Let me begin by saying, I love to travel by train. I always have. I find that clickety clack sound very soothing and have always found it very easy to rest, relax, and recharge on a train. So, when I conspired with Santa to work out a fabulous 3 night trip to Toronto for my daughter and myself, it was only natural to take the train to get there. We had never travelled on Via Rail Business Class before though and I have to say, we really enjoyed the experience.
Our appetizer was a delicious caprese salad with prosciutto, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and tomatoes
The first plus to Via Rail Business Class was the fact that we didn’t have to stand in the long, long line in order to have early dibs on decent seats like those in economy did. We had reserved seating and could pick out our seats in advance when ordering the tickets. The seating itself is roomier and they are all in sets of twos – well almost all. There’s only one set of four with 2 pairs of seats facing each other. I dislike those seats because you have to be concerned about stretching out your legs without kicking the person in front of you and have less room to put your carry on bags.
For our dinners, we both chose the cheese tortellini with caramelized onions and sun dried tomatoes. Sorry about the fuzziness of this photo – it was a bit tricky taking pictures with the movement of the train! Again, this meal was really yummy!
Between the overhead compartments for smaller luggage, the baggage section for larger cases, and the ample floor space for carry ons, there was plenty of room for what we brought with us. The free WiFi was an added bonus. It was great to be able to use our laptops whether for business or pleasure while travelling. As you’ve seen from the photos, we were also provided with a meal as part of our ticket. Honestly, given the lousy food I used to get on the train in the dining car (usually more of a fast food or snack type fare) and the exorbitant prices of it, my expectations for this meal were very low. My daughter and I were both very pleasantly surprised. The food was of a very good quality and quite tasty!
Layered squares for dessert: The one on the left had a slight coconut taste along with hazelnut. I’m not a big fan of coconut but it was delightful. The one on the right was lemony and refreshing.
We were offered pre-dinner cocktails and warm towels, followed by wine with our dinner, and post-dinner liqueurs and chocolates. The Via Rail staff was friendly and helpful and we received excellent customer service every step of the way. Although I’ve always liked being on a train, there were times years ago when, especially at this time of year, it was more of a practical solution to travel but not always the most pleasant.
Often the trains were fully booked and it felt like we were crammed into a small space with too many people who were in a great rush to get to their destinations. Even the staff sometimes seemed to be willing only to provide the most basic of assistance but I can see great improvements in Via Rail travel overall and I’m most impressed with Business Class travel. It was not a trip to merely endure but rather, a very enjoyable experience that I look forward to doing again!
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