Taking the “Budd Car” from White River, ON


This post will discuss what you can expect when you choose to travel to Mar Mac Lodge on Esnagi Lake by using Via Rail’s Budd Car Service from White River.

First off, we suggest you purchase your tickets in advance by visiting the Via Rail website . Your departure station is “White River, Ontario” and you will be traveling to “Swanson, Ontario” which is the stop at Mile 88 at the southend of Esnagi Lake. You must ensure your booking dates at Mar Mac Lodge coincide with the train schedule. The train departs White River at 7:00 am each Wednesday, Friday and Sunday morning. The return trip departs Swanson at 4:00 pm Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Return train fare for this trip is currently set at $45.20 Canadian and all pre-purchased tickets are “exchangeable and refundable without service charge. A fare difference may apply in case of exchange” (Via Rail).  If you don’t buy your tickets ahead of time, you can purchase them directly from the conductor on the train however purchases are CANADIAN CASH ONLY and you will be charged $25.00 each way instead of the $45.20 return.

We always suggest you arrive at the train station in White River no later than 6:15 am. Most guests travel via the Trans Canada Highway, Hwy #17, from Wawa and will take a left hand turn off the highway onto Elgin Street. Follow Elgin St. until the end and then take another left. The train station is just ahead and on your right. There currently is no access to any building at this stop so it’s always a good idea to hit up a washroom prior to arriving, though the Budd Car does have a washroom on board.

Your train ride to Esnagi Lake will take approximately 1 hour. You will travel through Northern Ontario’s remote wilderness. Keep your eyes out the window for a chance to see birdlife or possibly some of our elusive mammals. It’s not uncommon to spot ducks, loons, eagles, beavers, black bears or even moose!

Upon your arrival at Swanson (south end of Esnagi Lake) you will be met by a Mar Mac Lodge representative who will unload your luggage from the train and load it into boats. You will then be boated to the lodge (a short 10 minute trip) where you will be met by one of your hosts (Ken or Debbie) and shown to your cabin.



Please keep in mind the following baggage limitations as cut and pasted from the Via Rail website.


Max. 11.5 kg (25lb.)
Max. 43 x 15 x 33 cm (17 x 6 x 13 in.)


Max. 23 kg (50lb.)
Max. 158 linear cm (62 li. in.)
Max. 11.5 kg (25 lb.) each
Max. 54.5 x 39.5 x 23 cm (21.5 x 15.5 x 9 in.) each

OVERWEIGHT ITEM(S): Items over 23kg (50lb.) are NOT permitted on board.

ADDITIONAL CARRY-ON ITEM: 1 item allowed Max 23 kg (50lb.) $40 (tax included) per direction.

YOUTHS (12-25): 1 PERSONAL ITEM Max. 11.5 kg (25lb.) / Max. 43 x 15 x 33 cm (17 x 6 x 13 in.) AND 2 LARGE ITEMS Max. 23 kg (50 lb.) each / Max. 158 linear cm (62 li. in.) each.


Max. 23 kg (50 lb.) each
Max. 158 linear cm (62 li. in.) each

OVERWEIGHT ITEM: $40 (tax included) per item, per direction
From 23 to 32 kg (from 50 to 70lb.)
Items exceeding 32 kg (70 lb.) are not accepted.

OVERSIZED ITEM: $40 (tax included) per item, per direction
From 158 to 180 linear cm (62 and 71 li. in.) max.
Outdoor sports equipment (canoe, kayak, etc.) is accepted.

ADDITIONAL ITEM: $40 (tax included) per item, per direction
Maximum 3 additional items per person

In stations where this service is offered, your baggage must be checked at least 45 minutes before departure at terminal stations and 30 minutes at intermediate stations.

For security reasons, baggage is not allowed on board without its owner.

*VIA reserves the right to weigh any and all baggage which may result in applicable allowance fees, as you may be subject to excess charges.

Should you have any questions about traveling to Mar Mac by train from White River, please drop us a line at info@marmaclodge.com or give us a call 705-971-7922.

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