Fresh Tracks Canada Great agency - Train Experience ??

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Canadian Train Vacations -
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BerniePrime's review of Canadian Train Vacations -

“Fresh Tracks Canada Great agency - Train Experience ??”


written by BerniePrime on 27/08/2013

The tour agency we worked with, Fresh Tracks Canada, did an outstanding job. All details were in the information provided to us. Every activity was accurately described and our tour pickups and transfer went like clockwork. We were met by guides or transportation at all locations that we were staying or traveling from or to. Everything was spelled out in detail and everything occurred according to the details in the information provided to us.

Now the not so good side of the travel experience. Passenger train travel in Canada is at a very low priority relative to freight traffic. We started our trip in Toronto and were to board the train at 10 PM. However, due to heavy freight traffic our passenger train was delayed and we did not board the train until 1:30 AM and left the station at 2 AM; not a good start. Fortunately we had the sleeper car with a separate toilet room that allowed us to not have to travel the hallway in the early hours to use the toilet. The room, though was very small. It was difficult for two people to get dressed simultaneously. We had to dress in shifts: one person dressed while the other stayed in the lower bed and waited their turn.

Our trip on VIA Rail to Jasper was uneventful except for the relatively poor service for our sleeper compartment. The beds were properly made up but neither the sink or the trash container were cleaned or emptied. I intentionally left a trash container on its side with a plastic water bottle on the floor next to the container. When we returned to our room the beds were made up but the trash container and the plastic bottle were still on the floor. In addition, the upstairs dome car had spotty service. The service on the first leg was very good; the attendant was very attentive and provided drinks and snacks on a regular basis and always kept the car tidy. There was a change of attendants about halfway to Jasper and the new attendant was very rarely seen. There were empty glasses and plastic bottles that were left in the car overnight and through the next day and very little service in the form of drinks or snacks. The food served and food service provided on VIA Rail was very good; this took some of the sting out of the negatives we had experienced.

The accommodations and services in Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff were outstanding as was the transportation and tours in those areas.

The conflict between freight and passenger train traffic showed up again in our trip on the Rocky Mountaineer to Kamloops. The train was two hours late at the Banff station. We were to leave at 10 AM. We didn't leave until about noon. Then the horrible experience with the train scheduling recurred. We were moved onto spurs or side tracks very frequently. What was supposed to be an 8 hour trip took 13 and 1/2 hours. It was a terrible experience.

The only saving grace was the outstanding train cars and service personnel of the Rocky Mountaineer. Constant attention to the passenger needs for either food or drinks was provided by the service staff. The food was very good as was the service.

The trip from Kamloops to Vancouver went without a hitch and all was well again. The service was great as were the meals served.

Our stay in Vancouver and a trip to Whistler were outstanding experiences. All food, service, tours, and service personnel were excellent.

Overall our experience with Fresh Tracks personnel was exceptional, who steered us through the arrangements before embarking on the trip.

  • July 15-27, 2013

    Date of stay

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