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The Beauty of Train Travel - Contest

The Beauty of Train Travel - Contest

Congratulations to our contest winner, Heather Starastin!

Heather is the winner of a $500 VIA Rail travel voucher. Her contest entry:

"My teenage son and I only moved to Canada a couple of years ago, and we would love to explore the country more. So far, we haven’t had the opportunity, not least because I don’t drive – so rail is the ideal mode of transport for us. My absolute dream would be to ride the Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver…
Incidentally, I almost always travel for pleasure."



Traveling by train is relaxing, exciting, efficient, and affordable. North Americans are discovering the railroad as an environmentally friendly and convenient means of travel.

Forget about reading maps or road signs from a car, dealing with traffic and congestion or arriving hours before a flight. Take the train!


  1. Flexible and Spontaneous

via rail

There are last minute deals and numerous daily departures to choose from. It can be an ideal way to see several towns and landmarks along the way by pre-booking stopovers on a multi-city option.


  1. Comfortable

train travel

Seats and private cabins are generally more spacious and comfortable than cars and planes. Passengers are free to move about the train at all times and enjoy the scenery. Sleeper-class travelers have private cabins with bedding for a comfortable night's rest. Train travel does not have the turbulence often experienced in airplanes, the seasickness felt in boats, nor does it feel cramped like car travel.            


  1. Amenities

train travel

Many trains have a full-service dining car offering a variety of meals and a lounge car with sandwiches and drinks. There are restrooms, electrical outlets at your seat, free WIFI and on-train entertainment systems including kids’ programming depending on the route. Private sleeping cabins provide washrooms with showers and towels.    


  1. Reliable

train travel

Trains are not subject to road conditions therefore travel times are more efficient and consistent. They are also less affected by adverse weather conditions. And there are no issues with lost luggage!


  1. Convenient

train travel

Trains serve nearly every city, most of them multiple times per day, running hourly if not more often. Major stations are usually right in the center of the city, with shops, restaurants and hotels just a couple of steps away. Baggage is within reach if you need quick access to your belongings. And you can bring fluids (shampoo, water) and your own food! Only have to arrive 30 minutes before departure with minimal hassle.


  1. Environmentally Friendly

train travel

Train travel is a more fuel-efficient means of transport, producing over 90% less CO2 than an equivalent flight. It also decreases the amount of carbon producing cars on the road.


  1. Economical

train travel

Cost-effective compared to other modes of transport, with deals, packages and discounts. NO baggage fees or airport transport fees and you can save the cost of lodging if you travel overnight.


  1. Business Friendly

business train travel

Be productive on the go with free WIFI, cellphone usage, outlets and four-seater sections for business meetings or single seats to work quietly. Some stations offer lounges for business travelers conveniently located in the heart of urban centers. 


  1. Family Friendly

family train travel

Kids love trains! They’re free to move around, play games and watch the scenery or the kids’ on-line entertainment programs. Four-seater sections are ideal for family travel and dining cars make mealtime easy. Portable playpens and foldable strollers are allowed as carry-on baggage and there are microwaves to heat baby food and baby bottles.


  1. More Than Transportation

train travel

A train ride can be a destination in and of itself. Dramatic routes wind through spectacular scenery; historic rail lines pass iconic sights and remote railways traverse isolated landscapes. 


pinterest train travel



  1. Sea to Summit™ Travelling Light Large Wallet
  2. Pacsafe® Camsafe LX10 Anti-Theft Camera Bag
  3. Secrid® RFID Mini Wallet
  4. Eagle Creek™ Sandman Eyeshade
  5. Cabeau™ Evolution Cool Travel Pillow
  6. GoToob™ 3 Pack 3oz. Travel Tubes
  7. Eagle Creek™ TravelLite Large Towel
  8. Revlon® Travel Hair Dryer
  9. Lug® Clearview Envelopes 
  10. HybridLight™ Journey 160 Flashlight/Phone Charger
  11. Pacsafe® TravelSafe Portable Safe
  12. ScotteVest® RFID Blocking Women’s Vest
  13. Briggs & Riley® Kinzie Canadian Carry On 4 Wheel Upright
  14. Eagle Creek™ Pack-It™ Original Cube Set
  15. Pacsafe® CitySafe CS400 Anti-Theft Travel Tote
  16. Fisher™ Brushed Chrome Bullet Space Pen
  17. Eagle Creek™ Converge™ Convertible Weekender BackPack Bag
  18. Memobottle® A5 750ml Flat Water Bottle
  19. Bananagrams
  20.  Munchkin™ Are We There Yet Travel Tray
  21. Herschel® Kids Settlement Backpack


seat 61

EVERYTHING related to train travel; maps, timetables, prices, videos and advice 


This contest has ended. Thank you to all participants!

