Via Rail Train 624 Montreal To Quebec City In Business Class

0
Montreal Gare Central Station Information Board

Montreal Gare Central Station Information Board

Once we arrived inside the main station building of Gare Central after disembarking from Via Rail Train 60, I found our train to Quebec City on the status board and went directly to the the stairs which lead down to the train platform but it was guarded by a Via Rail Employee. I showed her my ticket and she pointed to my luggage and told me that it needed to be checked and directed me to the baggage check area of the station. I could have argued with her that carryon was fine on train 60, but I decided to let it go and just check my bag. My parents luggage were smaller so the Via Rail Employee didn’t say anything about their stuff.

At the baggage check, an agent came up and checked my ticket before tagging my bag to Quebec City and then giving me a claims check for it. I thanked the gentleman and then headed back to board but the same employee who told me to check by bag said that boarding for our train had not started yet. After seeing that we were in business class, she directed us to the Business Class Lounge to wait until boarding was called. I must have totally misread the status board because I thought it said boarding had started already. My parents and I headed into the Business Class Lounge which was right next to the escalators that we would take later down to the boarding platform. I greeted the agent in French and then presented our tickets to her. She welcomed us to the lounge after verifying our tickets and told us that she would let us know when to board.

Montreal Station Business Class Lounge

Montreal Station Business Class Lounge

The Business Class lounge was PACKED, but after passengers for the Ottawa train were called to board, the lounge emptied out a bit. There was a tour group waiting in the lounge who later turned out to be on the same train as us. A refrigerator with juices and soda was available along with coffee, tea and water. The only snack item available were apples. Bathroom facilities are available but according to my mom, it is a single person coed facility with a line to use it. Comfortable seating with coffee tables were spread throughout the lounge but I can see it being not enough if two full business class cars were departing close together. Racks and shelves with reading material were also available for those who wanted to read something. Television was also available but I did not pay attention to what was being played on it.

Montreal Station Via Rail Corridor Train

Montreal Station Via Rail Corridor Train

When it was time to board, the agent up front who checked us in walked around the lounge announcing that the train to Quebec City was boarding. We grabbed our stuff and headed out to the escalators where the Via Rail Employee who earlier told me that I had to check my suitcase scanned our tickets and let us onto the escalator down to the platform. Unlike train 60 earlier which was composed of all LRC railcars, train 624 was composed of older cars for coach, and only the business class car was a LRC car. We walked down to car 1 which is the business class car where everyone was greeted by the business class attendant at the door before boarding. The layout of this business class car is exactly the same as it was on Via Rail Train 60 earlier. All three of us would be sitting on the side with the single seats on this train but my parents were assigned two single seats facing each other. Originally when I booked the train tickets for this train, we were assigned seats all separated from each other, but after calling Via Rail, an agent was able to get us seats close to each other. During the call, I was informed that train 624 was almost sold out in business class.

Via Rail Business Class Cocktail And Snack Mix

Via Rail Business Class Cocktail And Snack Mix

After everyone boarded, including the tour group. The two business class attendants working our train went around giving safety instructions expect this time, the attendant didn’t pass my parent by for being too old and gave them the safety briefing and asked if they would be willing to help in case of an emergency. The train pulled out of the station on time, and an announcement was made that we would be backing out of the station before switching tracks and then going forward and that this was a normal procedure. The business class attendants came through scanning our tickets and then jumped into pre lunch beverage service. When traveling in business class aboard Via Rail’s afternoon trains, liquor and wine are included. They serve the drinks in 16oz cups and the attendants aboard our train did not have issues pouring a double if we asked. For this of you who do not know how big a 16oz cup is, it is the same size as a Starbucks Grande Cup. I went with a gin and tonic which was served with a sweet and savory snack mix.

Via Rail Business Class Lunch Tray

Via Rail Business Class Lunch Tray

After the drink service, hot towels, the real ones sealed in packaging were distributed and then collected before an announcement in both English and French was make regarding what was available for lunch today. There were three choices. One pasta dish, one fish and one beef dish which was served cold. Just as it was on Via Rail Train 60, two trolleys were rolled out and each attendant started from each end of the train. I had the beef dish, my dad had the fish and I think my mom had the pasta. I got the second to the last beef option and unfortunately the lady across the aisle from me who also wanted beef had to go with the pasta. With each meal tray, warmed olive bread was offered along with butter, and a choice of red or white wine and or water. Some sort of grain salad with oranges and a brownie square rounded out the whole meal. The portions were quite generous with two pieces of beef. I ended up eating one and give the other piece to my dad to sample. We all saved the packaged brownies for later.

Via Rail Corridor Train Business Class Chocolate

Via Rail Corridor Train Business Class Chocolate

During the meal service, more wine was offered to anyone who wanted more and even when the meal trays were being cleared, refills on wine was offered again. Throughout the ride to Quebec City, passengers were ordering more cocktails and wine and the attendants kept honoring their requests. The 4 passengers sitting across the aisle from my parents and I were still buzzed and happy when we got into Quebec City. After the meal service, the attendants came through with coffee and tea service, served in real ceramic mugs. Shortly afterwards when everything was cleared away, the female business class attendant came through with chocolate on a silver tray for the business class passengers.

Fall Foliage View From Via Rail Train

Fall Foliage View From Via Rail Train

For the rest of the trip to Quebec City, my dad did some reading on his iPhone via the onboard WiFi and my mom and I spend the time gazing out of the window and enjoying the autumn foliage colors passing by. The whole trip from Montreal to Quebec City took little over 3.5 hours and we arrived a little early into Quebec City Gare du Palais station. We were the first ones off the business class car and I headed straight to the back of the train where the baggage car was located. I found my bag and I offered the claims check that I was given in Montreal but the guy unloading the bags said it was not needed.

Before heading out of the platform area, I tool this opportunity to snap some pictures of the engine and of the railcars of train we just got off of. Once I was finished clicking away on the camera, we headed out to the passenger pickup area and then I used my iPhone to hail Uber to come take us to our hotel. Again my original idea was to walk to the Chateau Frontenac from the station but laziness and the adult beverages aboard the train blew that idea into smithereens.

Share.