"Training" For Mom and Dad - Travel Tips From VIA Rail Canada

    MONTREAL, July 8 /CNW/ - From frequent bathroom breaks to the dreaded
backseat whine of "Are we there yet?" everyone with children knows that
travelling with kids can be challenging. Keeping children engaged during
travel is important. After all, what fun is a vacation if the kids are
throwing a temper tantrum and parents are wishing they just stayed home?
    Special educational programs, scheduled kids activities, a delicious
children's menu and the allure of travelling aboard the "choo-choo" all make
train travel aboard VIA Rail Canada an appealing vacation option, especially
considering the high gas prices. So parents - sit back and relax, and let VIA
Rail help keep your children entertained this summer!

    Guide for Mom and Dad

    Children often love train travel, as they are fascinated with the train
equipment, staff and overall experience. In short, it's a novelty. But what
happens when their patience is waning and they begin to grow restless? VIA
Rail offers the following advice:

    -  Preparation - Get the kids excited about their train trip by providing
       books and videos to watch before the trip. Seymour Simon's Book of
       Trains, Little Mammoth Media The Big Train Trip, and The Polar Express
       are just a few recommendations. And what train trip would be complete
       without that old childhood favourite - The Little Engine That Could?

    -  Food - VIA Rail offers kids' menus on long-distance trains, and every
       train has healthy snacks available. It also never hurts to pack a
       favourite snack just in case.

    -  Entertainment - Cardboard train cut-outs and Kids Activity Books are
       available on most trains. Aboard VIA's Canadian, games, activities and
       video showings organized in the domed Skyline car are an added daily
       morning feature for passengers travelling in Silver & Blue class
       sleeping accommodations. During the summer months in VIA's Easterly
       Class aboard the overnight Ocean service between Montréal and Halifax,
       a dedicated Learning Coordinator presents mini-lectures to help
       immerse travellers into the history and culture of the Maritime
       provinces - a wonderful way to make learning fun for the kids.

    -  Sleep - Keeping kids on the same sleep schedule is important, so
       notify attendants of times to lower the bed so the kids can nap. Also
       remember to pack favourite stuffed animals or blankets.

    -  Safety - VIA Rail staff are trained in first aid, CPR and emergency
       response procedures. However, it is important to accompany children at
       all times, especially when moving between train cars and to ensure
       shoes are worn whenever children are up and about.

    Kids Travel Free

    With the soaring price of gas, family travel with VIA has never been more
    For travel now thru to September 15, 2008, for every senior, student
(18+), youth (18-25) or adult-fare ticket purchased in VIA's Comfort Class, a
child age 2-11 travels for free. Available on every VIA train system-wide, the
"Kids Travel Free" program makes it even more affordable to plan the perfect
family getaway on VIA while exploring some of Canada's most exciting
    Looking to be pampered? VIA's Silver & Blue class service on the Canadian
(western) and Easterly class service on the Ocean (eastern) provide 
comfortable sleeping accommodations and meals throughout the trip. All year
round, kids receive a 25% discount off the best adult fare available when
travelling with an adult. What better way for parents or grandparents to spend
some quality time with children this summer.
    Kids and parents alike will love exploring the terrific scenery and
exciting cities across Canada. From tranquil Prince Rupert in the Pacific
Northwest to historic Halifax in the Maritimes, the journey on VIA Rail
encompasses friendly, attentive service, comfortable accommodations,
flavourful regional cuisines and a variety of onboard leisure activities. So
round up the kids and hop aboard for a fun, educational and - most
importantly - relaxing summer vacation for the entire family.

    About VIA Rail Canada
    As the national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada provides
efficient, environmentally responsible and cost effective passenger
transportation services, both in Canada's busiest corridor and in remote and
rural regions of the country. VIA serves more than 450 communities with a
network of inter-city, transcontinental and regional trains. Increasingly
travellers are turning to train travel as a hassle-free and cost efficient
alternative to congested roads and airports as well as a more environmentally
responsible way to travel.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Catherine Kaloutsky, Corporate
Communications, (416) 956-7683, Catherine_kaloutsky@viarail.ca; Ashley Doyle,
Corporate Communications, (416) 956-7613, Ashley_doyle@viarail.ca

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