Your getaway doesn’t have to start when you arrive at your destination. When you travel by train, getting there is part of the fun! If you need more reasons to hop aboard, you’ve come to the right place. Find out what we love about the journey and the reasons your next trip should include a VIA Rail ticket.
1. The Safety
Part of VIA Rails mission is to ensure that travellers enjoy a safe, smart, and sustainable travel experience. With everything that has changed since COVID, VIA Rail has introduced some extra safety precautions to offer you the safest and most comfortable way to travel. Refer to their COVID page on viarail.ca.
2. The Scenery
Whether you’re driving or a passenger, you have may have noticed that being stuck on an Ontario highway doesn’t provide the most scenic or enjoyable views. But by traveling by train, you’ll journey through countrysides, forests, and along lakes and rivers. You can even safely grab a few Instagram-worthy photos of the experience.
READ ALSO: How To Take The Perfect Train Photo
3. The Comfort
The most significant advantage to VIA Rail travel is the space you have to stretch out, curl up, and get cozy. The seats are roomy and train rides are smooth and turbulence-free. Buses are bumpy, depending on the number of passengers and bags – cars can be cramped, and airplane seats can feel squishy. The anxious feeling of following GPS directions and squinting at road signs trying to figure out where to make your next turn doesn’t sound too comfortable either.
4. The Speed
Imagine taking a trip and not having to arrive two hours early to wait in a long security line. Air travel involves waiting in lines — check-in lines, security lines, boarding lines, etc. These lines can cause a lot of stress and uneasiness. Waiting in line is a necessary evil of travel, but train travel eliminates most of this inconvenience.
Under most circumstances, train travel is stress-free and yes, there’s still a line to board, but the comparison ends there. For the most part, you just arrive and walk on to your train. And yes, delays will happen. That’s not uncommon since VIA Rail does not have its own dedicated railway tracks and depends on track access as per agreements with CNR. If you’re an avid traveller, you might already know to include contingencies in your plans for arrival delays. If you’re not a frequent traveller, then this is a good tip to keep in mind! When you plan ahead for delays, you will not spend your time on the train worried about being late.
TIP: Download the VIA Rail APP and follow your train in real-time.
5. The Kid-Friendliness
The flexibility of being able to stretch out, get up, and walk around is not only a better option for easily bored passengers, but children too! If you’re travelling with children, then you’ll appreciate that they can wiggle around or snuggle up with you.
6. The Convenience
From unexpected traffic jams to inconvenient bathroom stops, road trips always seem to take much longer than what our GPS suggests. The convenience of train travel is that you have all you need onboard, from clean bathrooms to delicious food (complimentary in Business Class and available for purchase in Economy)
Many major airports are located away from city centres. That means that once your lengthy plane journey has wrapped up, you’ve still got a bit more travelling to do before you reach your destination. In contrast, train stations are usually centrally located. VIA Rail has several daily departures from Toronto Union Station, Ottawa and Gare Centrale.
Winter storm? No problem! Choosing to travel by train can take some of the headaches out of navigating snowy and icy conditions.
READ ALSO: VIA Rails Train Travel Tips
7. The Relaxation
If the safety, convenience and comfort of travelling by train still doesn’t have you rushing to buy your next ticket then perhaps this next reason will encourage you!
Train rides offer plenty of time for relaxation — especially since, when travelling by train, there are fewer announcements and security procedures. Passengers get the time and space to truly sit back, relax, and connect with their surroundings.
If you’re off on a romantic getaway, the train offers a chance to start reconnecting right away. And if you’re travelling solo, you’ll have ample opportunity to focus on being in the moment, enjoying a good book, or working on your craft. Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly creative, who knows — maybe you just need to try something new or give your hobby another shot. You can easily tuck many different art supplies (like a sketchbook or a ball of yarn) into your luggage. Plus, all VIA trains on the Windsor – Quebec City corridor are equipped with free Wi-Fi, so you can catch up on emails or put on a pair of headphones and watch a show or movie.
TIP: If you’re making your grand return to travelling again, add a little extra pampering and experience Business Class. Business Class is the best way to relax and it’s more affordable than you might think – especially if you take the time to book ahead. Learn more about VIA Rails Business Class here.
8. The Eco-Friendliness
Did you know that one train car equals two transit buses and around 20 cars? By contrast, train travel is the most environmentally friendly and eco-responsible means of transportation (short of walking or riding your bike!). Carbon emissions from trains are less damaging to the environment than airplanes because train emissions are not released directly into the upper atmosphere. VIA Rail strives to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations, use resources efficiently, minimize waste, and promote the environmental benefits of train travel by encouraging travellers to leave their cars at home and take the train.
9. The Charm
Even though you’re not riding the Hogwarts Express, you can still enjoy the magic that train travel brings. Between the feel, the sounds of the train, and the world flying by outside of your window, we hope you get the chance to experience it for yourself.
Start Planning Your Next Journey Now
Well, there you have it, some of the reasons we love travelling by train. We absolutely recommend taking the train as a couple, as a family, with a friend, or as a solo traveller. We’ve even partnered with VIA Rail and Canadian travel company, Landsby to bring you incredible Winter getaways that you can reach by train in South Eastern Ontario! Learn more here: landsby.ca/rail-and-roam/