Adirondack June '23 cancellation, and September restoration, state of Upstate NY service

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So, the first train did go north to Montreal on Monday. For some reason, both it and the Maple Leaf didn't get out of NYP until after noon, with the Adirondack reaching Montreal just before 2 a.m. The first southbound left Montreal on Tuesday about an hour late.
There was a malfunctioning with the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge which connects the tracks between Manhattan and the Bronx. What was most aggravating was Amtrak’s lack of communication other than “delayed”. I was down for the Billy Joel concert the night before and would have hauled our butts over to GCT for Metro North hours earlier if I’d known what the problem was. Also we were parked at Rhinecliff so that after we finally bailed on Amtrak and got our refund I had to ask a friend to pick us up in Poughkeepsie and bring us to our car. Fun times!
 
The problem with the Adirondack and any potential Vermonter extension to Montreal is that the Canadian government probably cares less about this service than even Amtrak and our federal government does. It will be tough to resolve this so long as that is the case. As much as many people think our government doesnt care about rail and that Amtrak is hanging by a thread, in Canada its even more the case and VIA has even less foundation and is in an even more precarious position.
 
The problem with the Adirondack and any potential Vermonter extension to Montreal is that the Canadian government probably cares less about this service than even Amtrak

Montreal's RER will cost $8 billion when it is completed. And yet they can't have decent tracks to connect their city with the largest financial hub in the Americas.
 
Montreal's RER will cost $8 billion when it is completed. And yet they can't have decent tracks to connect their city with the largest financial hub in the Americas.
The real issue on that is that the route using currently available RoW will never be remotely time competitive with the parallel Interstate, even with all its slowed traffic and jams. That is why there is low enthusiasm for it. The RER serves vastly many more people in a more meaningful way than an Adirondack or Vermonter ever will. So their choice of fund allocations seems to be quite correct at least to me.
 
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Montreal's RER will cost $8 billion when it is completed. And yet they can't have decent tracks to connect their city with the largest financial hub in the Americas.
When the expenditure buys votes for both the provincial and federal governments it can be justified. Tourists from the US don't vote and the few Montrealers taking the train to New York don't matter.
 
REM plans were completely provincial, and their original plans were to completely takeover Central Station and throw VIA Rail out. As it is, they completely removed the Mt Royal tunnel from their national railway network, bob-tailed their own, new Mascouche route into a branch shuttle connecting with Metro, with 3 thru round-about trains that follow the path of the VIA Quebec remote trains, and content to have killed their busiest commuter rail line to Two Mountains until they get around to extending REM to there.

Canadian federal government interest in intercity rail is confined to their Corridor, all else tri weekly, bi-weekly, or nothing. It is as much true of Trudeau with his "green" ambitions as it was Mulroney, Cretchen, and Harper. The only thing that is better than the 1980's is the bus lobby is weaker with Greyhound's demise.

As isolated as Quebec and federal Canadian rail transportation planning is, Amtrak is nowhere in anyone's mind. So, either we pay to upgrade CN's track in Quebec, stop sneering at Lucien L'Allier's lack of amenities (whatever that means) and reroute onto the CP, or put up 180 notices and forget the whole thing north of Saratoga Springs.

It appears zero progress has been made at either Amtrak or NYS-DOT to do anything for the past three months but brood about evil CN, while they have seen this coming since 2019 when the original 20MPH heat slow orders were put in place.
 
Is there enough population on the CP route from Montreal towards the US to ever justify a commuter train route? If so, could that cause a direct connection from CP to the Montreal station? If that ever happens then Amtrak could certainly then use CP from the border/
 
Is there enough population on the CP route from Montreal towards the US to ever justify a commuter train route? If so, could that cause a direct connection from CP to the Montreal station? If that ever happens then Amtrak could certainly then use CP from the border/

There is commuter train service as far south as Candiac. That is as far as it will ever go. It is about 30 miles from there to Rouses Pt.
 
