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jis

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I am trying to verify whether Adirondack requires a paper ticket or not for Montreal for some visitors from abroad.

My recollection is my e-ticket worked fine since it was checked only by Amtrak crew, but I would like to be doubly sure that that is the case. So anyone that can verify, please let us know. Thanks.
 
Amtrak's Passport Check-in desk at NYPS has a process of sticking bar codes on your paper e-ticket (or hard ticket) for each piece of luggage. However unnecessary it is for CBSA, that is what they want to do.

I'd do it anyway. Back in 2013, a conductor couldn't find my reservation, I was not on the manifest, and not on CBSA's record for being on that train. By Albany, he found me on another database and staightened it out. I think it is best to have a paper trail for various computer or cellphone brain farts.
 
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Amtrak's Passport Check-in procedure desk at NYPS has a process of sticking bar codes on your paper e-ticket (or hard ticket) for each piece of luggage. However unnecessary it is for CBSA, that is what they want to do.

I'd do it anyway. Back in 2013, a conductor couldn't find my reservation, I was not on the manifest, and not on CBSA's record for being on that train. By Albany, he found me on another database and staightened it out. I think it is best to have a paper trail for various computer or cellphone brain farts.
So having a self printed copy of the E-Ticket is enough or do you have to get a document from an Amtrak ticket window or TVVM? Thanks.
 
Your own e-ticket pdf print out is fine and has always worked for me.

I have heard people without that been told to go to the kiosk and get one on Amtrak's own ticket stock when they show up for the train, which can be stressful
 
Your own e-ticket pdf print out is fine and has always worked for me.

I have heard people without that been told to go to the kiosk and get one on Amtrak's own ticket stock when they show up for the train, which can be stressful
Thank you. I'll let the visitors from abroad know.
 
I have never experienced bar code stickers in Montreal, that being just a NYPS thing by the Amtrak Gate Dragon playing Customs agent. CBSA and US Customs are not the least bit interested in them. Just the Customs forms are handed out at at Montreal.

In NYPS, there is also the big red "CANADA" stamp they want to apply to something. Messing up one's Passport book with that nonsense would not be acceptable. Hence, one needs a paper e-ticket, and they will send you to the Quicktrak kiosk to get one if need be. .
 
I wouldn’t put the blame on Amtrak for having the usher’s at Penn Station checking Montreal passenger’s passports and visa’s prior to boarding. The US C&BP requires it, as well as a faxed copy sent to the border. The carrier’s are assessed a hefty fine if they bring anyone to the border crossing without the proper documentation, and are required to bring them back…
 
Amtrak doesn't check anything or anyone outside of NYPS. Quite a few Canadian-bound people get on an Albany, but personnel there do not deem it part of their craft. So much for US C&BP requires it. They have nothing to do with people leaving the US. It is a CBSA issue and they couldn't care less about Amtrak's stickers and stamps. They get a manifest, which is on their tablet.

On buses, the drivers want to be shown your passport with the ticket upon boarding anywhere. There is none of these useless baggage stickers and stamping at a check-in desk.
 
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I have boarded the Adirondack at Poughkeepsie. Needless to say there was no rigmarole before boarding. The Conductor checked the travel documents when he lifted/scanned the ticket. And that was that. I think the dog and pony show is purely a New York Penn Station additional employment project thing - perhaps cynically speaking.
 
I have boarded the Adirondack at Poughkeepsie. Needless to say there was no rigmarole before boarding. The Conductor checked the travel documents when he lifted/scanned the ticket. And that was that. I think the dog and pony show is purely a New York Penn Station additional employment project thing - perhaps cynically speaking.
They do the luggage tags and paper ticket thing at Albany also. Though there wasn't all that much before boarding other than showing I had a ticket.
 
I have ridden out of NYPS to Montreal since 2019.

Didn't go in 2017.

2018 was out of GCT, and there was no silliness because Metro North runs the place. But the engine's pilot was hanging low, tore up a grade crossing, and ripped the pilot right off north of Ticonderoga. CP had to tow the consist back. They bussed us. Each bus was at the border for about 20 minutes, one bus processed at a time, no security theatre. (Customs hates trains). We got to Montreal at 10pm.

There was no train 2020 thru 2023.

Amtrak has the big tall, authoritarian desk looking like a judge's bench in a courtroom, which I suppose now has been transplanted to Moynihan, with a big Canadian flag draped over the front like bunting, then passporting, stickers, and stamping ensues, and they must love sending passengers scurrying off like chipmunks in November to a Quicktrak kiosk for the paperless Smartphone types to get a paper ticket.

