By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: How much weight can I pack on a train trip? We’ll be off to Montreal shortly departing from Toronto.

A: Some VIA Rail Canada trains provide a checked baggage service and some VIA trains have carry-on only. For cars with checked baggage, VIA reports, “We do not accept articles weighing more than 32 kg (70 lb.) or measuring more than 180 cm (6 ft.), unless they qualify as oversized outdoor equipment (bicycles, canoes, etc.), pets and skis.”

You will have to pay a surcharge for baggage in excess of the free allowance. The surcharge is $20 per excess article per train used.

For trains with carry-on baggage, VIA Rail Canada reports, “we ask you to limit yourself to two items of carry-on luggage per person. The dimensions of these items must not exceed 66 cm x 46 cm x 23 cm (26 in. x 18 in. x 9 in.), and their weight must not exceed 23 kg (50 lb.).”

If your baggage is oversized or too heavy, you can divide the contents into cardboard boxes that are on sale in most stations. For more information on baggage policies, VIA Rail Canada has a newly revised brochure called, “VIA Rail’s Baggage Policy,” which was updated June 15, 2006 that you can download directly from their web site at


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