Sunday, October 16, 2011

VIA Rail's Canadian between Toronto-Vancouver gets $22M makeover


By the summer of 2012, travelers on VIA Rail Canada's legendary Canadian that links Toronto and Vancouver will experience a multi-million dollar makeover. More than $22 million (CAD) is being invested in upgrading the experience for travelers on the long-haul rail journey with added comfort, more space and expansive views. The extreme makeover includes new carpets, the addition of warm woods and a new color palette.

Starting in mid-October of this year, tickets will go on sale for VIA's new Deluxe Sleeper Class for those wanting more comfort and space. The all-new cabins will be larger, offering a boutique-style hotel ambience and many of the amenities found aboard the world's most luxurious trains. The newly-reconfigured Deluxe Sleeper Class cabins, available exclusively in the summer season, will be 50% larger. They will also feature private glassed-in showers, flat screen TVs, a dedicated service attendant, turn-down service, all-day room service (breakfast, morning + afternoon tea), priority luggage service and priority boarding.

Also being upgraded are the dining cars, which will feature elegant linens, china and flatware for meals prepared on board by a seasoned VIA Rail chef. Produce is brought on board along the route, meaning diners can enjoy regional specialties as they make their way 'cross country. This fall, travelers will be able to enjoy more of the view with VIA Rail's renovated Skyline and Park cars. The renovated Park cars will also offer an entirely wheelchair-accessible cabin with private washroom.
If you're planning on traveling aboard VIA Rail between now and January 31, 2012, book before Oct. 19, 2011 and you'll save 50%.
The Canadian in Jasper, Alberta during my cross-country train adventure between Halifax and Vancouver in November 2009. Photo by Sue Frause.