Via Rail – now for cellos as well!

Posted on | February 6, 2017 | 2 Comments|



While traveling around Canada for business I sometimes travel by train which I enjoy very much. It’s relaxed and comfortable and I usually finish some paperwork or write a blogpost on the train! But if I need to bring a cello with me, I’m unable bring it on board under the luggage restrictions with certain Via Rail trains. A cello case is too large for the trains between Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. So my only other option has been to drive by car, take a bus or fly. None of which I particularly enjoy.

Last year I wrote to Via Rail’s, President and Chief Executive Officer,  Yves Desjardins-Siciliano about this cello issue and recently received good news that cellos will be allowed on the trains beginning in the fall of 2017!

The trains used on the routes between Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal are being modified to allow tall, larger items to be safely brought on board!

Below is a photo of the new space that the trains will have for cellos and other larger items.

So next time when I need to deliver one of my cellos to a customer I will take the train!                                               The modified trains should also be useful for music students, professional cellists and amateur musicians traveling between the large cities of Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto.

The changes to the trains should be complete by the fall of this year.


2 Responses to “Via Rail – now for cellos as well!”

  1. lisa
    February 19th, 2019 @ 6:27 pm

    hi there,
    I’m delighted to hear this news, as I have to travel for work (non music related) and want to bring my cello along to practice in the evenings. I’m hoping this still applies in 2019? Thanks for the blog post!

  2. admin
    February 20th, 2019 @ 5:14 am

    The new modified cars are available on many routes. But I would check before travelling.

    I did have one trip, where Via Rail made me put my cello into the baggage car. But they allowed me to place my cello case in myself and collect it in person. The Via Rail employee was very helpful given the rules she had to work with.

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    Guy Harrison Violin Maker
    792 Gladstone Avenue
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1R 6X9
    Tel: 613 569 4803

    1997 Silver medal for viola in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2010 Bronze medal for violin in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2014 Workmanship award for violin in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2016 Silver Workmanship medal for cello in the VSA Violin Making Competition, USA.

    Member of the American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers and Violin Society of America.

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