If you’ve ever travelled with young children, you’re probably sceptical of the phrase “Getting there is half the fun”. But, on a recent VIA RAIL trip from Montreal to Ottawa with an 18 month old, I can report having what amounted to an almost civilized journey…
The first thing you’ll notice is how much more simple the check-in process is with VIA RAIL (especially with Business Class pre-boarding) compared to those blood-pressure-boiling trips to the airport. 15 minutes after arriving at the downtown Montreal train station we were sitting in our seats and pulling out of the station, with our bulky stroller tucked neatly away near the door.
While the staff was very friendly and even offered our son an activity book, perhaps the most important factor in making train travel with a toddler work was the extra room that it offered. We had large, comfortable seats with a table and there was enough space on the train car that our son was able to wander (with supervision of course) around a bit, which truly saved the day.
And with a reasonably entertained child comes reasonably relaxed parents who, since no one had to drive, were both able to enjoy a glass of red wine with selections from the revamped menu, which boasts some surprisingly gourmet food. Honestly, we were impressed.
So absolutely consider travelling with your family on VIA RAIL. Or just do it alone and concentrate on the wine and food part.