Resumption of Amtrak service to Canada (2022)

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We took advantage of the new rules and went to Quebec on Saturday for a little shopping and dinner. Other than having to use the ArriveCAN app, the border experience was completely uneventful.

That said, I don't really know how Amtrak can effectively monitor whether or not people have entered their information into ArriveCAN, which could make the situation at the border crossing problematic.
They need to eliminate that "feature", which is nothing more than making it look like the government is doing something. Most people that I know who have crossed the border recently have said the CBSA agents were not aware or did not have access to the data entered in ArriveCAN, nor the time to look it up for each and every person crossing. For a land crossing that requires a secondary (park, get out of the car) inspection. Also, several have been selected for random testing and quarantine to wait for the results. A friend told me last night that while he enjoyed the extra 4 days off work, he was glad his sick benefits covered it. (Both he and his wife tested negative, with her results arriving the next day.)
 
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Also, several have been selected for random testing and quarantine to wait for the results.
Hmm... we were selected for random testing a few months ago. We were not required to quarantine while awaiting the results. Has the policy changed?

In our situation, we had tested within 72 hours of our arrival and were staying for just one night. The test results from the random test did not come in until we were already back home. So absurd.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Most people that I know who have crossed the border recently have said the CBSA agents were not aware or did not have access to the data entered in ArriveCAN...
My guess is the CBSA mostly ignores ArriveCAN until they are annoyed with someone but are struggling to articulate a reason to interfere, at which point they can ask similar questions and cross reference the answers. If there are any discrepancies then the traveler can be ArriveCANNED.

For a land crossing that requires a secondary (park, get out of the car) inspection. Also, several have been selected for random testing and quarantine to wait for the results. A friend told me last night that while he enjoyed the extra 4 days off work, he was glad his sick benefits covered it. (Both he and his wife tested negative, with her results arriving the next day.)
The more I research how the CBSA operates the less I want to put any future trips in their hands. With today's prices travelers will probably be on the hook for thousands before they can know if the CBSA will even let them in. By the time you find out that money is probably gone forever. So far as I am aware travel insurance does not cover being refused for cause or on a whim, so you're simply out the money with little chance of getting it back or using it later.
 
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Joined
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Hmm... we were selected for random testing a few months ago. We were not required to quarantine while awaiting the results. Has the policy changed?

In our situation, we had tested within 72 hours of our arrival and were staying for just one night. The test results from the random test did not come in until we were already back home. So absurd.
That's always been the policy for returning Canadians, at the discretion of the officer. I suspect they might be more lenient with visitors. Other than anecdotal accounts by friends recently - some who have been told to quarantine where others have had it suggested, there are whole threads on this subject on other travel forums. A Canadian returning to Canada is not necessarily at an advantage, although there don't seem to be any consequences for ignoring the order.
 

zephyr17

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They may not look at the ArriveCan info you entered, but they definitely check that you did it. When I crossed by Amtrak/Cantrail bus on March 25th, anyone who hadn't completed ArriveCan got booted away from the podium and told in no uncertain terms to complete it before getting back in line.

You do not need to show the ArriveCan receipt itself because it is linked to your identity document in their system. When they pull up your passport, NEXUS, etc, your ArriveCan is automatically pulled up.

ArriveCan is how they know you are vaxxed. I know a CBSA agent looked at my info and said "Three shots. Nice!" The only place that info was was in ArriveCan. I do not think they pay any attention to the quarantine info, though. Just that you did ArriveCan successfully and it shows I (Immunized) or V(Vaccinated, check documentation).
 
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Amtrak25

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Even with Montreal accessible this summer via Greyhound and can't wait to go back to my favorite city, I'll just vacation a few days this summer in Vermont, and not put up with the stress of Arrive Canada App, potential COVID test, and concocting a 10 day quarantine plan all to be evaluated at the border.
 

thully

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The Canadian government website says that fully vaccinated travelers asked to take a random test do not need to quarantine while waiting for results:



Are border agents not adhering to this? Thinking about doing the Canadian+Empire Builder loop this summer, and would either enter Canada in Windsor or Toronto airport (if starting with the Canadian) or from Washington state (if starting with the EB). Would probably only spend 1 night in Toronto having been there a few years ago, but planning to spend a few nights in Vancouver before/after the Canadian. It would obviously be an issue if I had to quarantine longer than I was planning to be there - could obviously work it out per my quarantine plan, but don’t really want to do that unless I’m actually positive.
That's always been the policy for returning Canadians, at the discretion of the officer. I suspect they might be more lenient with visitors. Other than anecdotal accounts by friends recently - some who have been told to quarantine where others have had it suggested, there are whole threads on this subject on other travel forums. A Canadian returning to Canada is not necessarily at an advantage, although there don't seem to be any consequences for ignoring the order.
 

