VIA Rail Sleeper Plus Class - Cabin for One

Upon boarding the train, I was informally offered an upgrade to a private cabin by a VIA Rail crew member.  Of course I'll take it! After trying the Upper Berth on my trip to Jasper and the almost 11 hour departure delay, I was more than willing to accept the offer.

According to the VIA Rail web site, a cabin for one on The Canadian has the following features:
Room size: 6 ft. 5 in. x 3 ft. 7½ in. (196 cm x 110 cm)
Mattress size: 5 ft. 11 in. x 2 ft. 6 in. (180 cm x 76 cm)
- Room from mattress to partition when bed is down is 2 in. (5 cm)
- Bed narrows down from 23 in. (58 cm) wide to 14 in. (36 cm) at the foot of the bed
Private toilet (bed covers toilet at night)
Sink over toilet and full mirror
Access to shower at the end of the car
Daytime: sofa chair
Night-time: lower bed pulls out from wall and upper bed pulls down from wall
Door locks from inside only (no individual keys)
Baggage space is a small area
Window with blind
Other amenities: fan, shoe closet, air-conditioning, drinking water, paper and towels, pillows, sheets and blankets supplied, 110 VAC outlet.

Here's how it looks in the "daytime" configuration:

but when you pull out the Murphy bed,

your room automagically turns into a bedroom,

 Waking up in the morning's pretty sweet...

If money isn't an object, this would be the way to go. Viewing the early spring mountain scenery under the clear starry sky and full moon was surreal, especially if you could take it all in while lying on a relative comfy bed.  (Disclaimer: The train left Jasper after 1 am so the regular train schedule wasn't followed. This part of the trip would usually take place during afternoon and evening hours)

If you're looking for a cheaper option, I would assume the lower berth would provide a similar viewing experience with its available window but the ample height and ability to quickly convert the room between daytime and night-time configurations without crew member assistance put the private cabin option over the top. That being said, you should be aware that the bed drops down and covers your private toilet so if you want to use the toilet in the middle of the night, you'll have to release the Murphy bed back into the wall to take a leak or head down the train car to the shared washroom. 

Anyways, time to visit the Dining Car for breakfast!

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  1. Thanks for all this info ,I am deciding how to go with my husband mom and 3 kids weather a berth or cabin or plane. Do you know if they allow us to buy say 2-2 person cabins and just two seats and then just bring the 2 little kids in bed with us , because i wouldnt want them to sleep in there own berth anyway? or would they make us all buy berths ?

  2. Thanks for dropping by Anonymous. I suspect VIA would make you buy individual berths but I can't say for certain. It might also depend on kids' ages. Best to call VIA Rail and ask. VIA has some really good deals now. The bigger question is will the kids be entertained for the long train ride. If not, air travel may be the way to go.

  3. Mike,

    Thanks for sharing the pix!

    One question: it looks like there's no table in front of you where you can put laptop, food etc. The toilet/table seems to be too far and low to conveniently use while sitting in your chair. Is that true, or am I missing something?


    1. That would be correct Leo. You would have to go to one of the other cars where tables are available.
      Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Do you have to always keep all valuables with you (ie. dining), or are there any lockable compartments? Any other tips based on your experience? Thanks in advance! Love the pics and info!

  5. Also, what if you have a suitcase with clothes? Where would it be stored and how would it be accessed/secured? Thanks!

  6. Thanks Anonymous. I don't recall seeing any lockable compartments.
    VIA Rail changed its baggage policy in June so I would suggest consulting or calling VIA for answers to your specific questions. Wish I had more up-to-date info.

  7. Sharing this info and photos has been very, very helpful in my planning a train trip across the country! Is there free WiFi on the train? Many thanks!

    1. Happy to hear you found this post helpful Anonymous. According to their web site, VIA currently provides Wi-Fi mobile service only in the Québec City –Windsor corridor, and travellers on the Ocean train (Montréal – Halifax) are also able to enjoy free Wi-Fi in the service cars adjacent to the dining car.

  8. Thanks for posting these pictures! It real helps when trying to decide it the extra money for a cabin is worth it or not.


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