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By Rail to Prince Edward Island
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   Author  Topic: By Rail to Prince Edward Island  (Read 385 times)
ClydeDET
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By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« on: Aug 16th, 2007, 3:09pm »
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Looks as if we (wife and I) will be going to Prince Edward island for a wedding next year.
 
Recognizing this is early days (people change their minds, service availability changes, all that), still doing a little poking around.
 
Appears to me that there is no passenger rail service on PEI, but it also appears that there is service to Moncton and some sort of connecting service to PEI. So - can anybody tell us about going there by train, connecting service (and what it is) and whether taking the train to Moncton might work, with a rental car to the ferry(?) and then do the PEI part of the trip drive-your-self would be a good idea.
 
Help, folks - and remember, I'm from Texas, where it is hot and dry. And roads are usually wide, long, and driven on pretty fast. I'm presuming we'd probably fly to Quebec or Montreal and use VIA from there - looks like one train, overnight? Carry sleepers? How much advance reservation is needed? Tell all, please.


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missthealcos
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #1 on: Aug 16th, 2007, 5:53pm »
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That would be the Ocean Montreal-Moncton...overnight full service train, yes with sleepers. Hopefully you will be able to experience it with Budd equipment as well, if you can plan it right.
 
Viarail.ca should tell you everything you need to know.
 
 
There is no rail service at all on PEI, all abandoned in 1989.


« Last Edit: Aug 16th, 2007, 5:55pm by missthealcos » Logged
Ken V
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #2 on: Aug 16th, 2007, 11:08pm »
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Acadian Bus Lines (www.smtbus.com) has bus service between Moncton NB and Charlottetown PEI with schedules designed to connect with both the eastbound and westbound trains.  The bus terminal is about 5 blocks from the train station but the bus also stops at the train station.
 
VIA's Ocean travels overnight between Montreal/Quebec City and Moncton and during daytime between Moncton and Halifax NS.


« Last Edit: Aug 16th, 2007, 11:25pm by Ken V » Logged

They looked in the future and what did they see? They saw an iron road running from the sea to the sea
-- Gordon Lightfoot (Canadian Railroad Trilogy)
ClydeDET
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #3 on: Aug 17th, 2007, 10:12am »
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Have talked to VIA. They  are sending some material. Very nice lady on the other end suggested traveling Easterly Class, which looks to include access to a dome. And other "betterments". Any opinion as to whether that is worth the premium over Comfort Sleeper on that trip? Oh - looks like it will be sometime in next July.

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NS_VIA_FAN
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #4 on: Aug 18th, 2007, 7:37am »
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VIA’s OCEAN, overnight from Montreal to Moncton is the way to go. And in the summer you have the best of both worlds: Easterly Class offering the Budd Dome Observation “Park Car” along with modern “Renaissance” equipment. I much prefer the new sleepers over the Budd equipment. It’s been 15+ years since the Budd fleet was rebuilt and it’s starting to show. Click on this link for Easterly Class Info:
 
http://www.viarail.ca/classes/en_serv_clas_tour_aloc.html
 
As a previous poster noted, bus service connecting with the train is available between Moncton, NB and Charlottetown, PEI. But why not just rent a car and drive over.  
 
The former CN Ferries between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were replaced by a 9 mile bridge ten years ago.  
 
http://www.confederationbridge.com/  
 
Takes about an hour to reach the bridge from Moncton. Then another hours drive to Charlottetown. Roads are excellent and are part of the Trans Canada Highway.
 
When on Prince Edward Island explore some of the old abandoned CN rail line which are now part of a hiking & biking trail system. Here’s some photos:      
 
http://www.villagephotos.com/pubbrowse.asp?folder_id=1726782  
 
http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/tou_trailmap.pdf


« Last Edit: Aug 18th, 2007, 7:40am by NS_VIA_FAN » Logged
Ken V
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #5 on: Aug 18th, 2007, 1:53pm »
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The choice between Easterly Class and Comfort Sleeper is really a matter of personal preference.  The sleeping accomodations will be exactly the same, unless you choose to splurge on a triple/quadruple bedroom in the Park car. Meals are included in the Easterly Class fare and are extra in Comfort Sleeper.
 
