Starting soon—Monday, in fact—you’ll be able to take your bike on the VIA train between Toronto and Montreal without boxing it up: the Bike Train has just announced a new twice-daily service to Montreal starting August 24 and continuing six days per week through October 8. For seven weeks stretching into the autumn, one morning and one evening train running in each direction will include space in the baggage car for six bikes.
The Montreal route differs from other Bike Train routes in two important ways: first, it’s a daily service that offers many more opportunities and more flexibility for cyclists to travel with their bikes. Second, it uses only a portion of the baggage car for bike storage rather than dedicating an entire baggage car to the purpose. Taken together, these are important steps forward because they indicate that travelling with a bike is on track from the fringe to being treated as a normal activity. This is a service that can be used by commuters and business travellers, not just by weekend tourists.
This is the Bike Train’s second new route this year, following an inaugural trip to North Bay two weekends ago. It also builds on other expanding intermodal transportation options for Toronto cyclists, including broader availability of bike racks on local and regional buses, GO train service (for cyclists and non-cyclists alike) to Niagara Falls, and the ongoing Bikes+Transit awareness campaign.
From August 24 through October 8, the Toronto-Montreal Bike Train leaves Union Station at 7:05 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Return trains to Toronto leave Montreal at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Tickets are $109 each way ($218 return) and must be reserved at least three days in advance through the Bike Train’s website.