zephyr17

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The Canadian government website says that fully vaccinated travelers asked to take a random test do not need to quarantine while waiting for results:



Are border agents not adhering to this? Thinking about doing the Canadian+Empire Builder loop this summer, and would either enter Canada in Windsor or Toronto airport (if starting with the Canadian) or from Washington state (if starting with the EB). Would probably only spend 1 night in Toronto having been there a few years ago, but planning to spend a few nights in Vancouver before/after the Canadian. It would obviously be an issue if I had to quarantine longer than I was planning to be there - could obviously work it out per my quarantine plan, but don’t really want to do that unless I’m actually positive.
Border agents are, in fact, adhering to this to the letter. You do not have to quarantine while awaiting results of the arrival test.

But you still must enter a quarantine "plan" in order to successfully complete ArriveCan. You do not have to normally execute the plan, you do not have to have reservations for it. But you must have the "plan".

The issue is that, if you are selected for a random arrival test and it comes back positive, you MUST quarantine. And they monitor and check quarantine. The only exception is if you have a private vehicle, you can self-deport rather than quarantine, stopping only for gas. You are not allowed to self-deport using public transportation.

Since the random arrival test still remains, it is probably still a good idea to take a test just before you go, so you can be reasonably sure you won't get caught with a positive arrival test and have quarantine upend your travel plans.
 

thully

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OK - that’s what I expected. Figured if you were randomly tested and it came back positive you’d have to quarantine, and was thinking taking a test pre-departure may be worth it if they are randomly testing. PCR might be preferable in that circumstance since those stay positive longer than the at-home rapid tests.
 

Amtrak25

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I was starting to fill out the Arrive CAN app when I saw Greyhound resumed Bulrington - Montreal service, and got enthusiastic.

But when I got to the quarantine plan part, I dropped it like a hot potoato. The plan would have to be to hole up in a hotel for $150 a night for 10 nights, have only takeout food, CBSA would have to believe your plan is credible, and if testing positive, lose your money on return bus tickets, as well as wages until return, and your unstopped snailmail will keep pilign up.

As I said, too much stress.
 

zephyr17

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I was starting to fill out the Arrive CAN app when I saw Greyhound resumed Bulrington - Montreal service, and got enthusiastic.

But when I got to the quarantine plan part, I dropped it like a hot potoato. The plan would have to be to hole up in a hotel for $150 a night for 10 nights, have only takeout food, CBSA would have to believe your plan is credible, and if testing positive, lose your money on return bus tickets, as well as wages until return, and your unstopped snailmail will keep pilign up.

As I said, too much stress.
I have been up 3 times since the border reopened. You do not have to have reservations to back up your plan, and I have never had a CBSA agent ask a single thing about it.

On 2 of the 3, my plans were not really all that credible as the only delivery food would have been pizza. The third one did offer room service. BTW, only delivery is acceptable, takeout is not as you are not allowed to leave your quarantine accommodation.

The quarantine "plan" is the most absurd thing, all it does is encourage writing fiction. And I doubt CBSA even looks at it at entry. They certainly showed no interest whatsoever in it.

As I said in an earlier post, even though testing is no longer required, with the possibility of a random arrival test, it probably is still a good idea to be tested just before you leave so you can be reasonably confident an arrival test will be negative. That is, unless you drive, in which case you can "self-deport" rather than quarantining.
 
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thully

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Canada has relaxed its entry rules somewhat as of April 25th. While you still need to use ArriveCAN and provide proof of vaccination, a quarantine plan is no longer required for fully vaccinated or exempt travelers, though random testing (and the requirement to quarantine if positive) is still in effect. Also, the requirement to wear a mask in all public spaces 14 days after arriving in Canada is no longer in effect.


I do wonder if this may make it easier to resume cross-border trains, along with other cross-border transit that remains suspended (such as the Detroit-Windsor tunnel bus). It does seem a bit odd that they no longer are doing the quarantine plan but still plan on doing random testing though…
 
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chickpea

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You do not need to show the ArriveCan receipt itself because it is linked to your identity document in their system. When they pull up your passport, NEXUS, etc, your ArriveCan is automatically pulled up.

