A Trip on VIA Rail’s ‘Ocean’ (Montreal, QC – Halifax, NS via Edmundston, NB)

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The ‘Ocean’ is Canada’s longest-lived named train, inaugurated July 3 1904 & running on the same route for over a century. It’s original name was ‘The Ocean Limited‘ to reflect its status as a fast, limited-stop express train & it operated over the tracks of the former Intercolonial Railway, later Canadian National (CN), on its route from Montreal to the Maritimes.

The Ocean was completely re-equipped in 2003 by VIA Rail with modern ‘Renaissance’ lounge, dining, coach & sleeping cars (with bedrooms). In addition, the train also carries a stainless steel ‘Park’-series dome-sleeper-lounge-observation car on the end of the train during the peak travel season. Prior to the re-equipping, the train consist was made up of ex-Canadian Pacific stainless steel cars, including dome cars. Power consists of VIA F40PH-2 diesel locomotives.

The route of the Ocean is a pretty 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. On this trip the train detoured from its normal route through Campbellton, NB, running instead over the freight-only CN line through Chipman, NB, before rejoining the normal route at Moncton, and continuing through the Wentworth valley, on to Truro, NS, and past the Bedford Basin into the Atlantic port of Halifax. The Westin Nova Scotian is conveniently located adjacent to Halifax Union Station and is in walking distance to the boardwalk and ferry to Dartmouth.

Fine scenery, fantastic dining, superb accommodations & down-east hospitality are sure to delight on VIA Rail’s Ocean.

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