For me, the price of Easterly Class is worth it for the Park car alone. I could spend almost all my waking hours in the dome - even after dark.


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They looked in the future and what did they see? They saw an iron road running from the sea to the sea
-- Gordon Lightfoot (Canadian Railroad Trilogy)
ClydeDET
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #6 on: Aug 18th, 2007, 4:06pm »
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on Aug 18th, 2007, 7:37am, NS_VIA_FAN wrote:       (Click here for original message)
VIA’s OCEAN, overnight from Montreal to Moncton is the way to go. And in the summer you have the best of both worlds: Easterly Class offering the Budd Dome Observation “Park Car” along with modern “Renaissance” equipment. I much prefer the new sleepers over the Budd equipment. It’s been 15+ years since the Budd fleet was rebuilt and it’s starting to show. Click on this link for Easterly Class Info:
 
http://www.viarail.ca/classes/en_serv_clas_tour_aloc.html
 
As a previous poster noted, bus service connecting with the train is available between Moncton, NB and Charlottetown, PEI. But why not just rent a car and drive over.  
 
The former CN Ferries between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were replaced by a 9 mile bridge ten years ago.  
 
http://www.confederationbridge.com/  
 
Takes about an hour to reach the bridge from Moncton. Then another hours drive to Charlottetown. Roads are excellent and are part of the Trans Canada Highway.
 
When on Prince Edward Island explore some of the old abandoned CN rail line which are now part of a hiking & biking trail system. Here’s some photos:      
 
http://www.villagephotos.com/pubbrowse.asp?folder_id=1726782  
 
http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/tou_trailmap.pdf

 
OK - looks like it will be next July so there is time to think and plan. Including "Fly to PEI and take the train Moncton to Montreal on the way back" or "Fly to Montreal and take the train to Moncton and then fly back".
 
As far as renting a car - I HATE driving across  big bridges. They make me very nervous for unknown reasons (I don't otherwise have acrophobia). Having taken a look at that one - I'll probably take the bus and rent a car in Charlottetown to get around PEI while we are on the island.
 
Right now I'm sort of inclined to fly to Montreal, spend a couple of days there, and train to Moncton. But - early days yet, just getting my bearings. Oh - will probably spring for Easterly Class - domes are irresistible. Sure wish they'd had one on the Cal Zephyr  for the trip to see relatives in California lsat October (we flew from Texas to Denver, train to Sacramento). Superliners are OK - but a Budd (or even P-S) domes are better yet.


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joncalon
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #7 on: Aug 22nd, 2007, 11:28am »
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If you're in a car, I wouldn't worry too much about driving the Confederation bridge.  The concrete barriers/walls on the two sides of the bridge are high enough that you're not going to even see the Northumberland Strait.  I would even surmise driving the bridge to be a pretty boring affair unless the weather is having it's way with the operation, at which point they either slow traffic down or close the bridge altogether.  In July, I highly doubt either would be a problem.
 
Also, if you want to save some dough, Fly to Montreal and take the train/rental car out to PEI and fly home from there.  If you do it the other way then you're subject to tolls on the Confederation Bridge (it's free to go to PEI, costs to leave)
 
If you really don't want to drive the bridge or take the bus to PEI, you could take the ferry which goes between PEI and Nova Scotia...Travels between Wood Islands, PEI and Caribou, NS.  If you decide to go this route, I'd suggest staying on the Ocean until you get to Truro, NS instead of getting off at Moncton.
 
http://www.peiferry.com/
 
I too would spring for Easterly...Not only because of the dome, but you also have your meals paid for as well.
 
Above all else, Enjoy!
 
Jon


« Last Edit: Aug 22nd, 2007, 2:47pm by joncalon » Logged
ClydeDET
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #8 on: Aug 24th, 2007, 3:54pm »
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Wondered about the possibility of a ferry from somewhere - I'm an old-fashioned guy, I like ferry boats and have ever since my first trip across Bolivar Roads from Galveston to Bolivar Point. Is it vehicle/passenger or passenger only?
 
As I say - I'm working on plans right now, don't even know when the wedding will be except "July" and haven't found out if the little girl and her family are in Charlottetown or somewhere else.
 
I see that 2008 is the centenary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables - any thoughts on that causing accommodation problems on the Island?