See Rules and Regulations

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Heather Starastin - May 26, 2017

I am utterly thrilled to win this, thank you so very much! I’m going to let my son choose where we go… he has integrated here so well despite the extra difficulties of being autistic and initially not speaking much English (we came here from Germany), I think he deserves a treat!

Nicole Couture - May 25, 2017

Ce sera un plaisir de me rendre dans les Rocheuses par train.

Eileen - May 22, 2017

I usually travel for pleasure, but very seldom via train. I’d love to visit Banff National Park by train! I’ve been there once & fell in love with the gorgeous lakes…but I’ve read that there are landscapes that can only be observed when traveling by train. I’ve love to have that experience! Thank you!

Karen Kahl - May 22, 2017

I travel a lot by train with my husband. Really would like to go to Churchill, Manitoba for pleasure watching whales

Paula Weber - May 22, 2017
Would like to travel across Canada for pleasure.
Ian D - May 22, 2017

I mostly travel for pleasure and would love to take the train through the Rockies.

Joe Barry - May 22, 2017

My wife and I travel a lot by train. However, one place we haven’t been is Churchill, Manitoba. Since we live on Vancouver Island, that would be an epic trip from Vancouver to Winnipeg and then north to Hudson’s Bay! We travel for pleasure.

Mollie Symons - May 22, 2017

1) As celebrations of 150 years since Canadian Confederation creep ever closer, I find myself yearning more than ever to explore this beloved country far and wide; a quest that, I feel, can only be completed to the fullest by rail. As we know, a defining feature of Canada is our diversity and it is true that even our landscape echoes this quality, from rolling emerald hills, to golden sprawling prairie, to rocky tundra overlain with moss and lichen. This true north strong and free is bursting with beauty, painted with majesty and humbling in glories that train travel has the unique ability to carry passengers through the very heart of. Personally, it is the untamed marvels of the Canadian territories that remain unexplored for me and they are an often dreamed-of destination in my most fervent moments of wanderlust. However, with such wealth of culture in absolutely every direction that one explores, the exact end location is all relative to me. It is the journey, the captivation, and the clickety-clacking contentment of immersing myself in every moment that inspires me to travel Canada by train.

2)Often travelling for pleasure, my experience has lead me to conclude that cramped car rides and stuffy airplanes are always well worth the joy that a final destination brings. But why endure such taxing transportation when one can launch into adventure from the very start? From a young age I was shown in Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear, J. K. Rowling’s 9 ¾, and Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express, that train travel leaves a special mark on many treasured adventures. Though I have had little experience on trains, my scattered experiences of travelling by rail have instilled an excitement for more within me. Eagerly, I await the next time that I merge with the hustle and bustle of travellers crowding a platform, each setting out upon their own journey with contagious anticipation. Trains offer opportunities for boundless happy memories; sampling snacks and exploring carriages with younger siblings; talking for hours on end with dear friends as the landscape surges past; delighting in old tales shared by grandparents over a steaming mug of tea; simply enjoying a quiet space to chase your thoughts as the sun sets and washes the land in gold. Travelling by train is pleasure in itself and brings elements of relaxing enjoyment to a process that is often fatiguing in the extreme. It is a chance to step back and take life at a truly fulfilling pace that we so often lose sight of.

Name: Mollie Symons

Johanne Leblanc - May 22, 2017

J’aimerais visiter la côte ouest par train .
Pour le grand plaisir de voir la beauté des Rocheuses.

Julie - May 22, 2017

Je veux voyager en train pour voir les Rocheuses. Je voyage en train pour le plaisir.

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