When we visited Eastern Canada a few years ago, we took the train from Montreal to Halifax.
As we had flown into Toronto from the UK, we first hired a car in Toronto which we dropped off in Montreal after visiting Kingston and Ottowa.
We then bought a train ticket from Montreal to Halifax but we were able to stop off in Quebec City for 3 nights en route. The train from Montreal arrived in Quebec City and we travelled during the daytime. For the second leg of our journey (QC to Halifax), we first had to take a shuttle bus to Charney (about 30-40 minutes away from QC). The train left Charny around 10.15 pm and while the first part of the journey is indeed overnight, the scenery during the daylight of the 2nd day was spectacular.
The Ocean Train was our first experience of Canadian rail travel and there were no problems with the journey or the transfers.
We have been back to Canada since then and have always found the train service (both Via Rail and the Rocky Mountaineer) to be a positive experience.
Edited: 4:31 pm, November 29, 2012