Long before we began our trip, I booked as many of the “key trip” travel components as possible. That included a train trip from Montréal to Québec. When I made the booking via internet, I found the trains are relatively infrequent, so we had to be on the earliest if we were to save as much of the day as possible for sightseeing. (We were told, while there, that most people do this trip by bus).
The Canadian railways are privatised, so the company operating in this area is VIA Rail (website detail below). The website was easy to navigate and I was pleasantly surprised to find that, even as an overseas visitor, a senior discount was available for me (Australia’s States are far less generous). I must admit though, that I was slightly bemused to find that I paid full fare, while my wife gained the discount for coming along as my “carer”! I hadn’t realised my doddery advanced age was so obvious!
So, finding ourselves in Montréal with a computer printout voucher, the question was how to convert it to a ticket? It proved easy: just place the printout under the moving red scanner in the machine main photo and our tickets popped out. Isn’t this new-fangled gadgetry useful!
With our tickets sorted out, it was just a matter of being at the station the requested hour before boarding. I had imagined there may be some kind of security check (we’d been through so many) so we arrived a little over an hour ahead – and had the station almost entirely to ourselves! Even the coffee shop didn’t open until later and, gradually, other people arrived. We could have been there twenty minutes ahead of boarding without any problems, so if you’re following our schedule on the early train, sleep in a little later!
The train trip itself was reasonably quick, clean and comfortable, with good views of the passing countryside. You really can’t ask for much more!
VIA RAIL runs several trains from Toronto (4,5 hours), Ottawa (2 hours) and Quebec (3 hours) to Montreal (Central Station). There are also connections to Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver. The Gare Centrale is located in downtown Montreal.
I have taken the Amtrak from Schenectady Upstate NY) to Montreal twice. Very relaxing - I suggest an audio book from your local library and some snacks, though the cafe car does carry vegetarian foods. Customs was very friendly both ways, I took a passport just in case. You depart in Montreal near/in the Metro Bonaventure Station. To get metro cards, take the metro to BERRI/UQAM and buy tourist or weekly passes from the clerk there, also a good time to pick up metro maps from the metro office.
The only downside is that you cannot stop in the duty free.
Via Rail Canada is an efficient and affordable way to get from one Canadian city to another. I took it from Montreal to Ottawa, and then from Ottawa to Toronto. It's a lot less hassle than taking a plane and I enjoyed the downtime to sleep and recharge.
The Gare Centrale is Montreal's main railway station and not to be confused with the Station Centrale, the latter being the bus station.
The Gare is situated on de la Gauchetiere West, under the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, and its concourse is a central part of the RESO. This is Canada's busiest railway station and VIA Rail trains run from here to all over the country. The station also services Amtrak trains to New York and Albany. Despite being busy the station is well organised, signage is bilingual, as are staff and is a pleasure to travel to and from.
The Gare is connected to both McGill and Bonaventure Metro stations.
Because the concourse is part of the RESO there is every imaginable facility at the Gare (even a SAQ liquor store!).
Via Rail is Canada's rail transportation system. Try to travel in first class. The economy class isn't that good. The trains seem old and crowded, and service was awful. In first class it was great. This is a view from Montreal to Quebec.
To get to and from Montreal, the train is one of the easiest ways. Trains go to/from many major Canadian cities in central Canada and the Maritimes. Bonaventure station (or Gare Centrale) is the train station, and it also has a lot of shops and restaurants to go to in case you have a long wait in between trains/buses. It is also connected to Bonaventure metro station and a shopping mall (Place Ville Marie).
Montreal is one of VIA Rail's railway centers, and has lines that go to Ottawa, Toronto, Quebec City, Halifax, and New York in the U.S..
The city's major train depot, Central Station, is located below the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in the middle of downtown. The station can be found at the corner of Boulevard Rene Levesque and Rue Mansfield. Escalators will take you below the hotel to the main terminal.
Tickets can be purchased either at the terminal or at VIA Rail's internet site.
Located at 895 de la Gauchetiere West Montréal,QC H3B 4G1,Canada and is underground at the Bonaventure Metro Station and the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel. The train station is a hub for train travel throughout Canada. Also, great shopping and eateries in the station as well. Go up one level and you have a very nice shopping mall to browse around in.
I'm a big fan of trains and VIA Rail :) I just think it's the greatest way to travel. The trip there is worth going in itself- the scenery is beautiful, the service is great, there's always someone to talk to or play cards with. And, all this can be done from the comfort of your seat!
You can take the train to and from Montreal. Via Rail is the Canadian train system. However, I looked into taking the train to Quebec and it turned out to be much cheaper to rent a car from Hertz!
Take a train any whewre you can in Canada and it will bring you to Montreal. This on is leaving from Ottawa for Montreal