One of the best ways to travel in Canada is by train: you can enjoy the scenery without having to keep your eye on the road and, even better, you don’t have to go through airport security. Here are some of the best train trips in Canada to inspire you.
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Toronto, ON to Vancouver, BC on the Canadian
The ultimate rail journey across Canada is a trip on the Canadian. The route takes you from Ontario’s lakes across the Prairies and then over the Canadian Rockies to the Pacific Coast: a distance of 4,466 km. The trip takes four nights and three days but you will enjoy stunning landscapes you won't believe are in Canada.
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Cochrane, ON to Moosonee, ON on the Polar Bear Express
The Polar Bear Express takes you the nearly 250 km from Cochrane to remote Moosonee on the shores of James Bay. The train is not exclusively a passenger train, since it also transports anything from snowmobiles to light trucks. The trip takes a night and a day.
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Sudbury, ON to White River, ON
The Sudbury–White River train travels over 484 km through the lakes and spruce of the Canadian Shield, linking Sudbury and White River. There are three journeys per week and the trip takes about ten hours.
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Toronto, ON to Niagara Falls, ON on the Greenbelt Express
The Greenbelt Express is a seasonal train service aimed at those who want to cycle the Niagara region. It has special bike coaches with bike racks and the trip, which covers nearly 130 km, takes about two hours. Catch everything from the wineries to the must-see waterfalls.
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Sault Ste. Marie, ON to Agawa Canyon Park, ON on the Agawa Canyon Tour Train
With the Agawa Canyon Tour Train, you can take a round trip from Sault Ste. Marie to Agawa Canyon Park, a little over 180 km away. The train travels through the landscapes that inspired the Group of Seven and the trip is especially scenic in the fall. The round trip takes a day.
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Stoufville, ON to Uxbridge, ON on the York–Durham Heritage Railway
The York–Durham Heritage Railway operates seasonally between Stoufville and Uxbridge just north of Toronto. The round trip, which covers 20 km, takes about two and a half hours. The diesel locomotive dates from the 1950s while the coaches are from the 1910s, 1920s and 1950s.
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Quebec City, QC to La Malbaie, QC on the Train de Charlevoix
The Train de Charlevoix is the perfect way to see the spectacular scenery of the Charlevoix region. The tourist train travels from Quebec City all along the northern bank of the St. Lawrence River to La Malbaie: a distance of 125 km.
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Montreal, QC to Jonquière, QC
The Montreal–Jonquière train is the train to take if you want to explore Quebec’s Saguenay region. It travels the 510 km from Montreal to Jonquière three times a week and the trip takes about nine hours.
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Montreal, QC to Halifax, NS on the Ocean
The Ocean travels over 1,346 km from Montreal to Halifax, a journey that takes a night and a day. The route takes you to Quebec City and then along the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River to Mont-Joli, where it turns southeast and goes through New Brunswick all the way to Halifax.
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Winnipeg, MB to Churchill, MB
The Winnipeg–Churchill train is the only overland way to get to Churchill with its polar bears and beluga whales. It takes two days to travel the 1,700 km or so, with the landscape changing from prairie to tundra. The train travels twice a week.
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The Pas, MB to Pukatawagan, MB
Twice a week, the train from The Pas to Pukatawagan connects the small communities of western Manitoba over a distance of about 400 km. The off-the-beaten-track railway line is operated by the First Nations-owned Keewatin Railway Company.
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Rosser, MB to Warren, MB on the Prairie Dog Central Railway
The Prairie Dog Central Railway is a heritage railway using steam and diesel locomotives to travel between Rosser and Warren just outside Winnipeg. The trip takes about an hour, with a stopover of 75 to 90 minutes.
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Ogema, SK to Horizon, SK on the Southern Prairie Railway
The Southern Prairie Railway is a heritage railway that uses a diesel locomotive from the 1940s and railway cars from the 1920s and 1950s. There are different themed tours – including a dinner train – from Ogema to Horizon. Alternatively you can take a tour from Ogema to the farmer’s market in Pangman.
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Calgary, AB to Banff, AB with Royal Canadian Pacific
Royal Canadian Pacific’s signature tour is the Royal Canadian Rockies Experience, a luxury seven-day tour that takes you from Calgary to the Canadian Rockies and southwestern Alberta. The itinerary includes Lake Louise and Banff as well as the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, one of Canada’s grand railway hotels.
Related: If you're up for something more epic, here are 20 great adventures every Canadian must try.
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Jasper, AB to Prince Rupert, BC
The Jasper–Prince Rupert train travels from Jasper in the Canadian Rockies to Prince Rupert on the Pacific coast, with an overnight stop in Prince George. The trip takes two days and covers a distance of 1,160 km.
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Vancouver, BC to Jasper, BC on the Rocky Mountaineer’s Rainforest to Gold Rush
The Rocky Mountaineer operates different routes, each with their own theme. The Rainforest to Gold Rush route takes you from Vancouver to Jasper via Whistler and the Cariboo District, with an overnight stop in Quesnel. The trip takes three days.
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Vancouver, BC to Jasper, BC on the Rocky Mountaineer’s Journey through the Clouds
The Rocky Mountaineer’s Journey through the Clouds route travels from Vancouver, along the Fraser River and then via Kamloops to Jasper. The trip takes two days with an overnight stop in Kamloops.
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Vancouver, BC to Banff, AB on the Rocky Mountaineer’s First Passage to the West
The Rocky Mountaineer is the only passenger train that travels along the historic route between Vancouver and Banff. It takes you through the Fraser Canyon and also includes Lake Louise on the itinerary. The trip can take five to seven days, depending on the package you choose.
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Kettle Valley Steam Railway, Summerland, BC
The Kettle Valley Steam Railway operates from Thursdays to Mondays and covers about 16 km in 90 minutes. The heritage railway uses a steam locomotive from 1912 and a diesel locomotive from 1956, while you can opt for a 1940s coach or an open-air one from which to enjoy the views of orchards and vineyards.
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Skagway, AK to Carcross, YT on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad
The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad is a joint venture between American and Canadian railway companies and dates from the days of the Klondike Gold Rush. The trip from Skagway in Alaska to Carcross in the Yukon covers almost 110 km and takes a little under five hours.