Is the Montrealer coming back or just the Vermonter?

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jiml

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I have wondered the same thing. I'm not sure O&D numbers exist for that train. While I have certainly ridden the train between Toronto and New York several times, I'm not sure why any sane person would do it. You can drive it in 2/3 of the time and fly in just over an hour. It's hard to determine how many people actually cross the border and how far they go on either side. I'm sure Amtrak has numbers for the US-only ridership and VIA has theirs for the local service they treat it as.
 

sttom

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Other than equipment shortages, the Maple Leaf is also a good route to make into an overnight route. Off topic, but it would make more sense than a day time train, at least for end to end travel.
 

jiml

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Other than equipment shortages, the Maple Leaf is also a good route to make into an overnight route. Off topic, but it would make more sense than a day time train, at least for end to end travel.
Amtrak figured this out briefly, as documented by one of the historians here not that long ago. A rendition of the Niagara Rainbow was a sleeper out of Toronto to New York. Without looking it up I think it was a slumber-coach and single coach leaving Toronto late on weekends. If timed correctly nowadays it could be connected to the eastbound LSL and detached on the return. That may have been the previous concept - not sure.
 

PVD

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Right now the Leaf is the early AM NYP to points past Albany.. If they changed it to overnight, they would need to add an early train. I'm pretty sure NYSDOT mostly pays for it, they would need to buy in, adding the AM train and continuing to pay for the Leaf means spending more money, NYS would have to agree as well as VIA.
 

Barb Stout

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I have wondered the same thing. I'm not sure O&D numbers exist for that train. While I have certainly ridden the train between Toronto and New York several times, I'm not sure why any sane person would do it. You can drive it in 2/3 of the time and fly in just over an hour. It's hard to determine how many people actually cross the border and how far they go on either side. I'm sure Amtrak has numbers for the US-only ridership and VIA has theirs for the local service they treat it as.
Is the scenery on the route pretty? If I lived over there, that would be a reason for me to take it over flying and driving.
 

the_traveler

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Much of the route from SYR to ALB is right along the shore of the Mohawk River, and then much of the route from ALB to NYP is right along the shore of the Hudson River!
 

NS VIA Fan

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Is the scenery on the route pretty? If I lived over there, that would be a reason for me to take it over flying and driving.
When you cross the Niagara River.......you can see the mist but not the Falls a mile or so away.

It's 89 miles from Niagara Falls to Toronto and mainly an urban landscape although you do pass through orchards in the Grimsby area.
 

toddinde

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Not going to happen anytime soon. Don't know how things are in your part of the world, but governments here are all broke.
Trillions in tax cuts for big corporations, millionaires and defense doesn't support the poverty narrative. Dick Cheney was right; deficits don't matter. Growing GDP diminishes the importance of the debt. The Amtrak subsidy is hardly a rounding error in the federal budget. There is plenty of money to expand rail, and it will come.
 

Woodcut60

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Combination of both! I worked in the NE and my In Laws lived in Oakville,ON( Canada) and Ottawa.

When my late wife passed away( her ashes are in Oakville), I continued to visit thru the years ,and after retirement I took a couple of trips a year to Canada on Holiday on Amtrak and VIA.

I was planning to go this August, but of course now I'm hoping for 2021!
I'm sorry to hear that, that you can't visit now due to Covid-19. We're all hoping for 2021!
 

jiml

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While necessary, the border closing remains sad. I have a lot of friends in the US - at least one who really needs a visit. On a clear day I can see NYS from my deck and we're running low on stuff we usually buy there. I'll be glad when things get back to normal.
 

the_traveler

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Why is it “really” necessary? Do the germs in the air stop at the border, because the border is closed? Or do they go thru Customs?
 

PVD

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The border is not closed, it is open for commerce and trade, and a bunch of other categories. It is closed for leisure, recreation, and that sort of thing.
 

MARC Rider

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Other than equipment shortages, the Maple Leaf is also a good route to make into an overnight route. Off topic, but it would make more sense than a day time train, at least for end to end travel.
From reviewing my timetable collection, it seems that at the end of the Penn Central era (1971), the NYP - Toronto service was an overnight train.
 

NS VIA Fan

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The original overnight train......the Ontarian was gone by 1970 and replaced by a daytime run.....a year before Amtrak.

After Amtrak took over Penn Central's other Intercity passenger trains this was an anomaly......a Penn Central train that didn’t make it into Amtrak but continued to operate: It was jointly operated by PC-TH&B-CP Rail between Buffalo and Toronto. At Buffalo an across-the-platform connection was made with Empire Service trains.

The train used CP RDC Dayliners but operated with Penn Central crews on Penn Central track between Buffalo and Welland, Ontario. (PC and later Conrail crews alternated with TH&B crews)

Amtrak timetables showed it as a Penn Central and later a Conrail train. After VIA assumed operation of the CP-TH&B portion, it was shown as a Conrail train to Welland and a VIA train beyond.

The Museum of Railway Timetables (timetables.org)

The Museum of Railway Timetables (timetables.org)

The Museum of Railway Timetables (timetables.org)

Eventually this train became the jointly operated Amtrak-VIA Maple Leaf between New York and Toronto but now operating on CN via Niagara Falls in April 1981.

And a couple of CP Rail timetables from that era:




 
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Mailliw

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Jun 14, 2020
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True High-speed rail between NYC and Montreal isn't on table, but what about higher-speed conventional rail with diesel-electrics or dual modes? Would it be feasible to (assuming preclearance at Gare Centrale) get travel times down to the 5-6 hour range? That would be faster than bus and competitive with driving time. It'd also allow twice daily service not just to Montreal but to everywhere north of Albany. As much as I like the idea of a night train this could be even more practical.
 

jiml

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True High-speed rail between NYC and Montreal isn't on table, but what about higher-speed conventional rail with diesel-electrics or dual modes? Would it be feasible to (assuming preclearance at Gare Centrale) get travel times down to the 5-6 hour range? That would be faster than bus and competitive with driving time. It'd also allow twice daily service not just to Montreal but to everywhere north of Albany. As much as I like the idea of a night train this could be even more practical.
Current Amtrak trains take an average of 2.5 hours to cover the 141 miles between New York and Albany at decent median speed. Montreal is 240 miles from Albany on less-travelled, and therefore lower speed, trackage. Other than moving both border formalities to Montreal as you suggest, I don't see where further improvements could be made without significant investment in infrastructure.
 

the_traveler

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Also, the speeds are slower since on one side is the Adirondack Mountains and on the other side is Lake Champlain. The rails basically follow the shoreline of the Lake because much of the way the mountains continue right to the Lake.
 
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