VIA Rail‘s first class service (VIA 1) is second to none. The train is comfortable, the service is exceptional, the staff is friendly, the food and drink are generous – you’re left with nothing wanting.
Yesterday, I boarded VIA Train 52 – the morning express to Montreal – at Toronto’s Union Station and the first cup of coffee was in my hand even before I was asked for my ticket. And it just got better from there. We left on time at 6:40, and in short order I enjoyed a hot breakfast and a newspaper, then sat back and let somebody else worry about traffic and weather. The free drink once the clock struck 11:00 put me in a great mood by the time we pulled into Gare Centrale at 11:55.
On the return trip (VIA Train 67 leaving at 5:00 pm, arriving at 9:43), the staff poured cocktails before collecting tickets – again proving that their first consideration is for customer satisfaction. Another generous hot meal, with coffee and wine, plus an after dinner drink and chocolate. I snoozed on the way home and arrived refreshed.
The kicker is, the cost for the discounted business class fare was about the same as I would’ve paid to drive, once gas and food was taken into account. The worry-free nature of the trip feels like a huge bonus.
I’ve never had a bad experience riding VIA 1 – so, again, well done!