Amtrak to Montreal

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Hello. I am a longtime Amtrak rider, but I just recently discovered this forum.
I am planning to take a Montreal to Boston cruise in May of 2022. I have 2 related questions:
First, Any idea when Full service on the Adirondack from NYC to Montral will be re-established ?
Second: I recall that there were some High level discussions around 2012 - 2013 between then President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau with a view towards letting passengers clear Canadian Customs and Immigration when the train arrived at Montreal's Central Station ,instead of stopping the train at the US - Canada border; and screening all of the passengers in the middle of nowhere, before allowing the train to proceed to Montreal.
Anyone who has taken the Eurostar between London - Paris; where you actually clear French Customs and Immigration in a secure area of St. Pancras London Station , before boarding the train, will know how convenient this will be. Thanks to all for your help.
 

Exvalley

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Nobody knows when cross-border service will be re-established. It really depends on Covid.

As for clearing customs, there is no chance that a facility will be ready by May, 2022. Not even close. And even if there was a facility, I am not sure if it will allow clearance for northbound passengers. If it does, then the St. Lambert stop would need to be eliminated.
 

jiml

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I recall that there were some High level discussions around 2012 - 2013 between then President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau with a view towards letting passengers clear Canadian Customs and Immigration when the train arrived at Montreal's Central Station ,instead of stopping the train at the US - Canada border; and screening all of the passengers in the middle of nowhere, before allowing the train to proceed to Montreal.
First, Trudeau wasn't Prime Minister until late 2015, then it is highly unlikely that any discussions were held at this level of government over what would be to either country an insignificant matter like this. There were discussions between the two countries' customs agencies about space in Montreal Central Station for this purpose, but nothing substantive materialized. The subject has been covered many times in this forum, with various facts and opinions presented. The two biggest hurdles are who is going to pay for it (e.g. Province of Quebec?) and both customs agencies having higher priorities. Amtrak would also have to give up the Adirondack's surprisingly busy stop in suburban Montreal, as pointed out above.
 

amtrakpass

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The Montreal to Boston cruise sounds fun. What company or cruise line offer's that trip? I would think by May of next year it would be a pretty safe bet the trains would be running to Montreal and Toronto. They have already restarted selling Amtrak ticketed thruway connecting bus service to Vancouver BC but here is Amtrak's official advisory "
Maple Leaf and Adirondack Cross Border Service Resumption Plan
Effective Early 2022
Amtrak is working with federal agencies to resume cross border service on the Maple Leaf to Toronto and Adirondack to Montreal.

We hope to resume passenger rail service between our two countries in early 2022. More details to come.
 
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I should have known better about the date that Trudeau ( fils) became Prime Minister. I was travelling in Nova Scotia and PEI in the summer of 2015. I remember the incessant Conservative Party TV ads " Prime Minister is not an entry level position". We flew PHL to Halifax ( route no longer served by American Airlines ) and took the train from Halifax to Moncton, NB, where we rented a car.
US Customs has a bunch of agents stationed at Trudeau airport, Montreal for pre-clearance of US bound flights . Perhaps a few of them could run down to Central Station to clear Adironack passengers.
The cruise is on the Holland America's Vaandam, and it is scheduled to depart Montreal on May 21, 2022 @ 5:00 PM. I just got an email from Holland America promising all kinds of goodies, if I book before Nov. 30 - which I will probably do. I have a lot of Holiday Inn points, so I can book some pre-cruise nights at the Intercontinental Montreal, which is located less than a half mile from the cruise terminal. Probably splurge when we get to Boston, and take the Acela Express back to Philadelphia.
We are planning on breaking up the Phla Montreal leg of the trip with a stop in Albany, NY on the way up. I do hope that the Adirondack service is re-poened to Montreal. The thouight of taking the Megabus from Albany to Montreal is not very appealing.
 

Seaboard92

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I should have known better about the date that Trudeau ( fils) became Prime Minister. I was travelling in Nova Scotia and PEI in the summer of 2015. I remember the incessant Conservative Party TV ads " Prime Minister is not an entry level position". We flew PHL to Halifax ( route no longer served by American Airlines ) and took the train from Halifax to Moncton, NB, where we rented a car.
US Customs has a bunch of agents stationed at Trudeau airport, Montreal for pre-clearance of US bound flights . Perhaps a few of them could run down to Central Station to clear Adironack passengers.
The cruise is on the Holland America's Vaandam, and it is scheduled to depart Montreal on May 21, 2022 @ 5:00 PM. I just got an email from Holland America promising all kinds of goodies, if I book before Nov. 30 - which I will probably do. I have a lot of Holiday Inn points, so I can book some pre-cruise nights at the Intercontinental Montreal, which is located less than a half mile from the cruise terminal. Probably splurge when we get to Boston, and take the Acela Express back to Philadelphia.
We are planning on breaking up the Phla Montreal leg of the trip with a stop in Albany, NY on the way up. I do hope that the Adirondack service is re-poened to Montreal. The thouight of taking the Megabus from Albany to Montreal is not very appealing.
PHL-YHZ is still ar route I believe. I've seen talk they are giving it to us in June of 2022. I think it's a seasonal route however. I do want that overnight.
 

GoAmtrak

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Nobody knows when cross-border service will be re-established. It really depends on Covid.

