Biden Infrastructure Details

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PaTrainFan

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Dental work in Mexico for US and Canadian citizens is a pretty big thing in some towns at the border. Most of this work seems to be done in big practices that cater specifically to foreign patients--but I don't have any experience with that. I've gone to a solo practitioner in Nogales, who'd been the regular dentist of a friend of ours who used to live in southern AZ. Our dentist's training has been in the US, inlcuding an additional course of training in implants (which was most of the work my husband and I needed). My impression is that (in his case, anyway) the cost savings comes from a) not paying the very high cost of liability insurance for US-based dentists, and b) vastly less office infrastructure and overhead.

If this sounds like a dentist you'd like to consider for yourself, please PM me and I'll send you contact info.

I thnk this has gone far enough off-topic. 🙃 Back to Amtrak discussion?
It the cost of travel there really worth the savings that you find in using traditional American health care?
 

Bob Dylan

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The bridge to nowhere was long before Palin.

Bridge to nowhere
You might want to check your dates since Sister Sarah was the Governor of Alaska from 2006-2009, and the Republican VP Cantidate in 2008 while the Alaska Congressionsl Delegation was pushing to include the funding for the bridge annually with her support!

She was asked about it during her Chaotic Campaign for VP and said she supported it!
 

MARC Rider

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Surprisingly, Medical Tourism is a significant thing between USA and India too.
Hey, we don't have to go to India to enjoy the services of Indian physicians. :) In fact, I had a cardiologist who was Indian, but she ended up going back to India, so I'm going to need to find a new one the next time I need a stress test.
 

neroden

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"Most rails in the Lehigh Valley are currently owned and operated by Norfolk Southern Corp., which would have to grant the right-of-way for use of the rails.:"

Norfolk Southern has, several times now, voiced rather strong public opposition to Amtrak using their rails for passenger line expansion. Can NS really down-right stop Amtrak? I seem to recall, though it might be blurred a bit over the decades, that the law that created Amtrak, also allowed Amtrak reasonable usage of rail lines. Am I correct?
You are correct. In the Gulf Coast, Amtrak is now asking the STB to order CSX to let it run its trains or prove that they would cause substantial disruption to the freight network (which they wouldn't). It's a big step, because although Amtrak has always been allowed to do this, they haven't previously.
 

tomfuller

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Maple Leaf in Canada is a VIA train. NY State has no funding involved for it. Their funding responsibility ends at Niagara Falls ON AFAICT.

Adirondack is entirely an Amtrak operation funded by NY State, but the distance from the border to Montreal is pretty short.

The Cascades in Canada are funded according to some complex agreement between Washington State and BC AFAIK. I am not sure what the arrangement is.

But this discussion is about relatively long distance closed door operation through Canada, of which there is no current example.
It the cost of travel there really worth the savings that you find in using traditional American health care?
My very first train crossing of an international border was in October 2001 about 6 weeks after 9/11 on the Maple Leaf. Before 9/11 US Customs did not even board the train in Niagara Falls NY. Amtrak had the names and DOB of everyone on board for at least several hours before the border and passed it on to authorities. On the evening that we arrived in Niagara Falls NY, US Customs got on the train with a black lab and talked to several people in my coach car. They were satisfied and did not take anyone off. We crossed the border into Canada. Then the Canadian Customs got on board with their black lab who alerted to the drugs (heroin and cocaine 1Kg each). Those people were taken off the train through the front door up next to the engine door. The drugs came back the aisle right past everyone in the car. We were about an hour late getting into Toronto. The train was operated from the border by a Via engineer.
Next month I am planning on traveling from Chemult OR to Yuma AZ for my first Amtrak trip in 15 months. I am planning on renting a car in Yuma and driving to the huge parking lot in the US and walking into Los Algodones Mexico to get some dental work done. I still have enough AGR points so that my trip each way will be "free". There are about 300 dentists in Los Algodones. The savings are more than 60% over US based dentists.
 

Barb Stout

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It the cost of travel there really worth the savings that you find in using traditional American health care?
There are substantial population centers in the US near the Mexican border where travel to Mexico doesn't really cost anything. For many, it's not even a day trip to and back, it's a morning or afternoon trip.
 

jis

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Hey, we don't have to go to India to enjoy the services of Indian physicians. :) In fact, I had a cardiologist who was Indian, but she ended up going back to India, so I'm going to need to find a new one the next time I need a stress test.
It is not so much the physicians as the hospital and surgical facilities I am told. There are entire medical facilities that are more or less completely out of financial reach of most Indians that cater to the medical tourism crowd almost exclusively.
 

