to exchange your dollars for Canadian currency. Once off the
train or away from major hotels, you'll need Canadian dollars.
What to Wear?
Comfortable clothing is the standard for both VIA Rail and
Amtrak; however if you're traveling in Silver & Blue class on
the Canadian, you might feel more at ease if you dress up just a
bit for meals in the dining car, especially for dinner. The service
and the ambiance in the dining cars on those trains are very nice,
and a casual jacket over a sport shirt for men and a nice top and
slacks for women just seem a bit more appropriate. Of course,
you will not be tossed out into a passing snowbank if you show
up in a polo shirt or a simple top. The truth? That's what most
people will be wearing anyway.
Basically, it's just about the same as Amtrak: not necessary in
coach unless your attendant provides some special service for
you; $5 (Canadian) per night, per person for car attendants in
sleepers; and 12-15 percent of your tab in the dining car. Remem-
ber to tip the dining-car servers appropriately, even though your
meals are included in your fare. Remember too that if you're part
of a package tour, tips are usually included in the cost of the tour.
But do make sure.
There's a strict no-smoking policy on all VIA trains and stations.
On the long-distance trains, smokers will have occasional oppor-
tunities to step off at certain station stops for a smoke, but people
who are caught smoking onboard, even in private sleeping-car
accommodations, can be put off the train and fined.