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Train or Bus?

Norwood...
Level Contributor
1,270 posts
19 reviews
Train or Bus?

On Tuesday July 1st I need to transport my family of 4 and our 2-3 bags of luggage from The Westin Harbour Castle, in Harbour Square Toronto to Niagara Falls (6361 Fallsview Blvd., Niagara Falls) I was thinking we would just grab a VIA Rail train. Is that the best option? All the local's seem to be split between Rail and bus. Can anyone explain what that will entail. My sons are 9 and 11 and our bags will probably have wheels, so a staircase or two or medium distance is fine. Thank you for any advice. We are looking forward to our visit.

Niagara Falls, ON
Destination Expert
for Niagara Falls
Level Contributor
10,127 posts
48 reviews
1. Re: Train or Bus?

All transportation to Niagara Falls terminates at the bus and train terminals in downtown NF, about 5km from the Falls and tourist areas.

The one exception is Megabus, which also has a stop at Fallsview Casino, right across the street from the Hilton Hotel.

In Toronto, you would have to make you way to the Bus terminal, which is about 2km north of the hotel, on Bay St.

You can find more information under 'Top Questions' to the right.

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Algonquin Provincial Park
Level Contributor
4,219 posts
2. Re: Train or Bus?

By the way if you do end up taking the train, take the GO Train, not VIA. GO costs less money, and only runs direct trains from Toronto to NF on summer weekends and holidays, but July 1 is a holiday.

Norwood...
Level Contributor
1,270 posts
19 reviews
3. Re: Train or Bus?

Thank you, I did some digging on that and the fine print reads "Please note that Friday Niagara seasonal trains will start on July 4." So no July 1st direct connect. So it looks like if we do the Go version we will take a train to Burlington and change to the bus for the remainder of the trip. The VIA is only about $10 more for 4 of us, but the only option that day leaves at 8:20 a.m. So the choice would be...get up early and have a more relaxing trip or sleep late and deal with an exchange. Is there a big difference in train quality between the VIA and Go?

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Algonquin Provincial Park
Level Contributor
4,219 posts
4. Re: Train or Bus?

But you're not travelling on a Friday, you're travelling on a Tuesday that's a statutory holiday. The relevant passage says, "Seasonal GO Train service to Niagara operates on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from June 28 until September 1, and Thanksgiving weekend, October 10-13. Please note that Friday Niagara seasonal trains will start on July 4." Unless I'm misinterpreting (maybe someone can correct me), that means Saturday, Sunday and holiday service starts on June 28 and Friday service starts July 4. So you'd be fine on the 1st. gotransit.com/public/…niagara.aspx

No big difference in quality between the two trains. GO is designed as a regional commuter service for the greater Toronto area and uses double-decker trains. VIA uses conventional passenger trains designed for cross-country service. They're both comfortable and GO tends not to be packed to capacity.

Edit: Actually I'm not even sure why they make that note about Friday service, since July 4 is simply the first Friday following the stated seasonal service start date of June 28. I guess they're trying to make clear that even though the seasonal weekend service will be up and running for the June 28-29 weekend, it won't inclulde that Friday... but it seems they just made it more confusing.

Edited: 19 June 2014, 00:13
Norwood...
Level Contributor
1,270 posts
19 reviews
5. Re: Train or Bus?

OK on the Go website I see a 9:00 am all train option but when I try to purchase tickets for that date via the VIA website that option is on there. Perhaps I need to contact them directly or maybe there is no advance purchase option. I'll reach out to them directly and investigate. Thanks for info on that!

Niagara Falls, ON
Destination Expert
for Niagara Falls
Level Contributor
10,127 posts
48 reviews
6. Re: Train or Bus?

Yes , there is no advance purchase for GoTransit.

Also note that you will have to take a taxi from the Train station to your hotel in Niagara Falls.

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Algonquin Provincial Park
Level Contributor
4,219 posts
7. Re: Train or Bus?

Since as I say GO Transit is meant as a commuter service, it doesn't have advance ticket sales. You'd just go to the GO station at Union, buy your ticket from the machine, and head to the platform it indicates.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
15,220 posts
803 reviews
8. Re: Train or Bus?

Just get to the GO station a bit early, because it will be busy and with youngsters you want to ensure you get a seat...

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6,858 posts
9. Re: Train or Bus?

The Via Rail web site only has some of the GO trains listed, so gotransit.com is a far better place to look for GO service schedules.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
1,539 posts
6 reviews
10. Re: Train or Bus?

Do remember 1 Jul is Canada Day,