Why Is VIA Rail So Expensive?

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Why Is VIA Rail So Expensive?

VIA Rail is a train company that is operating in Canada. Many people who travel through them often have one remark: it’s a very expensive way to travel. It’s true and for very good reasons.
When train travel first started, its market was people who traveled long distances. It was successful since the first models of automobiles weren’t really built to take people on a long ride. It was also a very sound business idea since trains can carry not just passengers but heavy loads as well.

For a while the train ruled long distance transportation since shipping lines focused on ferrying passengers to other countries and not domestically. Air travel was also on its infancy and it took a while before the idea took off.

But when new car models were developed with sturdier engines and more comfortable interiors, train cars which were once teeming with passengers began to clear out. Add to that the successful commercial test flights of airline companies that changed mass transportation forever. This greatly affected ticket sales which eventually led train companies to either shut down operations or think of another way to attract passengers.

And so trains were repackaged as luxury overland travel facilities. Much like ocean cruise ships where built for the affluent who like to travel. VIA Rail is currently one of the top luxury train operators in Canada. Their routes are focused on sight-seeing and relaxation rather than being an option for regular traveling.

It’s no wonder they charge higher than most rail companies. They want passengers to feel the luxurious ambience they offer as they travel around the Canadian Rockies. A word for advice for those who plan to take VIA Rail: take the plane instead if you want to save money and time. But if it’s your first time to see Canada, the train should let you see its beauty for a price.

Author: maureen

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One Response

  1. Steve

    September 15, 2016 9:03 am

    This only explains why sleeper cars on the CPR are expensive (**more expensive that car+hotels to drive the same route). It doesn’t explain, how on a commuter route along the north of Lake Ontario or in the incredibly busy Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal triangle, it can cost more to travel in economy (on a sold-out train) than to rent a car and drive.
    TorontoBelleville on Via rail $117 return per person.
    Car rental: $56 + $40 gas = $96.
    The car carries four, can stop along the route fr convenience, departs on your own schedule and takes about 30mins less.
    Explain that!
    (**The CPR is well worth the extra money. Pleasant dining watching the arboreal forests of Northen Ontario, the Prairies of SK and MB, or the mountains of AB and BC sweeping by is worth every penny)


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