How To Easily Book and Take The Train From Québec City To Montréal Using Via Rail Canada

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Updated July 2022

Are you planning a trip to French Canada soon? Wondering how you can take the train from Québec City to Montréal?

Well below, I’ll be sharing with you my experience taking the train between these two cities using Via Rail Canada, as well as any relevant tips that can ease your travels between these two beautiful Québec-ian cities.

The truth is, there really isn’t a lot of difficulty in catching a train from Québec City to Montréal, or vice versa, but I remember as I was planning my trip to this part of Canada a few years ago, I wondered how I could visit both cities as easy as possible. 

Alas, Via Rail Canada (Canada’s main train system) was the first suggestion to pop up on my Google search as the best way to get from point A to point B.

Can you take a train from Québec City to Montréal?

Yes! And it’s super easy to manage. For starters, both cities are not too far from each other; the train ride lasted around 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Typically, there are around 4-5 trains that depart daily from Québec City to Montréal, so rest assured that you will find a time slot that will mold perfectly to your travel itinerary.

Where do I catch the train from Québec City to Montréal?

Québec City has two train stations:

  • Gare du Palais
  • Sainte Foy

The difference between both stations is that Gare du Palais is the main station, with various departure and arrival trains, while Sainte Foy is a smaller station, and it’s a stop for trains passing by.

When booking our train tickets, it was a little difficult at first to try to figure out which one of the two was the main train station, or where other people usually went to get on the train to Montréal.

However, based on a few reviews online, we decided to depart from Gare du Palais, which is also closer to Old Québec in comparison to Sainte Foy.

Gare du Palais in Québec City
Saint Foye – the other smaller train station in Québec City

In Québec City, getting to the train station from our Airbnb was not hard, we took an Uber and within 10 minutes we were there. 

Our Airbnb wasn’t inside the traditional, pretty old Québec City part, but we were nearby the area so just as a reference.

If you’re departing from Gare du Palais, I recommend (along with everyone) that you should walk around and marvel at the beauty of the building because I meaaaannn….the appearance definitely lives up to the name.

The interiors of Gare du Palais train station in Montréal
Grand Hall inside Gare du Palais train station in Montréal

Where does VIA Rail drop you off in Montréal?

In Montréal you will find 1 train station:

  • Montréal Central Station

If you are looking to go into the downtown area and to the old, historic Montréal, then the Montréal Central Station will most likely be your best option to arrive in.

Consider this station when booking your train ticket from Québec City to Montréal.

Central Station in Montréal where you’ll be dropped off using VIA Rail Canada

>> Read More: How To Easily Plan a Trip to Montréal for the First Time In 2022

How much does the train from Québec City to Montréal cost?

The prices will naturally fluctuate, depending on the season in which you travel.

I personally traveled in late May, therefore the price I paid was around 50$ CAD (~$39 UDS).

However, I have heard from other people that have scored tickets for less, so it really depends on the season.

If you travel during the traditional low season which is spring and fall time, you could snatch up tickets for as low as $30 USD one way.

It’s a great transportation option to consider and compare alongside flight tickets between Canadian provinces.

What is it like to train travel in Canada during COVID-19?

According to the Canadian government’s website regarding train and flight travel during COVID-19, they state that passengers must not be showing any signs or symptoms of COVID and a mask is mandatory to be worn throughout the journey.

In addition, no COVID testing is required if you’re traveling domestically whether that is via train or flight.

For more information regarding Via Rail Canada’s COVID-19 FAQ’s, double-check before leaving what your options are, and how to best prepare and expect while on the train.

How to book a train from Québec City to Montréal

Now, when it comes to actually booking your ticket, below is a guide as to what to expect when you are purchasing tickets online.

1. Go to Via Rail Canada’s website

Head over to Via Rail Canada’s website. Here you will find the following:

2. Add your information

Simply type in your starting and ending destination, in this case, you’ll see Québec City and Montréal as the traveling destinations.

After that, simply populate the rest with dates, and then click search.

3. Sort through the different train times

Now you will have all the options ready for you, this is when things get a little more detailed. 

Here you will look at your options for that date, and just like anywhere else, you have different price options, with the least expensive being Escape and the most expensive being Business Plus

For this example, remember that I only selected one way. 