Is there enough population on the CP route from Montreal towards the US to ever justify a commuter train route? If so, could that cause a direct connection from CP to the Montreal station? If that ever happens then Amtrak could certainly then use CP from the border/
Just to supplement the answer above, the commuter service on CP terminates at its own station - Lucien L'Allier, as mentioned previously by myself and several others (most recently by @Amtrak25 in Post #231). There is no easy connection to the main VIA station where the Adirondack has terminated in recent years. If people could get past the "stigma" of using a lowly commuter station for an international train a lot of the issues facing the Adirondack might be easier to resolve. It is important to remember that the northbound train gets through upstate New York on CPKC, then switches to the recently embargoed CN line simply so it can reach Central Station. Continuing the last few miles is unlikely to be a big issue for the host railroad and train maintenance is available from the commuter facility. Both US and Canadian customs could be done by isolating a single track at Lucien L'Allier (see Vancouver) and doing the inspections while the train is parked on arrival and sealed before departure. (Officers from both countries are a quick commuter train ride from Dorval airport, with said train terminating at Lucien L'Allier.) It's so simple it all might work.
 
The only way I see to keep going to Central Station from the CP is to continue up to St Luc yard, loop around to the west 180 degrees, slide over to the CN St Laurent sub, and make a left onto the Montreal subdivision. I don't know if switches exist from the CP to the CN adjacent to St Luc to do that.

But I think it would be far more pleasurable and productive to just get CN out of our lives and head to Lucien L'Allier. I was in both Montreal depots in July. Lucien L'Allier is fine for our purposes and has more waiting room seats that are not broken like the cheap plastic ones at Central station and 2 EXO ticket agents at this rather sleepy terminal and the Adirondack is not there rush hours. Metro stop is way down beneath it via 3 escalators. Arrange with EXO to haul the train back and forth to Montreal West yard for cleaning and turning as with Toronto's Mimico. The 2 EXO agents can be give an Amtrak computer terminal to do some rudimentary ticket processing like NJT agents do at Princeton Junction.

It would also be nice not to deal with stairs heading down to the tracks. Central Station personnel are very stingy about having people use the down escalators unless you are a person in need. There is no first class lounge, checked baggage, nor red caps, so I don't get the lack of amenities argument. There are no fast food eateries there, but so what. Montreal is like Manhattan - you can't walk a couple of hundred feet down the street and not walk into one.

Unfortunately, I don’t think either Amtrak or NYS-DOT over 3 months of this have given these options any thought, just continued brooding about big bad CN. But they and the local politicians will waste no time in putting on the fake shocked and outrage routine when the train gets the axe again next June.

There is no easy way to incorporate Vermont service into it, but that is IMHO a fantasy. It not only requires CN upgrades as far as Cantic, serious upgrading of the CN Rouses Pt Sub, training Vermonter crews in French literacy, Canadfian railroad regs, battling CN unions to not drive the train north of St Albans, and a Customs facility be constructed in Central Station, which nobody in Canada is serious about doing, just award millions to contractors to repeatedly play with their crayons and coloring books to plan one.
 
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Unfortunately, I don’t think either Amtrak or NYS-DOT over 3 months of this have given these options any thought, just continued brooding about big bad CN. But they and the local politicians will wate no time in putting on the fake shocked and outrage routine when the train gets the axe again next June.
I agree, and note that according to what I have heard last NYSDOT has only 1.5 persons to brood over such matters anyway.
 
The only way I see to keep going to Central Station from the CP is to continue up to St Luc yard, loop around to the west 180 degrees, slide over to the CN St Laurent sub, and make a left onto the Montreal subdivision. I don't know if switches exist from the CP to the CN adjacent to St Luc to do that.

But I think it would be far more pleasurable and productive to just get CN out of our lives and head to Lucien L'Allier. I was in both Montreal depots in July. Lucien L'Allier is fine for our purposes and has more waiting room seats that are not broken like the cheap plastic ones at Central station and 2 EXO ticket agents at this rather sleepy terminal and the Adirondack is not there rush hours. Metro stop is way down beneath it via 3 escalators. Arrange with EXO to haul the train back and forth to Montreal West yard for cleaning and turning as with Toronto's Mimico. The 2 EXO agents can be give an Amtrak computer terminal to do some rudimentary ticket processing like NJT agents do at Princeton Junction.

It would also be nice not to deal with stairs heading down to the tracks. Central Station personnel are very stingy about having people use the down escalators unless you are a person in need. There is no first class lounge, checked baggage, nor red caps, so I don't get the lack of amenities argument. There are no fast food eateries there, but so what. Montreal is like Manhattan - you can't walk a couple of hundred feet down the street and not walk into one.

