Did you know that in Canadian Evaluation Society members, and our travel companions, are eligible for a 5% corporate discount on the lowest available VIA Rail fair? Using this discount for business or leisure travel can be a great lower-carbon travel choice, and will help CES register a volume of sale so we can upgrade to a higher discount category in future years!
The VIA Rail comparison tool compares carbon emissions and “productive time” of flight, train, and driving between destinations.
On a recent holiday to Quebec City, I chose to travel both ways in a sleeper car on The Ocean route, which has resumed three runs per week. I left Halifax at 1PM on Sunday afternoon and arrived in Quebec the following morning. The downtown stations are handier than the airports and there’s no need to arrive hours in advance!
Packing was a treat! VIA let me take as much luggage as I could “drag with dignity,” and liquids, gels and aerosols are welcome! The suitcases fit in my cabin so there was no need to check the bags and reclaim them later. A private sleeper car with my own washroom, and complementary three-course meals in the dining car, served on Noritake and Oneida (these happen to be my among favorite brands of fine dishes and cutlery) made the trip feel like a luxury cruise from the moment we boarded until we stepped out at our destination. Wifi is strong in the lounge car, and less reliable in the cabins. This worked well for me to balance work with retreating for R&R! I will definitely opt for VIA over short-haul flights in the future!
Andrealisa Belzer, CESNS rep on National Standing Committee for EDI and ES