A Trip on VIA Rail’s ‘Chaleur’ (Montreal, QC – Gaspe, QC)

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An update on the Chaleur:

Alas, after over 40 years of operation, VIA Rails’ Montreal-Gaspe train, the ‘Chaleur’, will no longer be offering passenger service on the section of the route from Matapedia to Gaspe, according to the following press release from Aug 22, 2013:

Apparently the Canadian Government had no interest in providing the paltry sum needed for repairs to the rail line in order to maintain the operation of this train, being far more interested with pouring vast amounts of tax dollars into the road & air transport industries. However, it’s not too late to let your political representatives know your opposition to the curtailment of passenger rail services. Successful efforts by both citizens & the National Association of Railroad Passengers in the U.S. to maintain rail services proves that taking the time to reach out to your representative is an effective way to ensure preservation of passenger rail services. For more information & links to Canadian rail advocacy groups, see my web page entitled ‘Why Choose the Train’ at https://northamericabyrail.info/why-choose-the-train. And with so many routes still served by rail -don’t forget to take the train!

The ‘Chaleur’ was inaugurated by Canadian National Railway in the summer of 1964 as a Montreal, QC – Campbellton, NB, train. Starting in the summer of 1967 the train would split into sections enroute from Montreal, with one section running to Gaspe. Under VIA Rail today, the Chaleur exclusively runs from Montreal to Gaspe.

The train consist, as on the ‘Canadian’, is made up of ex-Canadian Pacific stainless steel cars including a baggage-dormitory, leg-rest coaches, a dining room car, a ‘Skyline’-series dome-coffee shop-coach, and ‘Chateau’-series sleeping cars with berths, bedrooms, roomettes & drawing rooms. Power consists of VIA F40PH-2 diesel locomotives.

The route of the Chaleur is a very scenic one, with the train leaving the skyline of Montreal behind as it crosses the St. Lawrence River, passing Mt. St. Hilaire in Quebec & travelling through the beautiful Matapedia river valley, with the remainder of the journey passing along the coast of the Chaleur Bay with such highlights as the Port Daniel tunnel, Perce Rock and on into Gaspe, with views of the eastern Appalachians at Forillon National Park.

Great scenery, fine dining, superb accommodations & impeccable service are sure to delight on VIA Rail’s Chaleur.

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