Photo by Hari Panicker on Unsplash


Having travelled coast to coast to coast on both, with a neon Free Hugs sign no less, I have to say that Amtrak has better coach class seats on long- and short-haul trips, their short-haul routes have better food, there is more frequency and more routes, better access to major cities and the prices tend to be lower. Especially their rail passes. Also, it’s hard to beat the views and wildlife you can observe going through the Rockies, along the Pacific coast, in the Southeast AND Southwest, in the Pacific Northwest and along the Hudson River. And I’m mesmerised by all of the places Amtrak crosses the Mississippi River. Of the two, only Amtrak has high-speed trains as well as sections of high-speed rail used by standard trains. I also like how the passengers from sleeper class and coach class have more opportunities to interact on Amtrak because most trains have only one observation lounge for everyone to share.

Photo by Jeffrey Dungen on Unsplash

VIA Rail

That being said, the best things about VIA Rail is the Prestige class on the Canadian (Vancouver-Toronto) and the fact that their long-distance dining cars have real glass, china and cutlery. I also like that they have televisions for



Arié Moyal

#landback #freepalestine Founder of HugTrain / Speaker, trainer, thinker/ Autistic & disabled/ Jewish, racialised, Amazigh, autiqueer