Via Rail

Via Rail Upper Lower Berth Guide

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When choosing sleeper car accommodations on Via Rail, many people choose the Upper Lower Berth for it’s cost effectiveness . There are several sleeper car accommodations, you can choose from, Upper Lower Berth, Cabin for 2 and Cabin for 1. There is also Prestige Class. In this Via Rail Upper Lower Berth guide, we will share what the room area looks like, what is included in with your fare and tips for traveling in a Upper Lower Berth. We’ll also answer the question, is it worth it?

What Does A Via Rail Upper Lower Berth Look Like

The Upper Lower Berth is a bunk bed style area in the sleeper car. During the day the seats are set up in a a bench style. The two passengers are facing each other in the daytime setup. Unlike the Cabin for 2, the Upper Lower Berth seats do not move. The seats can be laid down to form the bed for the lower berth passenger while the upper berth bed it tucked away during the day.

In the evening the attendant comes around and makes the two beds up and puts up the curtain as well as the ladder for the upper berth passenger. There is not much storage area for either berth. You will need to keep your bags with you in your bed area. There is a shelf in the lower berth bed where you can keep some of your things. The upper bed area does not have a shelf but there is plenty of room to keep your things with you in the bed.

Upper Lower Berths During Day
Day Seats For Upper / Lower Passengers
Upper Berth
Upper Berth

The Upper Lower Berth passengers have access to a Ladies and Men’s bathroom just a short walk from the beds. The ladies bathroom a little bigger than the men’s bathroom as it has as vanity area with a large mirror and electrical outlet to use a hairdryer or razor.

Via Rail Bathroom

What Is Included With Your Via Rail Upper Lower Berth

The Upper Lower Beth fare includes a lot of great perks. One of the first perks is access to the First Class Lounge. When you arrive to the station you can head straight to the lounge to check in for your journey. You will check in your luggage and choose your meal seating time. You can enjoy the complimentary snacks and beverages in the lounge before priority boarding begins.

Via Rail Park Car
Park Car Reception

Once you board the train, you can drop your things at your seat and head to the Park Car for the “welcome aboard reception”. Complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are served at the reception. This is is a great time to meet other passengers. Sleeper car passengers also have access to the Dome Car, upper and lower level as well as the cash bar and the upper and lower level of the Park Car.

Via Rail Park Car
Park Car

Your meals are also included in your Via Rail Sleeper fare. You will get breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. When you choose your meal seating, you can choose early or late seating. The tables are set for four, so you will be sharing a table with fellow passengers. Water, juices and sodas are included with your meals, alcohol is available for purchase.

Can You Use The Shower In A Via Rail Upper Lower Berth

Upper Lower Berth, Cabin for 1 and Cabin for 2 passengers do not have a shower in their rooms. However, there is a shower room available for all the sleeper car passengers. The shower is inside the changing room. There is plenty of space to shower and get dressed in this room. There is one shower per sleeper car, it is located at the end of the hall near the Upper Lower Berth area.

What Is It Like In A Via Rail Upper Lower Berth

We traveled from Toronto to Vancouver in the Upper Lower Berth on Via Rail and it was a very good experience. Having access to the Dome Car and the Park Car is also a great experience. There is a park car for the Coach (economy) passengers also but the Park Car is exclusive for the sleeper car passengers. The lack of privacy was a little challenging at night. Although you have the curtain, it is not sound proof. Your bed is essentially in the open hallway. Note, that the hallways are already small enough and the ladders take up even more space. People tend to run into them in the night and it makes a loud sound.

Something we did like about the Upper Lower Berth was the bathroom situation, they are not far from the beds and they are much bigger than the ones in the Cabin for 2. The ladies bathroom is much bigger than the men’s bathroom and you have access to the same shower as the rest of the train car.

Having your meals included is also a great perk included with your fare. You don’t have to worry about your meals and even some snacks on your journey. Traveling on The Canadian in the Upper Lower Berth is a good experience overall. You are treated very well and it is a great way to travel across Canada. There are so many great benefits included with your fare that you can’t help but to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Via Rail Dining Car
Dining Car

Tips For Traveling In a Via Rail Upper Lower Berth

There are a few things to keep in mind when riding in an Upper Lower Berth on The Canandian route. While there is cell service available while you are near cities, there are big stretches of time when you may have no service at all on your phone. There is no Wifi available on this train.

Reusable cups are provided for you in your room but it is good to bring a refillable water bottle to use while on board. You can easily fill it from the faucet in your room and have the water with you as you move around the train. Towels, blankets, pillows and toiletries are all provided so you don’t have to pack those in your overnight bag.

If you are a smoker or you want to get off the train to stretch your legs, you will need to know that there are very few “fresh air” (smoke) breaks on this train route. The stops are generally very short. There are three longer stops (Winnipeg/Edmonton/Jasper) when the crew changes but you must be alert to when the platform will be closed and reopened. Even if you have a long stop, you will not always be able to step off the train due to a closed platform. Be sure to ask a staff person for the correct times when you can step off the train.

Allie Marmion
Allie is married to Rob and has been traveling with him across the world for the last two years. She is an accomplished personal trainer, speaker and author.