hour which for a booze hound isn’t that good.

Just fly to Austria when it’s safe and take some regular trains. You can bring your own alcohol and the goulash on the train is good and reasonably priced.

I’m a train fan so just google scenic trains in whatever country. As others said these trains are mercy to freight trains there is nothing worse then a train not moving.

I remmeber a German train being 2 min late to one station. And 10 min early to the next. Let the Europeans do trains. Not this via non sense which is also a burden to tax payers
Autocorrect sucks
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22290 posts
20910 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
For the record ...

There are 2 different pax trains / Companies that run this route between Vancouver to Jasper (either direction)

1- The Touristy ... Rocky Mountaineer = https://www.rockymountaineer.com/train- ... ugh-clouds

And

2- The regular Via Rail ... Via’s The Canadian = https://www.viarail.ca/en/explore-our-d ... r-canadian

These 2 experiences (and cost) IS VASTLY DIFFERENT ... thru some of Canada’s most stunning landscape.

Looks to me like some RFDers here have got their wires crossed on which one is which

The OP is asking about Via Rail’s The Canadian
That trip starts at about $ 150 and takes around 20 hours

The Rocky Mountaineer trip starts at about $ 1000 and includes an overnight in Kamloops

As I said two VASTLY different experiences
Deal Expert
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Jun 12, 2007
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PointsHubby wrote: 1- The Touristy ... Rocky Mountaineer = https://www.rockymountaineer.com/train- ... ugh-clouds..

Looks like they are shutdown due to Covid till Aug 30


https://www.rockymountaineer.com/covid1 ... ou-updated

LATEST TRAVEL UPDATE - UPDATED JUNE 17, 2020

Given the growing impact of the pandemic and global travel restrictions, we find ourselves with no choice but to delay the start of our 2020 travel season and suspend our departures until and including August 30.
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Feb 7, 2017
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l69norm wrote: Looks like they are shutdown due to Covid till Aug 30

https://www.rockymountaineer.com/covid1 ... ou-updated

LATEST TRAVEL UPDATE - UPDATED JUNE 17, 2020

Given the growing impact of the pandemic and global travel restrictions, we find ourselves with no choice but to delay the start of our 2020 travel season and suspend our departures until and including August 30.
Good point.
For anyone else reading this.

Although the OP distinctly said they were looking to ride on Via Rail = The Canadian ... and in 2021

Even Via Rail has various Covid Restrictions ... based on the website I linked..
Like selling fewer seats on-board to account for Physical Distancing.

IMO ... I get the WANT to travel now
Afterall Cdn Summers are so short ... and good weather so fleeting
But with everything going on ..
Prob not near the same experience / worth it

The earliest we are looking at any Cdn Travel would be September or October
And even that’s “doubtful”

Tentatively looking at next vacation Spring / Summer 2021
HOPEFULLY ... if all goes well in this crazy Covid world
*fingers crossed*
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Jun 12, 2007
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London
PointsHubby wrote: ...
Tentatively looking at next vacation Spring / Summer 2021
HOPEFULLY ... if all goes well in this crazy Covid world
*fingers crossed*
+1,
My fav train would be Agawa Canyon / Sault St Marie but it looks like they are shutdown for the entire season
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Dec 18, 2007
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GangStarr wrote: My have non drinking family that did the rocky mountaineer and took the lowest class. Wasnt disappointed but also said totally not worth it.

There were classes with free drinks but it’s probably like via business 2-4 drinks per hour which for a booze hound isn’t that good.

Just fly to Austria when it’s safe and take some regular trains. You can bring your own alcohol and the goulash on the train is good and reasonably priced.

I’m a train fan so just google scenic trains in whatever country. As others said these trains are mercy to freight trains there is nothing worse then a train not moving.

I remmeber a German train being 2 min late to one station. And 10 min early to the next. Let the Europeans do trains. Not this via non sense which is also a burden to tax payers
As great as the Austrian Alps are, the Rockies are no slouch.
There's a reason the Canadian is often included in lists of best train journeys from around the world and why foreigners come in droves to take it.
It's slow here (sad but true) but everyone knows, that you take a train here in Canada when you're not in a rush.

Not sure how the Rocky Mountaineer does it, but 2-4 drinks an hour sounds fine since it's a wine tasting.
I've heard VIA also does wine tastings on the Canadian as well. Assuming it's the same amount, I think it's fine.
Want more drinks? Buy or bring them aboard and have a glass or 3 in your room.
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Jun 12, 2007
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IceBlueShoes wrote: As great as the Austrian Alps are, the Rockies are no slouch.
There's a reason the Canadian is often included in lists of best train journeys from around the world and why foreigners come in droves to take it.
It's slow here (sad but true) but everyone knows, that you take a train here in Canada when you're not in a rush. ...
+1
At least Via seems to have their act together. There was a time when Via scheduled the Canadian to run the Rockies in the middle of the night
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 13, 2016
805 posts
411 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Thanks for the replies. Yes i am referring to via rail. I also didn't realize how far banff was from jasper as i thought i could take a bus to banff and then there is a bus fro m banff to calgary. It may end up being too expensive, on the other hand i don't think there may be much options for travel next year anyway and now may be the time to do it. I'd like to go to drumheller too. I didn't think via rail was overnight and i thought it would get there in the evening but i could be wrong. I see there were layoffs at via rail and hopefully it doesn't affect rail travel.
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Dec 18, 2007
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Latebuyer wrote: Thanks for the replies. Yes i am referring to via rail. I also didn't realize how far banff was from jasper as i thought i could take a bus to banff and then there is a bus fro m banff to calgary. It may end up being too expensive, on the other hand i don't think there may be much options for travel next year anyway and now may be the time to do it. I'd like to go to drumheller too. I didn't think via rail was overnight and i thought it would get there in the evening but i could be wrong. I see there were layoffs at via rail and hopefully it doesn't affect rail travel.
I think there is a bus from Banff to Calgary, but what about once you're there?
Yes, the town of Banff is walkable and there's a fair bit to see/do there but you're barely scratching the surface.

Not sure about Jasper, but I do remember seeing tours that did pickups in Banff and took you to Jasper for the day.
When I went last year, I stayed in Canmore and the distance to Banff was about 30-40mins.
Up to the Columbia icefields, was well over 2hrs, so I decided against it as I didn't want to spend min 4hrs driving in a day.
We often forget just how big this country is.

My recommendation is to pick one (area) and concentrate on that. I'm hoping to get back and do the other (Jasper), but Yoho might be possible to visit as well.
Member
Dec 11, 2013
475 posts
382 upvotes
Richmond
We rented a car from Jasper to Banff (and back). Stopped by some really nice/quiet hot springs and the glacier tour.

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