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joncalon
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #9 on: Aug 25th, 2007, 12:38am »
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on Aug 24th, 2007, 3:54pm, ClydeDET wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Wondered about the possibility of a ferry from somewhere - I'm an old-fashioned guy, I like ferry boats and have ever since my first trip across Bolivar Roads from Galveston to Bolivar Point. Is it vehicle/passenger or passenger only?

 
It is a vehicle/passenger ferry.
 
on Aug 24th, 2007, 3:54pm, ClydeDET wrote:       (Click here for original message)
As I say - I'm working on plans right now, don't even know when the wedding will be except "July" and haven't found out if the little girl and her family are in Charlottetown or somewhere else.
 
I see that 2008 is the centenary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables - any thoughts on that causing accommodation problems on the Island?

 
Not sure, but certainly I would recommend booking your accommodations as soon as you know what dates you've got.
 
Jon


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ClydeDET
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #10 on: Aug 27th, 2007, 12:14pm »
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Yeah that (early booking) did occur to us. Well, once we know enogh to make firm plans, I guess we'll make them.

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NS_VIA_FAN
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #11 on: Aug 28th, 2007, 4:57am »
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Two ferries operate on the run between Caribou, Nova Scotia and Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island. One is a former CN ferry, the MV Holiday Island and it carries 150 cars. The other, the MV Confederation, built in 1993 carries around 200 cars.
 
You only pay when leaving PEI so the ferry ride over from Nova Scotia is free. Take the ferry over and return via the bridge. The bridge toll is $40.50. If you return on the ferry, it's $64.00.  
 
on Aug 24th, 2007, 3:54pm, ClydeDET wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I'm an old-fashioned guy, I like ferry boats and have ever since my first trip across Bolivar Roads...................

 
Then you would have a great time touring the Maritimes. Besides the PEI ferry there is the High Speed Cat Ferry from Maine to Nova Scotia. 250 cars moving at 55MPH. Also the former CPR Ferry "Princess Of Acadia" from Digby, NS to Saint John, NB.  
 
http://www.nfl-bay.com/
 
Then there's the runs to Newfoundland. Another former CN operation. Now these area big boats: 350 cars or 75 18-Wheelers + 1200 passengers.
 
http://www.marine-atlantic.ca/en/index.shtml  


« Last Edit: Aug 28th, 2007, 5:01am by NS_VIA_FAN » Logged
ClydeDET
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #12 on: Aug 28th, 2007, 11:35am »
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Appreciate the information. I doubt that we'll be able to commit to doing the tour of the Maritimes, but sounds like it would be fun.
 
Right now, I'm sort of leaning to (once we know for sure the time and place - as in "just where on PEI?" - and that it will happen) flying to Montreal and spending a couple of days there, train to Truro, rent car, ferry to PEI, wedding, turn in car and fly back, maybe to Quebec City for a day or so, and then back to Texas. More time and more places would be nice, but don't ahve but so much time you can commit and so much money you can spend on a trip, eh?


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NS_VIA_FAN
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #13 on: Oct 18th, 2008, 6:52am »
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on Aug 28th, 2007, 11:35am, ClydeDET wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Right now, I'm sort of leaning to (once we know for sure the time and place - as in "just where on PEI?" - and that it will happen) flying to Montreal and spending a couple of days there, train to Truro, rent car, ferry to PEI......

Did you make your trip to PEI? How 'bout a trip report? Thanks


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ClydeDET
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Re: By Rail to Prince Edward Island
 
« Reply #14 on: Nov 19th, 2008, 11:09pm »
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I sure wish I had a trip report, but things happened. Wedding, instead of July 2008 was moved up to December 2007 because our nephew got activated (he is in the TX Army National Guard) and sent to Afghanistan and the kids decided to marry in haste instead of wait till he got back (due back any day now, in fact). So - the trip didn't get taken.  
 
May still happen, though not for the same reason, one of these days. I think it would be a lot of fun just as a trip.  Wife and i would like to see some things in Canada, and she is a great fan of Anne of Green Gables so PEI would still seem a reasonable destination. We'll see, i guess. I was a trifle aggravated at uncle fro messing up Michael and Sheryl's (and our) plans. But it looks like Michael is gonna get home unhurt, so that's a good thing at least.


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