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On board policies

If you are not accustomed to travelling by train, you may be wondering about how things are done on board: can you buy a meal or an alcoholic drink? Will you be inconvenienced by smoking or noise?

Please note that, due to COVID-19, we’ve made changes to our onboard services and implemented preventive health measures that we will continue to adapt to help curb the pandemic and meet your needs.

We have put together answers to many of your questions under the following headings!

Respectful and Safe Environment

VIA Rail is proud to provide its passengers and employees with a respectful and safe environment. The following disrespectful or unsafe behaviour will not be tolerated on board VIA Rail trains and in stations:

  • Endangering the safety of others or the safe operation of a train
  • Verbal or physical abuse
  • Threat, harassment or intimidating behaviour
  • Intoxication and/or disorderly conduct
  • Consumption or distribution of personal alcoholic beverages or illegal substances such as narcotics
  • Disregard of smoking regulations
  • Carrying a weapon or a false declaration that you or any other person is carrying a weapon

In case of disrespectful or unsafe behaviour, transportation may be refused. Police may also be asked to intervene and offenders may be prosecuted.

Smoking policy

VIA Rail offers a completely smoke-free environment in all our trains — as well as in all our stations. This policy will not be affected by the upcoming cannabis (marijuana) legalization in Canada (October 17, 2018): our trains and stations will remain smoke-free environments. 

Health Canada is advising Canadians not to use electronic smoking products, as these products may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada. Therefore and until further notice, the use of electronic cigarettes is not permitted on board trains and in stations and other facilities of VIA Rail Canada.

To know if smoking is permitted at certain stops along the way, please refer to your specific train route below:

Trains in the Québec City-Windsor corridor
No smoking is permitted during station stops.

Montréal-Halifax (the Ocean)
Designated smoking stops include Ste-Foy, Campbellton and Moncton.

Toronto-Vancouver (the Canadian)
You may get off the train to smoke during stops at Capreol, Hornepayne, Sioux Lookout, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper and Kamloops.

Those wishing to smoke will be able to do so during regular station stops at The Pas, Thompson and Gillam.

Enforcement of smoking regulations
VIA personnel are bound by law to enforce regulations. Read about sanctions applicable to offenders before you board.

Alcoholic beverages

VIA Rail, onboard alcoholic drink service time and rules.

  • CORRIDOR TRAINS (Trains between Quebec City and Windsor except for trains #14 and 15)
  • TRAINS #97 and 98 (Niagara)
  • TRAINS #600, 601, 602, 603, 604 et 606 (Jonquiere and Senneterre)

FROM: 9:00AM (ET)

TO: 2:00AM (ET)       


In All Classes

  • TRAIN #14 (The Ocean Montreal-Halifax)

Please take note that the take-out counter in the service car is currently closed. All alcohol must be purchased from your seat.

DAY ONE                  FROM: Departure

                TO: 11:00PM (ET)/12:00AM (AT)

                                In All Classes

DAY TWO                  FROM: 10:00AM (ET)/11:00AM (AT)

                                TO: Arrival

                                In All Classes

  • TRAIN #15 (The Ocean Halifax-Montreal)

Please take note that the take-out counter in the service car is currently closed. All alcohol must be purchased from your seat.

DAY ONE                       FROM: Departure

                                TO: 10:30PM (ET)/11:30 PM (AT)

                                In All Classes

DAY TWO                  No alcohol served

  • TRAINS #1, 2, 3 and 4 (The Canadian)

Sleeper Plus Class

FROM: 11:00AM Local Time*

TO: 11:00PM Local Time*

Economy Class

FROM: 11:00AM Local Time*

TO: 9:00PM Local Time*

  • TRAINS #690, 691, 692 and 693 (Winnipeg - Churchill)

Sleeper Plus Class

FROM: 11:00AM

TO: 11:00PM

Economy Class

FROM: 11:00AM

TO: 9:00PM

  • TRAINS #5 and 6 (The Skeena)

FROM: 11:00AM Local Time*

TO: One hour before the arrival of the train at destination OR 11:00PM Local Time* whichever come first.

In All Classes

  • TRAINS #185 and 186 (Sudbury - White River)

No alcohol service.

*Local time is based on train’s location.

You can purchase alcoholic drinks aboard most trains. For more information, visit the page on your train and your class of service.

Provincial laws forbid passengers from consuming personal alcoholic drinks on the trains. Personal alcoholic drinks may only be consumed inside sleeping car cabins on some trains.

VIA Rail personnel reserves the right to limit alcohol service and request identification from any passenger prior to serving alcoholic drinks.

Alcohol service hours may change without notice.

The legal age to purchase alcohol onboard all VIA rail trains is 19 years old, regardless the province where the train is located.



Crossing borders with cannabis is illegal: Despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada, please note that it will remain illegal to cross Canada-US borders in possession of cannabis in any form. Plan your trip accordingly.

It is your responsibility to know the cannabis laws wherever you travel as laws may vary depending on the province and territory: We want to emphasize that it is the responsibility of the passengers to understand and adhere to all applicable local, provincial, and federal regulations regarding the consumption, carriage and possession of cannabis.

The following Government of Canada links offer useful information on cannabis and travel:

Noise level

Most passengers need a quiet atmosphere to be able to enjoy their journey. For this reason we ask you to make as little noise as possible when you use a cellular phone, a radio or other similar device.

You may use your cellular phone aboard, but we ask you to do so discreetly. To avoid disturbing other passengers, we would appreciate if you would set your phone on vibration mode, and use headphones for all other electronic devices.

Thank you for your understanding.