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Via Rail Canada - The Canadian


The journey is not over yet...

With the final votes coming in, the support phase of this project will be coming to an end. I appreciate everyone who has voted, commented, and even checked back on my project from time to time to see the progress. It has been great interacting with the LEGO Ideas community and meeting some amazing like-minded people in the process.

VIA Rail Canada The Canadian makes the ultimate LEGO train set. This set is loaded with details, functionality, and innovation.


  • Compatible with LEGO Powered Up electronic components (train motor, lights, Bluetooth battery box hub) which are not included and sold separately.
  • This train set can be combined with my other VIA Rail LEGO Ideas projectVia Rail Canada - The Corridor. The train cars are modular and can be arranged any way you like to customize your train.
  • This set has the potential to be a 2-in-1 kit. The “A” model is what you see in the picture, and the “B” model could feature instructions to build 3 more train cars (economy car, dining car, Park car) using only a few additional pieces.
  • You can expand the train by purchasing multiple copies of the set. You can make the train longer and make all 6 train cars at once if you purchase 2 copies.
  • This set introduces new innovative building techniques that could be the evolution of LEGO trains.

The set is 2312 pieces in total. Many of the pieces in the set are light grey 1x2 grill bricks (on the sides of the train cars) and light grey 2x3 curved slopes (on the roof of the train cars). 

A suggestion for these 2 new LEGO elements could help reduce the piece count, simplify the building process, reduce the “cracks” between the pieces, and improve stability. This would reduce the piece count by about 300 pieces!

The first piece is a 1x6 grille brick and could be useful for so many other LEGO models! Next to that is a 6x6x1 curved roof piece. This piece would reduce the piece count of the roof by 80%.

Now that voting for this project is over, please make sure to also vote for my 2nd LEGO train set I designedVia Rail Canada - The Corridor. It is my goal to get both of the VIA Rail projects to reach 10,000 supporters so they can be released together.

If both VIA Rail projects reach 10,000 votes together, we could potentially get the first ever dual-release LEGO Ideas project. If you own both VIA Rail sets, you could mix and match the train to your preference:

If you haven’t supported it already, please go here to vote for Via Rail Canada - The Corridor.. Please vote now so it can catch up to The Canadian!


What is a Duplex Roomette? What is a Berth?

One thing that makes The Canadian interesting is the different types of cabins in the sleeper car.

The Duplex Roomette are partially stacking cabins that efficiently use space.

The LEGO recreation here has 3 duplex roomettes on the left.

At night time, the beds can pull out.

Although the cabins are 4 studs wide each, there is enough room for the minifigs to fully lay down. 

Next, the Berth is a simple open cabin with 2 seats. At night time, the beds fold out.

On the LEGO model, we have the 2 seats as well as a light to the left. One bed, the upper berth, will fold down from the wall. The other bed will replace the 2 seats. The bedding is stored in the closet at the end of the train car, and can also hold the seats that are not in use.

The beds instead of seats...


5000 Supporters!

It's been almost 8 weeks since I have submitted Via Rail Canada - The Canadian and the project already has 5000 supporters.

This is currently the fastest-supported LEGO Ideas Train project on all of LEGO Ideas! Let's keep the momentum going :)

Please also see my other VIA Rail train project, Via Rail Canada - The Corridor. The Corridor only has 1250 supporters right now and could use more to catch up with The Canadian!


Comparison pictures of the real VIA Rail Canadian train Part 1

This post will show pictures of the real VIA Rail trains this set is modeled on.

 First, we have VIA's F40PH-3D locomotive. in 2007, Via Rail rebuilt their fleet of F40PH-2 locomotives into this new modern design called the "Renaisance Scheme"

Here is the rear of the vehicle.

Next up, the baggage car.

As you can see, there is a little foothold under the sliding door as well as a small tank.

Some VIA travellers bring their canoe with them along their journey.


Comparison pictures of the real VIA Rail Canadian train Part 2

This post will show pictures of the real VIA Rail trains this set is modeled on.

As you can see, the right side of the Chateau car has windows at staggered heights.


The Skyline car is seen here with the dome roof on top.

Lastly, the VIA Rail sign trackside accessory was modeled after this picture.



Featured on the blog

Steve - a professional rail photographer, writer, and blogger in Canada has written an article about my LEGO VIA Rail Ideas sets. He will have future posts about the train that will go into more detail. He also has some excellent content if you'd like to learn more about the Via Rail trains. Visit the blog!



Powered Up + Mix & Match

This update will show various ways to expand this set.


This train can be powered up with the LEGO Powered Up electric components 88001 Train Motor, 88005 Light, and 88009 Hub. The Powered Up Hub is a battery box with built in Bluetooth receiver. The LEGO Powered Up smart phone app can control the train speed, lights, and real Via Rail F40PH sound effects.

One 88005 Powered Up Lights can be used to light up the front AND the back of the locomotive.

To install the Powered Up components, first remove the equipment rack in the engine room.

Now the Powered Up Hub battery box goes where the equipment rack was.

Lastly, the Powered Up Lights are used on the front headlights of the locomotive and the light at the rear door of the train engine!

Mix and Match

If you have 2 of this set Via Rail Canada – The Canadian, you can make the train twice as long.

You can also use the green locomotive from The Canadian to pull the LRC cars from my other LEGO Ideas project, Via Rail Canada -The Corridor.

You can combine The Corridor set with The Canadian set in another arrangement. Here the yellow F40PH locomotive is pulling The Canadian cars.


Bonus Update - The Brothers!

Here are some things you can do with the accesories included in the baggage car.


The brothers are kayaking on their Canadian vacation.

The brothers can mount their paddles on the side and hold fishing rods instead.

The brothers can also load all the same cargo on their sled when they go snowshoeing.

The brothers love to sled together!

That's it for today! Next update is coming soon :)


Detailed Tour - Skyline Dome Car

This update will show pictures of the dome car.


Next up is the unique observation car with dome roof called “Skyline”.

As you can see, this train car is a double-decker vehicle, with stairs inside to access the higher floor.

The other side has an exhaust vent on the side of the car.

The top of the roof has many individual windowpanes.

The dome roof comes off as one piece.

The other segments of the roof can lift off as well.

The interior of the observation dome has seats and tables.

On the left is the lounge area with a table of desserts, along with stairs. There are stairs that go up to the observation area. On the other end of the car is an eating area with table booths, a coffee machine, and newspapers.

The flooring of the second level, the dome seats, also lifts off as one piece.

On the end is a lounge with drinks and baked goods.

Underneath the observation floor is a small kitchen with a sink, grill, and a food-preparation countertop.

That's all for now. Please look forward to the next update, which will show how to install the electronic LEGO Powered Up components.

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