The price reflected there reflects the one-way price in Canadian currency.

Essentially, you could get to Montréal Central Station from Québec City Gare du Palais with 54$ CAD (~$41.58 UDS).

Not too bad.

Furthermore, you’ll find the train number for each train, the departure times, arrival time to the destination as well as the duration of the trip. Simple and easy to follow.

4. Select your ideal departure/arrival times

Once you select your train, you simply click on the circle underneath the price, and then you’ll get a little bit more information.

You’ll find the departure and arrival time, what is available on your train, as well as any other added bonuses or information.

After that just go ahead and click continue.

5. Review your ticket information

Here now you will find your itinerary to review and make sure is correct.

You’ll have the departure, arrival times, the class, train number, date of departure (and arrival if were to have been an overnight train journey), as well as the fare details and breakdown.

You’ll see that the total would have come out to 62.09$ CAD (~$47.81 USD) for one way with taxes and fees.

6. Train ticket checkout and confirmation

Afterward, it’ll take you to a login page or it’ll ask for a few of your personal details to have you check out as a guest, and then you continue to purchase your ticket, and voilá!

You have yourself a one-way ticket to Montréal!

You will receive your ticket via the email address you provided in the purchasing process within minutes of the purchase.

One thing to keep in mind: they do require a printout of your ticket when boarding.

So make sure that you have your train ticket printed out and ready to go on the day of departure. You can print it before leaving home.

The booking process is pretty painless as you can see, and they do have free online cancellation for 24 hours after the purchase of your ticket and before the actual departure of your scheduled train, whichever comes first.

>> Read More: 18 Unmissable Day Trips From Québec City, Canada

What is the baggage allowance on a train from Québec City to Montréal?

When it comes to baggage policy, they seem to be pretty reasonable.

I didn’t have any issues with my carry-on wheeled luggage and personal item (my trusty, small Kanken backpack) but above find the small print of baggage allowance.

What do I do if I have to cancel my train from Québec City to Montréal?

If you’re worried about what may happen in the event that you may need to cancel your VIA Rail Canada tickets, then not to worry!

There are options if you cannot make it to your train on the date of departure, you can find the full ticket cancellation breakdown here on their website.

>> Read More: How To Easily Plan a Trip to Montréal for the First Time In 2022]

Is the train ride from Montréal to Québec City scenic?

This depends on your definition of scenic.

Though Québec City is surrounded by stunning mountains, hilltops, lakes, and other natural wonders, and Montréal also showcases its fair share of nature and vibrant cityscapes as you arrive at the train station, the train ride in the middle is not so scenic in my opinion.

The land is rather flat, you pass through some wide open fields, some lakes, farms, and highways. In many ways, the train ride between Montréal to Québec City and vice versa reminded me of the typical landscape of the Midwest.

Except for the heaping amounts of corn.

So if that doesn’t exactly scream scenic to you, the train ride between these two French Canadian-speaking cities can be a good time to catch up on some work, doze off into sleep to the gentle sound of the train, or start an exciting travel memoir or book – what better place to start a good read than on a train??

>> Read More: The 10 Most Interesting Travel Books To Read On Your Travels

The Wrap-Up: How To Book and Take The Train From Québec City to Montréal Using Via Rail Canada

Overall, my experience on the actual journey wasn’t bad! The only thing I will say is that the wifi on the train was going in and out, and it was not reliable to load anything online, much less stream a movie on Netflix or a YouTube video, so be wary of that.

Other than that, the train ride was nice, quiet, and comfortable.

They have snacks for purchase, and they pass by with a little cart selling drinks, sandwiches, and chip snacks and they have a bathroom (or 2, I can’t remember) in each train cart.

Before you know it, time passes quickly and you end up in Montréal!

So next time that you may find yourself in Québec City and want to take that 3 hours and a half trip to Montréal (or vice versa), don’t think twice and just do it!

The purchasing process is simple as you saw, and it’s not too expensive either, so what do you have to lose?

To more travel moments like these.

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Are you planning a trip to French Canada soon? Have you considered possibly traveling by train from Québec City to Montréal? Click here to learn how I took the train between these two cities using Via Rail Canada, as well as any relevant tips that can ease your travels between these two beautiful Québec-ian cities.

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