Canada is huge. It’s the second largest country in the world. If you need to go from one side to the other, you really only have two-three options: Taking the train, going by car or going by plane.

If you read my latest post, you already know what option we chose. We’ve been in Saskatoon for some days now, after another rather long train ride. From one gray city to another – sorry, we’re just not impressed at all! Maybe it’s because of the season, it’s not autumn and it’s not winter. It’s just gray.

We try to do the best of it though. To be honest I don’t have too much to tell you about Saskatoon, so I’ll go ahead with the pros and cons-list for taking the train across Canada that I promised you.

An early morning on the The Dome – be there first and secure the best seats!


– Even if you’re traveling in economy class on the train, you will have access to The Dome – a car with glass roof. First come first served, make sure to go there early to take some seats! During a busy day the seats can get filled up quite quickly. Relax, lean back and look out while you travel through forests and open fields. When you reach B.C., the views will dramatically change and include mountains and valleys. (Not that we’ve seen that though… The best is yet to come.)

– The seats are really comfortable! You can recline your seat without disturbing the person behind you, there’s plenty of legroom and you can even turn your seat into a fairly nice bed with the footrest. For an extra cozy feeling, bring a blanket and pillow!

– The restaurant in The Dome. We actually never tried it since we brought our own food on the train (which I can recommend, if you bring a small cool bag and some canned food it will work absolutely fine. Just be respectful to the other passengers – bring something odourless), but it really seemed to serve nice meals for a good price. There’s breakfast, lunch and dinner and a possibility to buy snacks and even alcohol in between.

Prepare yourself for some beautiful sunsets and sunrises!


– It takes sooo long time! Public transport and Canada doesn’t go that well together. After a coupe of hours I even stopped counting the times the train had to stop for more than 15 minutes. We even went backwards a couple of times! Every time there’s an oncoming freight train, the passenger train has to stop. Believe me, it happened a lot.

– Now that you know that the train will have to stop every now and then, you have probably already figured out that the train will be delayed. And you will not get a refund.

– Even if the train has to stop, of course it doesn’t mean that you can get off it. The times when you can actually stretch your legs (or as I heard other on the train complaining about – smoke a cigarette) is very limited.


So, what do I recommend? To be honest, if you need to save time – fly to Calgary, explore Banff and Jasper, jump on the train from Jasper to Vancouver with a possible stop in Kamloops. Remember that there are some really nice places where the train doesn’t stop in B.C though – we’re thinking about renting a car later to be able to reach these spots!


I finish the post with a quick comparison:

Best views – the train

Best price – same price if you don’t book a cabin on the train, otherwise the plane is cheaper.

Most environmentally friendly – the train

Quickest – the plane

Most fun – the train…? If you don’t end up with annoying people, in that case: good luck – you’re stuck with them for the next 35-100 hours.


Whatever option you choose – enjoy your journey!


This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Kelly

    I’ve never taken the train across Canada (and i dont plan on doing it) but I’ve driven a lot of it. The best areas to see are the east and west coast. Ive driven from Vancouver to Banff and the drive is breathtaking

    1. Amanda

      Oh, so that means the best is yet to come for me! That’s really nice to know, thank you for your comment!

  2. Michelle M

    This is funny because I have always driven across Canada. I didn’t even really consider a train as an option, that is such a great idea!

    1. Amanda

      Yeah, if you have access to a car you don’t really think of any other option – to be honest, now that we’re settled in town I really wish we had a car, it would make everything so much easier! Especially grocery shopping haha!

  3. Kelsey Cetin

    You are brave in my opinion for going by train. I think I would get cabin fever even though it is moving! Even with beautiful views I am not sure I could sit there for that long and stopping that often would probably really frustrate me. Thank you for suggesting a mixture! That might work for me. I am in the states so visiting Canada is definitely a possibility!

    1. Amanda

      Thank you Kelsey! It didn’t really stop that often, however the train horn was used way too frequently for a good night’s sleep haha!

  4. Suzy

    Great write up and comparison. We would love to explore Canada sometime soon and expect we’ll drive for themes part. I do like the idea of letting someone else do the driving and just sitting back on the train though, especially if we get a seat in The Dome. What a great way to see the Canadian Wilderness

    1. Amanda

      Yes, you should definitely go, it’s beautiful! I also enjoyed the “letting someone else drive”-part, although my boyfriend likes to drive so I let him do it when we have a car anyway haha!

  5. Mayuri

    Wow quick and easy review! I really want to travel the western Canadian states in a glass train and it’s been a dream. It is very expensive, so it is still on the wish list

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Amanda

      Yes, it is expensive sadly! But since we had to cross the country anyway we decided to use our money for it, even though we’re budget travelling!

  6. Natasha

    That’s a cool experience. I’ve done the drive and the plane but never the train. I think I would enjoy it for a bit, but maybe go crazy after a while, hahaha. Oh Canada, you’re so big and beautiful.

    1. Amanda

      Haha so true, maybe it was good that we made some of our stops! It’s big indeed, but train is actually the only (and first) way we’ve been crossing the country so far!

  7. Aimee Horgan

    I would love to take the train across Canada, I’ve heard the views are sensational. I do love train travel too.

    1. Amanda

      Yes! It’s a great combination for me aswell since I love travelling by train!

  8. Rosemary

    Really? The second largest country in the world. Wow. Train travel can be fun and unfortunately long as well. Love the glass room dome for the views. Sounds like a combination of the train and plane would work best 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations.

    1. Amanda

      Yes, if you don’t really care about visiting the cities in the middle, then that’s probably the best option!

  9. Yukti

    I would love to take a train ride in Dome during my visit to Canada. Though this ride will take long time, but the views must be breath-taking and loved the comfort of this train.

    1. Amanda

      Yes, you really should! It’s a really cool experience! It takes some time but to be honest, the time goes way quicker than you think!

  10. Jayashree Sengupta

    Yes I totally agree with you, the best views are from trains indeed. I have posted my views on my blog too. The continuous changing of frames and sceneries outside the window is enough to keep us engaged on our trip as well as with nature. You might check “Why You Should Take a Train Journey More Often” on my blog if you like.

    1. Amanda

      It’s so nice with someone who has the same great experience from trains as I do! I’m happy you enjoy it aswell!

  11. Chirasree Banerjee

    Hey, thanks for sharing this. When we will visit I think we will take the train for the views. After living in Switzerland for six years, I love trains and train journeys.

    1. Amanda

      Yes, you definitely should! Oh how amazing, Switzerland is one of my favourite countries in Europe! Taking the train there was breathtaking!

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