Via Rail is a complete riopoff. I was a frequent (weekly) Via Rail business class traveller for years and only have compliments for the staff and service on board this service. However, I travelled first class on the sleeper trains with 3 friends between Halifax and Vancouver and can only say that we were all relieved when the trip finally ENDED; the only positive segment having been the business class between Montreal and Toronto. Every mile between Halifax and Montreal and between Toronto and Vancouver was awful. Just think: One shower for 30 passengers (no, you don't have your own shower, you have to line up in the hallway in your bathrobe), room doors that don't lock, no cellphone or Wi-Fi (even in the stations), train Managers who literally refuse to meet passengers with questions or concerns, staff that openly radio-invite each other to parties in staterooms while other passengers wait for days (yes DAYS) for a room that they have reservations for, "wine and cheese receptions" where the only cheese offered is a block of cheddar, cubed and piled onto a plate and left in the dome car while an employee explains that "...tanin is added to wine to give it flavour...", bedrooms so small that a person sitting on the edge of the bed can very easily touch all four walls with hands, without stretching, toilets so small that it is nearly impossible to close the door while inside them and so noisy that flushing is a definite problem at night, broken beds, cloudy windows, food that most people on board qualified as "un-edible", daily menus that are announced by staff screaming out loud at the front of the dining car (yes, the menu is really yelled out loud, not at all pleasant for those sitting nearby), dinning cars where the first eight seats are officially reserved for staff while passengers wait for an hour to be seated, dome cars where garbage is allowed to pile up for days under seats while on-board staff claim that it's not their job to clean up, staff that openly complain about their work schedules while explaining that their jobs aren't bad because they "...just have to ride the train for 3 days to get a full week's pay and are not even obligated to speak to the passengers or anything...", staff that announce that there are hundreds of (immigrant) railway workers burried under the Victoria Bridge in Montreal (??!!!??) and that St-Laurent is the city's best place to buy a wedding dress (??!!??!) and on and on. The passenger trains are old (built in the 1950's), noisy even when stopped, uncomfortable and according to other passengers who have travelled trains in other countries a complete ripoff regardless of price. I rode for free on points and found that I was ripped off, I can imagine that paying up to $5,000 per ticket, these people were really pissed. What a Canadian sham, Vial Rail promotes quality and provides a substandard product and service. Via Rail would not even provide a bagage transfer service from one train to another, every passenger had to retreive all their luggage (in their room and in the baggage car) in Montreal and Toronto, drag them to the next train and re-check them all over! I wrote Via Rail about this experience, twice, and nobody even contacted me to discuss; the mark on an organisation that is truly disconnected from their client base.
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