Jonathan Lee

Worldly Images


The Country

Such a vast expanse, where train journeys across it take days! The most famous of which is probably the Rocky Mountaineer. Still there is plenty to be seen from the window of any train travelling through Canada and VIA Rail also offer dome cars on some of their trains.

The integrated transport systems in the major cities are excellent, making getting from one place to another a lot simpler than in some countries. For example getting from Toronto Airport to Toronto Union station involves a bus and two metro trains but interchange between the two is simple.

To get from Toronto Airport to Union station – The TTC run “Airport Rocket”, bus No. 192, departs from a stand downstairs from the arrivals hall at Toronto Pearson Airport. They run less than every 10 minutes during the day and tickets cost $3 each, which includes transfer to the TTC Subway at Kipling. Tickets can be bought from the driver, but only with the correct change; there’s money changing machine just inside the terminal doors near the bus stop. The transfer from bus to subway at Kipling is ticketless and you don’t need any other ticket from that point to the point you exit the subway; just simply go down the stairs, get on the next subway and change where you need to. The change at St George from one line to the other is straight up the stairs off the Kipling line.

Train Travel

VIA Rail operate the national rail service, throughout Canada. There are also other commuter lines within the country that operate local services, generally based in big cities like GO Transit in Toronto and Trains de Banlieue AMT in Montreal. 

Tourist trains operate in Canada such as Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix in Quebec and Orford Express in Sherbrooke. See my reports on both the Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix and Orford Express.

A full list of passenger and freight operators in Canada along with a list of heritage railways in Canada, can be found on Wikipedia.

Train times and Tickets

Booking tickets for travel within Canada can be done at most VIA stations or online for long distance travel or at most GO Transit or AMT stations for local commuter travel withing Toronto & Montreal.

VIA Rail

From time to time VIA offer 50% discounts across all fares; these are definitely worth looking out for!

Book tickets online

Downloadable PDF Timetables by Route – Full network pocket timetables are available upon request at VIA stations

VIA Rail Network Map

GO Transit Toronto

GO offer a day pass that is basically a day return ticket but valid between the two points for unlimited travel all day.

Ticket Types and Fares – not available for purchase online

Downloadable PDF Timetables by Route – First select the line you want and then there’s an option to view the Full Schedule PDF on the next page

Go Transit Network Map – options for full system, train only and also bus maps

AMT Montreal

Ticket Types and Fares – not available for purchase online

Downloadable PDF Timetables by Route – Select the line you want and a PDF also becomes available to download, as well as the timetable displayed on the screen

AMT Commuter Line Network Map

For the Rail Enthusiast

A comprehensive list of Canadian Locomotives by their respective railway system can be found at The Diesel Shop.

A PDF map of the Canadian Rail Network in 2006 is available online.

A comprehensive Canadian Rail Atlas is available from the the Railway Association of Canada.

As the Canadian rail system is so vast available comprehensive atlases are broken down into Territory volumes and are available from SPV as Railroad Atlases of North America.

Railway Photography

Canada June 2014

This trip was planned around the main event, which was a week in Springdale, Arkansas in the US for the National Railroad Historical Society annual convention. It was a bonus that the York Durham Heritage Railway would be providing shuttle services on the GO Transit network with their heritage stock only the weekend before! A Read the Rest…

Canada August 2012

We’d been attempting to do some of the Canadian Shortlines that operated with Alco’s for some time and this trip ended up being the one, although one fell by the wayside early on unfortunately, that being the York Durham Railway in Toronto, who couldn’t operate their annual top & tail trains over the GO Transit Read the Rest…

General Photography

Canada May 2011

A trip from Winnipeg, through Saskatchewan & Manitoba, to reach the northern most place we visited, Cranberry Portage, Manitoba. It was well worth the effort, although we initially almost cancelled this part of our trip due to railway related issues and things not quite being as we wanted them. I’m glad we didn’t. Having stayed Read the Rest…