This year marks Canada’s 150th birthday, which may have some travellers itching to get out and explore the beautiful expanses of the country. With that in mind, a travel blogging couple who specialise in photography have shared their top tips on travelling across Canada by train (as well as some stunning pictures), following a journey that they took from Halifax to Vancouver.
Terrence and Victoria, who together run the blog Follow Me Away, undertook an approximately 6000-kilometre journey from the east to the west coast last winter, due to the fact that the off-season pricing makes train tickets more affordable, but their choice also resulted in some unique views.
“Instead of riding the train through a green tunnel of trees, they are devoid of their leaves which allows passengers to see far off into the distance, something we would never get to experience if we had gone at a different time of year,” Victoria told Lonely Planet Travel News.
One tip that they picked up was to keep an eye out for special deals, such as the discounted tickets released on VIA Rail Canada’s website each Tuesday.
While the trip can be done in as little as six days, Victoria and Terrence opted to include plenty of sightseeing, stopping at Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Jasper and Vancouver. This resulted in an 18-day trip full of photography opportunities at each stop, as well as on board. “We absolutely loved photographing from the train, the scenery changed every few seconds. Canada has such a diverse landscape, from maritime cities to plains and majestic mountains, that there is something to photograph every second the sun is up. From the train, we also saw wolves, deer, bighorn sheep, bald eagles and more,” Victoria told Lonely Planet Travel News.
Another helpful piece of advice from the couple is to be prepared for delays. Due to the fact that freight trains can take priority on the tracks, stops ranging between 20 – 30 minutes can be expected if other trains need to pass. “If we had to give one last tip, we would advise others to be flexible. The train is a fantastic experience, but have an open itinerary and don’t book flights or tours on the day you are due to arrive in a station and you will be good to go to enjoy your trip!”.