Top positive review
42 people found this helpful
This book is even better than I thought
on June 3, 2000
Ok, I'm back. This is my second review of the book, however this time it's based on my real experience traveling with VIA from coast to coast (Halifax - Vancouver) and using this book on the road (oooppss...rail). While preparing my itinerary I used this book as a main source of information when deciding how much time I'll spend in each city and where I'll be staying. VIA web site is of course the place to pickup the latest timetables, calculate the price of the tickets, and make a reservations... (I found timetables at the end of the book still useful on the board of the train when I needed to quickly find out the distance to the next station).
I put three books in my backpack, two travel guides from NELLES (guides to Atlantic and Pacific provinces) and this one. The guides from NELLES are good with lots of facts about the country and with nice photos, however I found "Trans-Canada Rail Guide" far more suitable for people traveling across Canada by train. Also the book is as valuable on board of the train as well in the downtown of the city. I rent the book to several fellow travelers in coach class and each one of them told me how great it is.
The organization of the book is simple but efficient, for example in PART 4 City Guides and plans you can find for all mayor cities short descriptions of the following: History, Arriving in...(by air, by train), Local Transport, Orientation and Services, Where to stay, Where to eat, What to see, Moving on (by air, by train). If you are real rail enthusiast you'll have fun reading PART 5 Route Guide and Maps with description of small stations and places marked with mile markers so you can be "smarter" then others guessing what it is or where you are. Some prices mentioned in the book are the same even today but in general are higher. My average expense for the mid-range hotel or B&B was 55 CAD per night (including tax), entrance fees for museums and other events are in general higher, anything from 10 to 50% higher, food 10-20%, buses and taxis 10-20% , train tickets 10-20% (the cost of my Canrail Pass was 408 CAD including tax). If you need any additional tips or information about the trip you can send me a message to my account on Yahoo (see member page). Today I found out that second edition of this book is published so check it out!