Deni

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I've heard that there is a fully functional hospital in the München Flughafen that is designed for medical tourism.
Yes, but German medical tourism is about attracting wealthy people from other countries (especially the Arab world) to spend a lot of money rather than people with lesser means looking to save money on care that is very expensive in America.
 

jiml

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It really should be very easy. If your name and passport is approved to travel to Canada / USA you are allowed to buy a ticket. At the border, your ID is checked to make sure that you are you, and that’s it. There shouldn’t be any need for questioning.

But again... that’s not reality.
That works for the Immigration component of the checks, but not for Customs. On land crossings in either direction the concern is with what you're carrying. The American CBP assume all Canadians have weed, since it's legal here, and Canadian CBSA assume all Americans (and Canadians that frequent the US) have guns. That's not a joke and those were the focus questions - even at the onset of the pandemic.
 

tricia

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It the cost of travel there really worth the savings that you find in using traditional American health care?
Depends on how much dental work you need. Not worth it for a cleaning, obviously. For multiple implants, definitely worth doing the math. Especially if you plan to book yourself comfortable lodging nearby and consider it a restful vacation.

You should also consider what KIND of work you need to have done. My Mexican dentist categorically refuses to do sinus lifts on patients who are thousands of miles from home. While complications are rare, they can be serious, and he's unwilling to participate in that kind of risk. YMMV.
 

toddinde

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It is all about money and who pays for it. More distance means more cost that someone has to bear. If Amtrak collects all the revenues, which generally is seldom enough to cover the entire operation, then one would expect Amtrak to pay for the operations.

In case of Maple Leaf running sealed from NFL to TWO for example, if VIA does not pay for operation in Canada, then NY State or Amtrak or some combination has to bear the cost. Whether that matters or not is upto the legislature usually since they have to appropriate the money.

Even with its really short run in Canada, and not even sealed, the Adirondack in the past has several times come within a hair's breadth of being discontinued, so the concern is real no matter how much people may wish to sweep it under the rug to avoid thinking about bad possibilities.
These issues have always existed. In the railroad days, the railroads worked it out on the many trains that operated on multiple railroads. There are so many, they’d be impossible to mention. Those trains didn’t always make money either, so loss situations aren’t unprecedented. Trains cross borders and change railroads all over the world. This is not an issue.
 

frequentflyer

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It the cost of travel there really worth the savings that you find in using traditional American health care?
Short answer is yes, and many times during the summer you are fortunate to get an appointment. At Nuevo Progresso, you walk over the bridge straight into the town, without speaking to a Mexican official. Its only on the way back you talk to Customs on the US side. The town is walled off with secure access on the Mexico side and you feel safe.

On my last trip I spoke to a nurse who was lived in the US not legally. Was caught after 10 years and sent back to Mexico. I asked why not get a temporary Visa, and the nurse stated that is what should happen since majority of Mexicans do not want to live in the US, instead make their money and come back (many do, just not legally). The nurse stated in Mexico you wait in line for hours for a visa with your paperwork in hand, only to get rejected without a reason why. Left with little recourse but cross the "river". So VP Harris, you have your work cut out. Convince the Mexican government to increase Visas and increase the dollars coming to the country.

To bring this back to trains, imagine if such a visa system was expanded the amount of traffic to the borders via highways, buses and trains would be off the chain. Instead of workers sneaking over on UP trains down at Brownsville and scatter by the hundreds when the train stops on the US side for inspection, they can be on passenger train plying a new route instead, ie. having the Texas Eagle continue to Laredo like it used (InterAmerican) in the 70s early 80s.
 

Mailliw

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Nitpick, it's the US government that would issuing visas to Mexican citizens not their own government. That nurse would've been standing in line for hous hours at the US consulate, not the Mexican Foreign Ministry.
 

Seaboard92

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When Amtrak and before that the Missouri Pacific operated to the border at Laredo it actually was connecting to a NDeM train the Aztec Eagle that ran all the way down to Mexico City. Without that onward conveyance I'm not sure what the future of the route is to be truthful.
 

Bob Dylan

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Hey, we don't have to go to India to enjoy the services of Indian physicians. :) In fact, I had a cardiologist who was Indian, but she ended up going back to India, so I'm going to need to find a new one the next time I need a stress test.
Depends on how much dental work you need. Not worth it for a cleaning, obviously. For multiple implants, definitely worth doing the math. Especially if you plan to book yourself comfortable lodging nearby and consider it a restful vacation.

