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Amtrak Cascades border clearing

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amtrakwolverine

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Mar 14, 2008
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Warren MI
Whats the procedure like for crossing from Canada back into the USA on the cascades. I know you clear customs at the station but after that are there anymore check points or is that the only one? I'm thinking of taking a round about trip on VIA rails Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver then take the cascades back into the US and then the Empire builder back to Chicago.
 

SubwayNut

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Nov 17, 2011
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You clear immigration in Pacific Central Station but clear customs at the border. It's an extremely painless process taking under 10 minutes with a couple of customs officials walking the train collecting paper custom declarations.
 

jis

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Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
You clear immigration in Pacific Central Station but clear customs at the border. It's an extremely painless process taking under 10 minutes with a couple of customs officials walking the train collecting paper custom declarations.
This Blaine exercise will end when the new treaty takes effect. Apparently the special exception that is used to do US CBP ops at Pacific Central station for some reason that I don't fully understand does not legally permit completion of the processing of customs before the border. The CBP ops in Pacific Central station is different from the pre-clearance at say Vancouver International. Maybe someone with deeper knowledge can elucidate.
 
B

Bus Nut

Guest
It's an extremely pointless process taking under 10 minutes with a couple of customs officials walking the train collecting paper custom declarations.
FIFY.
It wasn't "pointless" when the US Customs official verbally berated my wife and made her cry. It made him feel smug and like a big shot. He was smirking the whole time.

Also, don't be a young person headed northbound into Canada with big luggage. The mounties will assume that you are a pot runner and treat you like morally degenerate garbage. :angry2:
 
B

Bus Nut

Guest
Oops, I didn't realize you were talking about Blaine specifically. The confrontation happened in Vancouver at the station. -_-

The entire customs thing IS pretty dumb, though! I realize there are legitimate reasons for the agricultural restrictions yet at the same time, bugs don't respect borders. There are apple trees on both sides. Do you think a customs station is going to stop a pest? California and Florida intercept commercial loads and that seems to work pretty well. You don't have to stop your personal car at the Cali border and throw all your fruit in your cooler in a USDA bin.

When I crossed from a Schengen country into Switzerland (there was a train layover so I took a walk around--couldn't buy anything because they don't take Euros, lol), you had to pass customs but they only inspect your luggage if they think it looks suspicious. You don't have to get in a big line and get hassled. I didn't see them pull a single person over. They're trying to catch people evading commercial or banking regulations or tariffs, or people running drugs. The former isn't a joke as they caught some dude from Italy trying to take millions from the Vatican Bank and smuggle it into Switzerland just a few years ago. :lol:

I know Canada and the US got into it after 9/11 over who they let in their respective countries so they want to see your papers, please*, but the customs nonsense is over the top.

*Note: they don't always say "please"
 

NS VIA Fan

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Sep 24, 2011
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Also, don't be a young person headed northbound into Canada with big luggage. The mounties will assume that you are a pot runner and treat you like morally degenerate garbage. :angry2:
There's no Mountie at Pacific Central Station admitting you to Canada……that’s the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) But a Mountie would get involved if the CBSA Officer Did find something illegal in that “big luggage”....... and arrest you! :)
 
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Bob Dylan

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May 31, 2009
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Austin Texas
I've crossed the border between the US and Canada many times via Train,Plane and Automobiles( didn't see Steve Martin or John Candy) and have never had any problems with the Canadian officials going into Canada!

The story is different with the American ***** upon returning however! For some reason the ones that work the border crossings where vehicle and train passengers are checked, especially on buses, have been the rudest and least friendly of any I have encountered anywhere in the world, and that's saying something!

Of note: back in the day when the draft was still in effect and the Vietnam mess was in fill bloom, young people were checked to see if they were registered for the draft; if not they were arrested by the guys in the back with the flat tops and big necks!

Canada, on the other hand, welcomed draft resisters and dodgers and many

never came back until President Carter pardoned them during his term!

The stop @ the border to collect the

customs declarations is government @ it's worst, the train doesn't stop anywhere in Canada, so what's the point?
 
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