Amtrak’s Canadian counterpart is very promotionally minded, and it frequently offers two main types of promotion:
Discount Tuesdays. Every Tuesday, between 7 a.m. and midnight Eastern time, VIA Rail Canada posts a range of discount deals online. We post them.
Systemwide Sales. VIA regularly posts sale fares 50 percent or 55 percent off regular adult fares. The purchase window is usually short; the travel window is typically a month. Sales in economy (coach) class usually apply systemwide and on any day; business class and sleeper class sales may be limited to certain routes and days.
Escape fares, which are basically the railroad’s lowest capacity-controlled economy fares, are available on many routes year-round.
Senior discounts. Seniors age 60 or over are eligible for 10 percent discounts on some economy class fares and regular sleeper fares. Escape fares, however, and other any-age deals are often better options for seniors.
Youth age 12-25 can buy a “20/20 Discount Card” for $C20 which provides 20 percent discounts on the lowest Escape fares for a year. The current posting calls this offer “for a limited time.” Young travelers can also buy a “VIA 6 PAK” that provides discounts up to 50 percent on various routes in the heavily populated Quebec-Windsor corridor and, newly, between Montreal, Moncton and Halifax. Check the rates
VIA Rail apparently no longer issues railpasses similar to those on Amtrak or, specifically, the former joint US-Canada pass.
— Ed Perkins, editor