I regard it as seriously as a Tim Conway skit on Carol Burnett show with him checking-in air passengers.
 
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They do the luggage tags and paper ticket thing at Albany also. Though there wasn't all that much before boarding other than showing I had a ticket.
Doing document check at boarding point for large boarding points does offload that work from the Conductor. But the baggage tag thing is still mystifying. Customs at various times chooses to ask passengers to identify their bag in the racks. That seems to have no correlation with whether the baggage tag has a sticker on it or not.

AFAIK the only information that the Border folks from either Canada or the US are interested in is what is called the APIS information set, and that is voluntarily provided by Amtrak. See Advanced Passenger Information System - Voluntary Rail and Bus Submissions (PDF) for details. CBSA requires the same information which is actually a UN/EDIFACT based specification. I am not quite sure if and how this relates to the origination point dog and pony show. It seems to me that the information is available much before any checks at the boarding point
 
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On my last trip on the Maple Leaf from Moynihan in November 2023 I used a Red Cap. The Red Cap took care of the NYP "Canada" rigamarole himself right there. He had the Canada stamp and the useless Canada luggage tags right there at the Red Cap desk, no need to line up at the "Canada" podium.

I carry paper boarding passes routinely, despite having the app, so having that to be stamped is never an issue for me.

BTW, none of this stuff is done on Amtrak's most highly patronized, by far, US/Canada service, the Cascades between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, BC. The special, useless, luggage tags are not used. Border crossing ID is checked upon boarding and again leaving Bellingham but nothing need be stamped. Oh, and there's checked baggage service, too.
 
I suppose a way to avoid this creative chaos, crowds, and kindergarten lines, if convenient, is to head over to GCT from wherever you are, take a Metro North train to Yonkers or Harmon a good hour ahead of 69, sit on bench, and read a magazine in peace until Amtrak arrives.

Don't forgot that theatre begins after 6am for train 63.
 
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Amtrak has notified that Adirondack service will be suspended north of Saratoga Springs from May 20th to June 30th (2024) for unspecified reasons.

If you have a booked ticket during that period call Amtrak to get a refund or rebook on some date outside that window.

For traveling to Montreal from New York, the only choice over that period is to fly and maybe bus. If you insist on going by train you could travel for a day and a half via Toronto, but you do have to be a real train aficionado to go through that I suppose.
 
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I wouldn’t put the blame on Amtrak for having the usher’s at Penn Station checking Montreal passenger’s passports and visa’s prior to boarding. The US C&BP requires it, as well as a faxed copy sent to the border. The carrier’s are assessed a hefty fine if they bring anyone to the border crossing without the proper documentation, and are required to bring them back…
railiner is indeed correct. This whole system was put into place approximately 20 years ago based on an agreement Amtrak entered into with the border agencies. All staffed ticket offices were required to follow the procedures with the luggage tags and stickers/stamps. The fact that most smaller ticket offices have abandoned the process does not change the fact that this is a documented procedure that is in place. In terms of consistency of enforcement....this is Amtrak .....
 
railiner is indeed correct. This whole system was put into place approximately 20 years ago based on an agreement Amtrak entered into with the border agencies. All staffed ticket offices were required to follow the procedures with the luggage tags and stickers/stamps. The fact that most smaller ticket offices have abandoned the process does not change the fact that this is a documented procedure that is in place. In terms of consistency of enforcement....this is Amtrak .....
Suffice it to say that the Adirondack stops at many stations which have no discernible ticket office.

The agreement may have had some relevance when it was struck and it is more or less silly now due to advances in how tickets are lifted and due to the existence of APIS, IMHO. ;)

The only thing they really require today is that APIS report is consistent with what is actually on the train and this can be done automatically from Conductor's ticket lifting record. The only way to actually verify baggage association with passengers for carry on is to ask, and becomes irrelevant if the inspection is going to be done off train.

The ground realities have changed since the time the original agreement was struck but bureaucracy has failed to move forward with times, as is often the case.
 
Border agencies in both countries have been restructured in 20 years since, back in a day and age when cellphones were bricks and predates flip-phones. Any requirement about stickers and stamps is lost institutional knowledge. There has never been any checking of them. Border agents have electronic manifests on their handhelds or tablets (forgot what they are lugging around) and you have your passport (the only paper that interests them), where you are staying, where's your luggage, are you carrying fruit, and when you are leaving. Nothing else matters.
 
