I arrived at Toronto's Union Station at 7:30 a.m. for my 8:30 a.m. train to Montréal because I knew my business-class ticket came with access to an exclusive lounge at the station with plenty of seating and free refreshments.
The lounge was mostly empty on a Friday morning. I thought it was a quiet and peaceful place to enjoy a coffee and get some work done. According to their website, Via Rail's lounges are available to passengers traveling in business class, sleeper plus, prestige, and VIA Rail Premier members traveling in economy inside major train stations in Canada.
For my 1:38 p.m. Trenitalia ride to Rome, I arrived at Venice's Mestre Station just after 1 p.m. because I knew my ticket didn't include access to a lounge.
When I arrived, I went straight to my designated platform upon arrival and waited for my train on a bench. It was a sunny day in Venice, and the outdoor platform wasn't crowded, so I didn't mind waiting outside.
Although I didn't visit a lounge as part of this ride, Frecciarossa has these exclusive areas at select stations, too, called FRECCIALounges. They're only free to access for passengers traveling in executive class, Gold or Platinum FRECCIA credit card holders, and groups of 10 with business-class tickets, according to Trenitalia. These lounges are also only available in five stations in Italy: Roma Termini, Milano Central, Bologna Central, Firenze Santa Maria Novella, and Napoli Centrale, according to the same source.