Unfortunately, I don’t think either Amtrak or NYS-DOT over 3 months of this have given these options any thought, just continued brooding about big bad CN. But they and the local politicians will waste no time in putting on the fake shocked and outrage routine when the train gets the axe again next June.

There is no easy way to incorporate Vermont service into it, but that is IMHO a fantasy. It not only requires CN upgrades as far as Cantic, serious upgrading of the CN Rouses Pt Sub, training Vermonter crews in French literacy, Canadfian railroad regs, battling CN unions to not drive the train north of St Albans, and a Customs facility be constructed in Central Station, which nobody in Canada is serious about doing, just award millions to contractors to repeatedly play with their crayons and coloring books to plan one.
While I get the logistical problems of Central Station and using the CN, I don't get your complaints about the station itself - it's one of the nicest in North America. Lots of food options, easy access to tracks and it's beautiful. Maybe it doesn't work for the continuation of the Adirondack but that doesn't negate all of its positive attributes.
 
I guess it's in the eye of the beholder, but I wouldn't rank Gare Centrale as one of Canada's top train stations from either a beauty or function perspective. It's kind of like NY Penn before Moynihan - a dingy basement with poorly functioning infrastructure. Yes, there are a couple of food outlets, but lighting is bad, seating is bad, platform access via stairs with luggage just so they can leave the escalators continuously running upwards. Last time I was there the bathrooms in the VIA lounge were out of service due to a station plumbing problem and the public restrooms were not good. A local comment suggests that it is hoped that the arrival of the REM will spur a major reno and facilities upgrade. File that one in the same folder as the oft-discussed unfunded and postponed customs space.
 
Gare Centrale is glorified Penn Station. The stair situation agrivates me the most. Think of Lucien L'Allier as Hoboken without the historic waiting room. Montreal West would be a more useful suburban station than St Lambert. The STM 105 bus runs along Sherbrooke to Vendome and the Metro Orange line.

When there in late July, days before REM, 1/3rd of the cheap vinyl seats around the former EXO6 , to be REM, gates to be missing, only a little better around the gate for track 15/16. I would not expect a handyman to have since come by to fix them. Berri Street bus terminal was better maintained.

Tim Horton's is gone, as is a lot of other retail from the pandemic.
 
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I would not call Gare Centrale a glorified Penn Station.

It is not a basement station: The concourse is NOT below ground.

Gare Centrale is an excellent example of art deco from the 1940s. Look at the (original) murals on the walls.

The situation is not at all analogous to what happened in New York in the 1960s, unless you lament replacing the old Bonaventure Station by Gare Centrale. (At the time there was a lot of carping about the delays in finishing the new station.)

There are a dozen food outlets in Les Halles de la Gare, plus various other shops and services. The station is connected directly to Place Bonaventure, Le Fairmount Reine Elizabeth, and Place de Ville, which together have hundreds of shops and eateries.

Stairs to the platforms are an issue, and reflect the lack of focus on physical disabilities at the time the station was built.

There is no serious discussion about moving trains to Lucien Allier beyond railfan forums in any case.
 
There is no serious discussion about moving trains to Lucien Allier beyond railfan forums in any case.
The only train that I have heard considered for move to Lucien L'Allier is the Adirondack, and unless you consider Amtrak to be a ralfan, I am afraid you are wrong, since Amtrak actually ran a test train to Lucien L'Allier, and since then it has come up off and on.

Incidentally, Adirondack originally used to run to Windsor Station before there was Lucien L'Allier, so it is not without precedent.
 
There is no discussion in recent years about rerouting the train by NY or Amtrak because neither entity is interested solving the problem, only in whining, acting, and publicity stunts, with track issues festering in silence since 2019. So I for one regard the route north of Saratoga as toast unless in the unlikely event that attitudes change.
 
I think the western ends of the platforms forms today's Lucien L'Allier station. If you go there now, they look pretty old. They basically did a one block hatchet job like they did at La Salle Street station in Chicago.
 
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The only train that I have heard considered for move to Lucien L'Allier is the Adirondack, and unless you consider Amtrak to be a ralfan, I am afraid you are wrong, since Amtrak actually ran a test train to Lucien L'Allier, and since then it has come up off and on.

Incidentally, Adirondack originally used to run to Windsor Station before there was Lucien L'Allier, so it is not without precedent.
I believe the Amtrak test train was in 2009. Nothing came of it. Fourteen years later, the discussion, to my knowledge, has been strictly among railfans.
 
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