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Amtrak doesn't check anything or anyone outside of NYPS. Quite a few Canadian-bound people get on an Albany, but personnel there do not deem it part of their craft. So much for US C&BP requires it. They have nothing to do with people leaving the US. It is a CBSA issue and they couldn't care less about Amtrak's stickers and stamps. They get a manifest, which is on their tablet.

On buses, the drivers want to be shown your passport with the ticket upon boarding anywhere. There is none of these useless baggage stickers and stamping at a check-in desk.
My error…I meant the fax is sent to the Canadian, not the US officials when traveling into Canada. This was how it was done when I worked at NYP, into the mid-90’s…

BTW, at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, where I worked from the mid 90’s on, we did the same thing for Greyhound and Adirondack Trailways Montreal departures…
 
railiner is indeed correct. This whole system was put into place approximately 20 years ago based on an agreement Amtrak entered into with the border agencies. All staffed ticket offices were required to follow the procedures with the luggage tags and stickers/stamps. The fact that most smaller ticket offices have abandoned the process does not change the fact that this is a documented procedure that is in place. In terms of consistency of enforcement....this is Amtrak .....
It is funny that the agreement apparently wasn't nationwide for either country. Or nobody sent the memo to Amtrak, CBP and CBSA on the west coast.

The Cascades Vancouver service never used and doesn't now use the stamps/stickers and baggage tags. It was never, ever done out here.

That rigamarole was and is purely an eastern US/Canada thing.

It is especially funny because the Cascades has by far the highest cross border ridership of the three services. So the majority of people who cross the border on Amtrak don't do it and CBP/CBSA appear perfectly satisfied.
 
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Amtrak has notified that Adirondack service will be suspended north of Saratoga Springs from May 20th to June 30th (2024) for unspecified reasons.

If you have a booked ticket during that period call Amtrak to get a refund or rebook on some date outside that window.

For traveling to Montreal from New York, the only choice over that period is to fly and maybe bus. If you insist on going by train you could travel for a day and a half via Toronto, but you do have to be a real train aficionado to go through that I suppose.
Crap, I'm going to Montreal in mid June to catch the Ocean. It looks like I'm going to have to switch to a bus in Albany. Is there work being done on the track or something?
 
Crap, I'm going to Montreal in mid June to catch the Ocean. It looks like I'm going to have to switch to a bus in Albany. Is there work being done on the track or something?
Yes, track work is planned.

CP rail has staffed up for a busy summer. Several employees were hired to monitor the safety of contractors working for them.
 
Crap, I'm going to Montreal in mid June to catch the Ocean. It looks like I'm going to have to switch to a bus in Albany. Is there work being done on the track or something?

My advice to you is, take the same bus all the way from NY, just as long as it is not Greyhound under any circumstances.

Last year for me, which was the first Saratoga Springs day for the Adirondack in late July, #69 left one hour and 50 minutes late from NYPS due to "mechanical problems". Then I schlepped over to the Albany side on CDTA, hunted for the vacant lot that passes for the Trailways Terminal, and I made that bus by 45 minutes. The train was due to leave NYPS at around 830am. The bus had left PABT at 1130am. Between that and the risk of a stuck Spuyten Duyvil bridge, I wouldn't trust Amtrak with a same day transfer to another mode again.

There was hell of a lot of stress with Amtrak not having any ETA information until the train arrived in NYPS from SSY, many Bar Exam students were in panic that had to take their exams later that day both in Albany and Saratoga, subsequent trains were booked, the Gate Dragons nastier than usual, yelling at passengers to stand in straight line and show their e-tickets since trains 281 was to be 10 minutes behind us and also lining up. I was master-minding means of sneaking down another stairway and stowing myself on 281 to bypass them. Conductors would have been more lenient if you explain the circumstances. Overall, the day was torture. Never again.

Bite the bullet, get up 3 hours later, and take Trailways all the way. It is still a very professionally run outfit. My bus didn't need to stop at Longueil, so arrived Montreal a half hour early just before 8pm. There's a meal stop in Fort Edwards. The thru fare will also be cheaper than Amtrak to Albany + Bus Albany to Montreal. They are more expensive than Amtrak.

I have hotel reservations set up this July both near the bus station and near the train station. I do not trust Amtrak to have the Adirondack running this summer.
 
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