Facts on the Canadian Railroad

Facts on the Canadian Railroad
Canada has had railroads since 1836, when the Champlain and St. Lawrence Railway opened to serve Montreal. Since then, it's developed a long, rich history.


Currently, the Canadian railways move 60 million people a year over more than 30,000 miles of track. You can access almost any major Canadian city on the rail network, and the routes are widely considered among the most scenic in the world.


Canada got its first railroad in 1836, but it didn't truly take off until Canada passed the Guarantee Act in 1849. It remained powerful in Canada until the 1920s, and today mostly moves freight. In 1978, the government created VIA Rail to handle all passenger traffic.

What to Expect

VIA has 480 trains that offer travel to eight of 10 Canadian provinces, but does not go to Newfoundland nor Prince Edward Island. Check carefully about what classes of tickets are available as this can vary from line to line.


If you or a traveling companion are disabled, you should take extra care when considering using VIA. Wheelchair-bound passengers are limited to one per train, and tickets are first come, first served. Also, there is limited storage for wheelchairs about VIA trains. Passengers should also check ahead about accessibility at the station if they need special accommodation.

Leisure Travel

VIA offers a wide variety of all-inclusive packages for tourists, divided into two types. "Getaways" run from between $95 to $550 and are usually one-or-two night stays in a major Canadian city. "Holidays" can take up to 10 nights, and cost between $850 and $3,000.

Article Written By Dan Seitz

Dan Seitz has been writing professionally since 2008. He has been published on Cracked.com, Spike.com, AMOG.com, OverthinkingIt.com, Zug.com, TheDeadbeat.com and Gunaxin.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater and is currently earning his Master of Arts in film at Emerson College.

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