ArriveCan is how they know you are vaxxed.

All still correct as of my land crossing at Lansdowne/Thousand Islands last Friday the 6th! I barely had to answer questions, everything was linked to my Nexus. And, happily...

Canada has relaxed its entry rules somewhat as of April 25th. While you still need to use ArriveCAN and provide proof of vaccination, a quarantine plan is no longer required for fully vaccinated or exempt travelers...

I was pleased not to have to give a quarantine plan like last time, though I am very lucky and do have a place I can be alone (friend's little lake cottage).

Bizarrely I was exposed to COVID while there, but happily escaped it, then tested negative for my flight out to California from Toronto - that test was supposedly required for US entry by air - but not land, go figure - and yet no one ever asked for my proof! 🤔 🙃

Edit to add: in train-related news, I was traveling to Toronto for my flight by train from Kingston and there was apparently a fatality when a freight train hit a truck not far west of Kingston. Huge delays. I ended up on a train due in Toronto at about 11am and we got in at 3:30pm. Luckily I'd left tons of time for my trip there and made the flight no problem.
 
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williamn

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Mar 6, 2013
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I've given up on The Maple Leaf resuming for my July Utica-Toronto trip now! I think instead I'll take the train as far as Buffalo and get the Greyhound from there - which seems to be significantly faster Buffalo -Toronto than the old train schedule!
 
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flitcraft

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WashDOT is furious with Amtrak over the newly announced delay in resuming the Cascades to Vancouver BC, because the Cascades can't cover the Washington stops north of Seattle till Vancouver is back. Ironically, the quotes from WashDOT in the Seattle Times (firewalled, sorry) complain that Amtrak is prioritizing LD trains like resuming 7 day service on the Empire Builder over the state supported corridor service like the Cascades. Amtrak's excuse is that they are short conductors--however, it appears that the Amtrak job listings out of Seattle do not include conductors.

I've ridden the Cascades north to Vancouver and to Bellingham frequently over the years, and it is a pain to get up there without the train.
 
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WashDOT is furious with Amtrak over the newly announced delay in resuming the Cascades to Vancouver BC, because the Cascades can't cover the Washington stops north of Seattle till Vancouver is back. Ironically, the quotes from WashDOT in the Seattle Times (firewalled, sorry) complain that Amtrak is prioritizing LD trains like resuming 7 day service on the Empire Builder over the state supported corridor service like the Cascades. Amtrak's excuse is that they are short conductors--however, it appears that the Amtrak job listings out of Seattle do not include conductors.

I've ridden the Cascades north to Vancouver and to Bellingham frequently over the years, and it is a pain to get up there without the train.
Why can’t Amtrak run trains between Seattle and Bellingham until service into Canada resumes…especially if Washington is paying for it?
 

HenryK

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The other day I posted asking the best way (taxi, Uber?) to get from Vancouver's cruise terminal to the VIA Rail station after a cruise for an Amtrak bus trip to Seattle. The post disappeared for some reason. Anyone have an answer?
 

greatwestern

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The other day I posted asking the best way (taxi, Uber?) to get from Vancouver's cruise terminal to the VIA Rail station after a cruise for an Amtrak bus trip to Seattle. The post disappeared for some reason. Anyone have an answer?
I can still see the post !
 

WWW

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Google Map for reference:

Pacific Central Station - Google Maps

Red Dot is the Pacific Central (Train) Station - this is in lower right of image

The white oblique shape structure in the Harbor is the Cruise Terminal Canada Place

For convenience take a cab taxi uber from the Cruise Terminal to the train station -
You could do it by metro bus but why bother
I believe the cab rate is a flat charge just like going to the airport -
The trip is less than a mile and a half - takes about 10 minutes

From the CP train station to the King St Amtrak station - - -
The Amtrak bus will take about 4 hours maybe less if the customs border folks
have their act together.

As an alternative to the Amtrak Bus there is the Quick Shuttle bus from the Cruise Terminal
to the Seattle Airport LINK:

Home - Quick Shuttle (quickcoach.com)
 
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Chatter163

OBS Chief
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The other day I posted asking the best way (taxi, Uber?) to get from Vancouver's cruise terminal to the VIA Rail station after a cruise for an Amtrak bus trip to Seattle. The post disappeared for some reason. Anyone have an answer?
It's still there, in plain view.
 
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