We love road trips, especially in Quebec during the changing of the leaves. The colors are magical and the windy, open road is a delight, but we struggle with who is going to do the driving because we both want the experience without the distraction of watching the road. Orford Express was the answer to our dilemma. Orford Express tourist train Lunch Outing is approximately three and a half hours with a complete meal served on board. There is a 30 minute stopover at the Marché de la Gare de Sherbrooke and a singer on board to entertain. We enjoyed a unique sensory experience and an exquisite meal, all the while taking in the majestic views that sweep the countryside between Magog, Eastman, and Sherbrooke.
We boarded the train in Magog, a city in southeastern Quebec, about 120 kilometers east of Montreal. Its three restaurant-coach cars can comfortably seat 212 guests. We chose the Main Car section, but considered the Lounge Car Panoramic Section. If we had of been joining them for a special event, we would have taken the upgrade because the glass-ceiling views were out of this world. Still, the Main Car gave us a front row seat to the changing leaves and quaint farms along the Eastern Township.
Being able to take in the views and point out remarkably bold leaves without either of us focusing on driving was a treat. I had never seen this part of Quebec before so I wanted to soak up as much as possible.
When we booked our tickets, we were able to go online and choose our meal. There were a few options and choices between meat, fish, or chicken as well as a variety of dessert choices. Rather than limiting ourselves, I chose something different for each of us, including the desserts, and we all shared. It was like doing a tasting without an additional cost. I liked the stuffed chicken the most but each dish was well prepared and we left nothing on our plates.
During our stop in Sherbrooke, we walked along a quiet lake and the leaves were even more beautiful up close. This is Athena’s first time experiencing the fall season and the changing of the leaves so we’re reliving the magic of it all over again.
Since neither of us were driving or sitting in a car, we were able to enjoy drinks on the train. There were lots of options, but I felt like a coffee with Bailey’s was the perfect match for the season.
The plush seats of the Orford Express were the ideal spot to relax and watch the beauty of the season unfold before our eyes. We had all the benefits of a road trip with none of the stresses.