Train rides are an excellent way to see Canada’s countryside, and there’s no better time to do so than in the fall when the leaves start changing and the world gets just a little bit quieter. Whether you’re thinking of embarking on a cross-country trip or are looking for a weekend getaway, these train rides will take you out of the driver’s seat, so you’re free to sit back and soak in all the scenery you want. What could be more relaxing than gazing out the window with a soundtrack of click-clacking train tracks underneath?
The Halifax-to-Montreal route is a great way to discover Atlantic Canada, experience some of that famous East Coast hospitality, and make new friends when you’re not busy gazing out the window. In a single day you’ll ride along the Atlantic Ocean and pass through New Brunswick’s Bay of Chaleur, a must-see beauty of picturesque lighthouses, lush greenery, and calming ocean waves.
The line from Winnipeg to Churchill, Manitoba, otherwise known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World” is an arctic adventure of changing landscapes, from the flat prairies of the south to the arctic tundra of the north. Costing as little as $157, the two-night trip is a 1,700-kilometre journey without roads or traffic in sight. You will, however, get the chance to see polar bears and the majestic Northern Lights in the winter months of this meditative rail trip.
The Rocky Mountaineer
Choose your own adventure with a classic half-day sea-to-sky trip from North Vancouver to Whistler, or spend a couple of days on a journey through interior mountains with a Vancouver to Jasper trip. You’ll marvel at the sights of beautiful BC forests, waterfalls and wildlife. On the trip to Jasper, you can even catch a glimpse of Mount Robson—the highest mountain in the Rockies—towering at 12,972 feet. For travellers who are eager to snap photos of the sights, this train ride has an open-sided viewing car for just that.
Agawa Canyon Tour Train
Take the one-day journey 184 kilometres north from Sault. St. Marie into the Canadian Shield. As you travel through the vast Canadian wilderness you’ll see the scenic Agawa Canyon and the boreal forests of the Great Clay Belt region—a great place to spot a moose. This ride will give you a first-hand experience of why the Group of Seven artists documented this beautiful scenery in their paintings.
White Pass & Yukon Route
This historic tour of the Klondike Gold Rush takes you on a journey through BC and the Yukon before landing in Alaska. Though the weather conditions in these challenging geographical regions are often harsh, the engineering involved in the route is a marvel in itself. See it for yourself as you pass by breathtaking mountains, glaciers, gorgeous waterfalls, tunnels, and trestles, climbing nearly 3,000 feet in elevation from tidewater at Skagway to the Summit of the White Pass in only 32 kilometres.
This classic journey from Toronto to Vancouver will not only give riders a view of Canada’s gorgeous scenery (especially in fall) but it will also give them a sense of how vast the country is. This train ride is so iconic that it also appears on Canada’s ten-dollar bill. The four-night ride covers 4,466 kilometres through five provinces, providing sights of Northern Ontario lakes, boreal forests, flat Prairie fields, and the Rocky Mountains before reaching the coast.