VIA Rail Sleeper Plus Class - Berths, Shower, Washroom

In the last post, we had a glimpse of VIA Rail's Economy Class offering on The Canadian.

So is it worth paying extra for VIA's Sleeper Plus Class?

Let's have a look and you can be the judge...

First off, there are a number of available accommodation options. I was fortunate enough to personally try two of them so I'll be focusing on those two plus the amenities they share.

In this post, I will showcase the berth configuration that is suitable for one person.

According to the VIA Rail web site, a berth features:
A mattress approximately 5 ft. 10 in. x 3 ft. 7 in. (178 cm x 109 cm) in size
- Room from mattress to partition is 5 in. (152 cm)
- Foot end of mattress has 10 in. (12.7 cm) radius
Public washroom facilities in same car
Access to shower facilities
Daytime: one wide couch-style seat facing another seat (other berth's seat)
Night-time: folds out into bed at night, with heavy curtains for privacy
Other amenities: pillows, sheets and blankets, table available from on-board personnel.

That's all fine and dandy but what does it really look like?  Well, let's sneak a peek:

Here's the daytime configuration:

and then when it's time to go to bed, the crew member transforms this area into two beds, one above the other, and the hallway ends up looking like this...

Yes, those are ladders to reach your bed (if you're in the Upper Berth):

while the Lower Berth looks like this:

Those plastic bags contain towels, shampoo, and soap

for your showering adventure in the on-board shower room

While the shower facility is a nice to have, especially on the longer trek from Toronto to Vancouver, it isn't all that easy to use for the taller people on the train. I'm around 6'1" and the shower head was below my shoulders. Not very useful for such a confined space.  Someone made the comment that VIA Rail should have showers at its train stations as an alternative which seems like a good idea considering the train stops at some stations for an hour or more.

Don't worry. That creepy camera guy hiding in the shower stall won't be there!

At this point, you're probably wondering how the washroom stacks up against the one found on the PeruRail train to Machu Picchu. Well, luckily for you, I took a few pics of the shared washroom facility to quell your curiosity!

And yes, you've come to the right spot: A shot of one of the toilets on board the VIA Rail The Canadian train.

So which berth would I pick if I were to do it again?  The Upper or Lower Berth?

The Upper Berth offers a convenient stretchy catch-all mini-hammock where you can store things (like books and eyeglasses) and provides you with more privacy and less interruptions from people passing by. That being said, there was no window so you have no idea what's going on outside.

While I did not have the opportunity to sleep in the Lower Berth, I think the convenience of not worrying about using the ladder in the dark along with the ability to look out the window more than compensates for the unique features of the Upper Berth. That probably explains why the Upper Berth is the cheaper of the two berths but yeah, if you can spare the few extra bucks, you might want to splurge on the Lower Berth if these two things are important to you as you otherwise have equal accessibility to the train's amenities.

In the next post, I'll show you what a private cabin looks like...

If you found this unbiased review helpful, please consider exploring one of the advertisement links on this blog to help me out. Thanks.


  1. You are just awesome!
    Thanks for the informative pictures.

  2. Awesome picturesque (for the railway-curious) blog! Thanks a million.

  3. Thanks! Hope you found this article useful.

  4. Hi mike, we plan to take the Toronto-Vancouver this summer. 1 adult and 2 children (10 yr old twins). Any suggestions?Thank you:) Joanne

  5. Hi Joanne, that's a good question. Besides taking advantage of VIA's current 50% off promo, unfortunately I don't have any real suggestions for you as I don't have that type of experience to help you with your kids situation nor am I aware of what VIA would consider acceptable. Individual berths might be the way to go unless a private room can sleep you all. I suggest you call VIA to find out what they recommend and how much your options would cost. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you enjoy your trip!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.Joanne

  6. This was great! Thank you!

  7. Thank you so much for taking the time to post these excellent shots. You've answered so many curiosities & questions for those of us who don't have clue of what to expect from train travel. (I've quit flying.) Mostly, I was uncertain between sleeper plus and cabin for 1 amenities. I've gained so much by viewing pictures and now can make wiser choices when booking. You Rock!
    Had to chuckle at the pic of you stuffed oddly in shower stall for the pic.

  8. Thank you for the info & pictures. Very helpful. We've never been on a Canadian train & it appears to be quite spacious. It seems to be a little holiday as well as a transportation mode. Can't wait to go!!

  9. In photo #1, where do you put your carry-on baggage during the day time? Under the seats? At least in the economy class there's an overhead baggage stowing area

    1. If memory serves me right, I had to place my carry-on pack under the seats during the day.


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