As for clearing customs, there is no chance that a facility will be ready by May, 2022. Not even close. And even if there was a facility, I am not sure if it will allow clearance for northbound passengers. If it does, then the St. Lambert stop would need to be eliminated.
No offense, but I don't really get it why Canadian authorities don't go back to normal concerning border crossing trains. Airplanes do arrive in Canada from abroad don't they? So why can't trains cross the border again? Because Corona jumps only on trains? ;)

We had service reductions on passenger railway in Europe because of Corona, but they were really temporary and they weren't service cuts. Service cuts were out of question (speaking for Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and France - the other European countries I'm less familiar with). And those service reductions lasted only for about six months (in Switzerland for example). That's how the Swiss government deals with Corona. Passenger railway is and shall remain a primary sort of transportation in Switzerland. Not a touristy curiosity.

What is the Canadian government waiting for? Corona going away? Corona won't go away. Let's deal with it.
 

Exvalley

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No offense, but I don't really get it why Canadian authorities don't go back to normal concerning border crossing trains. Airplanes do arrive in Canada from abroad don't they? So why can't trains cross the border again? Because Corona jumps only on trains?
The major difference is that you aren't allowed on an airplane to Canada without proof of a negative Covid test.
 

GoAmtrak

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The major difference is that you aren't allowed on an airplane to Canada without proof of a negative Covid test.
Indeed I'm not surprised concerning the airplanes.

But you could fix the same rules for Via Rail or Amtrak trains crossing the border as well. Or is a certificate even already demanded on Via Rail or Amtrak trains? Then this difference would be eliminated.

In parts of Western Europe (Austria, Italy, France and newly Germany), the certificate is already requested for the use of mid-to-long distance trains (not in Switzerland though).
 

Brian Battuello

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FWIW, there is a direct Greyhound bus service from Boston South Station to Montreal. Takes about 8 hours. It leaves Boston at 1pm, so you could probably get there from the ship, but why not spend a few days in Boston?

The Lake Shore Limited from Boston to Albany arrives long after the Adirondack left. You'd either need to spend a night in Albany or you would need to get up really early in the morning and take an NEC train to NYC/Penn. Or spend a night in NYC, never a bad thing.

UPDATE - Saw your intermediate post with detailed plans. I've done the Quebec - Boston cruise on NCL and loved it, and such a pretty time of year (if still cool). Will have to look up the Montreal trip.
Acela is the way to go back to Philadelphia. Ask close to the time if anyone has a spare upgrade pass or two, well worth it. Hope you are going to spend a few days in Boston, I'm here if you need any suggestions about places to stay.

To be honest, if Amtrak isn't running, I'd see if you can get a one way car rental to Montreal. It is a pretty drive if you get off I87 at Saratoga Springs, Lake George and/or Ausable Chasm.

If you stay in Albany, I highly recommend the Hotel Desmond, ask for details.

And welcome to Amtrak Unlimited!
 
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Exvalley

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But you could fix the same rules for Via Rail or Amtrak trains crossing the border as well. Or is a certificate even already demanded on Via Rail or Amtrak trains? Then this difference would be eliminated.
Logistically, it would be much more difficult for Amtrak to require proof of Covid testing prior to boarding. Airplanes only need to screen passengers at one point of origin. Amtrak would need to screen passengers at numerous locations, many of which are not staffed.

The United States is averaging about 210 new Covid cases per 100,000 people. Canada is averaging 7.
 

BCL

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Logistically, it would be much more difficult for Amtrak to require proof of Covid testing prior to boarding. Airplanes only need to screen passengers at one point of origin. Amtrak would need to screen passengers at numerous locations, many of which are not staffed.

The United States is averaging about 210 new Covid cases per 100,000 people. Canada is averaging 7.
It might be possible to set up a proof of vaccination/testing through online transmittal. Airlines currently accept images of passports/visa during online check-in, although when I've helped someone with that we gave up and just presented them in person since there was already going to be check-in baggage. Some airlines are already doing that for COVID test results where there's a requirement for that at the destination.
 

me_little_me

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Logistically, it would be much more difficult for Amtrak to require proof of Covid testing prior to boarding. Airplanes only need to screen passengers at one point of origin. Amtrak would need to screen passengers at numerous locations, many of which are not staffed.

The United States is averaging about 210 new Covid cases per 100,000 people. Canada is averaging 7.
Amtrak could announce in advance that proof of Covid testing would be required and require that those buying tickets to Montreal who do not have that testing will be removed from the train at the border stop and detained until the return train at which point they will be placed on board after having to purchase tickets to the first American stop or beyond. Or prior to the last American stop, the conductor will check all passengers and those without proof will be met by Amtrak police and removed from the train at that stop.
 

Brian Battuello

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Looked up the cruise, looks terrific. Wish I could join you.

Hope you have time to join me for a quick drink in Boston. I recommend the Black Rose near the Aquarium.

Let me know if you are spending a night in Boston or have to hit the rails immediately, which would be a shame.
 
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I drove to Montreal last September. Had to take almost a day out of the Lake George portion of my trip, to track down a Covid testing facility.
They tested us, again, after we arrived at the US - Canada border. It was a bit surreal. We drove up the I-87 Northway to the very end, where you pick up Autoroute 15, into Montreal. This is the major New York - Montreal Highway. In days past, there was always a large number of vehicles crossing. We were the only vehicle crossing - all alone. The ride up from our cabin in Lake George was very senic. We drove north on NY 9, to Ticonderoga, and stopped to visit the museum in Ticonderoga, as well as to have lunch. As an added bonus, there is a free Level 2 electric car charger in the municipal parking lot in ticonderoga. So, charging for 2 hours gave me an additional 50 miles free in my 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV. The hotel in Montreal (actually, in Longueuil, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river ) has 4 free charging posts for electric vehicles , in the parking lot. So, i drove 1,100 miles in 9 days, and only spent $9 for electricity.
On of the reasons for this cruise, is seeing the north shore of the St. Lawrence river. You can currently only drive as far as Natashquan, Quebec, where the road ends.
 
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