You should also consider what KIND of work you need to have done. My Mexican dentist categorically refuses to do sinus lifts on patients who are thousands of miles from home. While complications are rare, they can be serious, and he's unwilling to participate in that kind of risk. YMMV.
Sounds like you found a really good Mexican Dentist. I've had Dental and Medical treatments in Mexico and found them to be very good and Reasonsble for sure compared to the US!
 

Bob Dylan

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When Amtrak and before that the Missouri Pacific operated to the border at Laredo it actually was connecting to a NDeM train the Aztec Eagle that ran all the way down to Mexico City. Without that onward conveyance I'm not sure what the future of the route is to be truthful.
As one who rode both Trains many times, I think it would be a success.

The several Mexican Bus Lines that operate between the US and Mexico on this Route make Profits and the Buses are really Nice compared to Greyhound which used to do a huge Business between Mexico and the US.( they even had a Ticket Office in Mexico City that Sold Mexicans tickets cheaper than I could buy them, so I always rode the Trains, mostly Old Mopac Equipment, which were really Cheap, but very Slow!😄)
 

Seaboard92

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As one who rode both Trains many times, I think it would be a success.

The several Mexican Bus Lines that operate between the US and Mexico on this Route make Profits and the Buses are really Nice compared to Greyhound which used to do a huge Business between Mexico and the US.( they even had a Ticket Office in Mexico City that Sold Mexicans tickets cheaper than I could buy them, so I always rode the Trains, mostly Old Mopac Equipment, which were really Cheap, but very Slow!😄)
What I would really like to see is some form of inter-city rail service return south of the border. I think that would be of great help in Mexico to the overall economy just like I believe passenger rail is here.

Lots of things to take into account that have changed since the NDeM days namely the fact that the track has all mostly improved and speeds should have increased. Maybe they could buy the Russian equipment because it's decent equipment but on a budget. And they still build good sleeping cars.
 

Bob Dylan

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What I would really like to see is some form of inter-city rail service return south of the border. I think that would be of great help in Mexico to the overall economy just like I believe passenger rail is here.

Lots of things to take into account that have changed since the NDeM days namely the fact that the track has all mostly improved and speeds should have increased. Maybe they could buy the Russian equipment because it's decent equipment but on a budget. And they still build good sleeping cars.
The President of Mexico has promised Passenger Rail will return, they're working on a High Speed Route from Mexico City to Querettero, and the Copper Canyon Trains still run( Tourist/ First Class and Second Class/ Locals).

I used to ride Trains and Ferries all over Mexico, but when they were Sold off to Private Companies ( mostly Jspanese)they got so expensive that Mexicans couldn't afford to ride so they mostly went away!

The Mexican Government would have to do something similar to Amtrak ,the Trains wouldnt make a Profit and would have to be subsidized like in India and other Countries!
 

me_little_me

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Nitpick, it's the US government that would issuing visas to Mexican citizens not their own government. That nurse would've been standing in line for hous hours at the US consulate, not the Mexican Foreign Ministry.
Not necessarily. Foreigners needing visas from both countries would need paperwork from their home country and would have to get it there. So the U.S. government might require that she provide evidence from the Mexican government to validate her citizenship, her residence, her criminal background or lack thereof,her fitness to receive a visa, her medical credentials, etc. When I needed a business visa to visit U.S. companies across the border in Mexico, I had to have paperwork from the local U.S. sheriff's department, my company, my company's auto insurance provider (we drove company cars), etc. every six months for my visa. This was back in the '80s when border crossings were much simpler than today.
 

jis

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Not necessarily. Foreigners needing visas from both countries would need paperwork from their home country and would have to get it there. So the U.S. government might require that she provide evidence from the Mexican government to validate her citizenship, her residence, her criminal background or lack thereof,her fitness to receive a visa, her medical credentials, etc. When I needed a business visa to visit U.S. companies across the border in Mexico, I had to have paperwork from the local U.S. sheriff's department, my company, my company's auto insurance provider (we drove company cars), etc. every six months for my visa. This was back in the '80s when border crossings were much simpler than today.
But a visa to enter the US will ultimately be issued by a US Consulate. Not a Mexican Government office. US Consulate may require documentation that has to be obtained from elsewhere and submitted to them with the visa application of course.
 

Barb Stout

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To bring this back to trains, imagine if such a visa system was expanded the amount of traffic to the borders via highways, buses and trains would be off the chain. Instead of workers sneaking over on UP trains down at Brownsville and scatter by the hundreds when the train stops on the US side for inspection, they can be on passenger train plying a new route instead, ie. having the Texas Eagle continue to Laredo like it used (InterAmerican) in the 70s early 80s.
What do you mean by "off the chain"?
 
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