Syracuse to Ottawa Canada

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,799
Location
Denver
In 1952 it wasn't even possible. You could go from Utica or Syracuse to Masena, NY but then you had to get off the train go 10.7 miles to the next station up the line at Helena, NY and get on a winter only train that went into Ottawa. And that was on the New York Central. Now from Utica you could get to Ogdensville (Ogdensburg) and maybe you could get a ferry across the river to the CP/CN lines. But even that wasn't great as the train to Ottawa left on CP at 0700.

As far as now if you were taking the train the only option I know is to take the early morning Empire (that wee hour departure from Niagara Falls) to where you can connect to the Adirondack at Schenectady and go north. Connect to VIA at Montreal. Going back connect to the Lake Shore Limited.
I checked the June 1916 Guide and there were two daily except Sunday New York Central trains to Ottawa connecting at Tupper Lake Junction with their Montreal<>Utica line. The Ottawa line went through Cornwall.
 

fdaley

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
437
Location
upstate New York
In 1952 it wasn't even possible. You could go from Utica or Syracuse to Masena, NY but then you had to get off the train go 10.7 miles to the next station up the line at Helena, NY and get on a winter only train that went into Ottawa. And that was on the New York Central. Now from Utica you could get to Ogdensville (Ogdensburg) and maybe you could get a ferry across the river to the CP/CN lines. But even that wasn't great as the train to Ottawa left on CP at 0700.

As far as now if you were taking the train the only option I know is to take the early morning Empire (that wee hour departure from Niagara Falls) to where you can connect to the Adirondack at Schenectady and go north. Connect to VIA at Montreal. Going back connect to the Lake Shore Limited.

Even when the Adirondack is running, I don't think the northbound arrives in time to connect reliably to the last VIA train to Ottawa, so an overnight in Montreal likely would be required for an all-rail routing.

Now, in 1952, although there wasn't a direct Syracuse-to-Ottawa train, I believe the New York Central still had a Buffalo-Montreal sleeper that ran via the Adirondack Division north of Utica. With a morning arrival in Montreal, it would have made same-day connections to the CP and CN routes from there to Ottawa. Timing at Syracuse would have been less than ideal, however -- after midnight heading north and probably about 5 a.m. on the return trip.
 
Last edited:

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,799
Location
Denver
Just while this discussion has been taking place, Greyhound has announced that their 3x daily Toronto<>Buffalo<>New York City service will go to 2x daily. It's effective on Jan. 26th.
 

Anderson

Engineer
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,736
Location
Virginia
All cross border rail service is suspended indefinitely due to the pandemic. The Cascades has substitute bus service between Seattle and Vancouver only, but not the intermediate stations. The Maple Leaf doesn't even have that.

You could take an Empire Service train to Niagara Falls, NY, taxi or uber to the Rainbow Bridge, cross as a pedestrian. Metrolinx/GO Transit has several buses a day between Niagara Falls, ON and Toronto with a transfer to train in Aldershot or Hamilton (I misremembered which).

Then you could take VIA to Ottawa. BTW, the Maple Leaf did not connect with any trains to Ottawa. It arrived too late. You would have had to layover in Toronto. You need to look at VIA's service between Ottawa and Toronto and work backwards from there to try to construct a same day connection using Empire Service and Metrolinx.

It sounds pretty arduous to me, self transfer across the border from train to bus, bus to train at Aldershot(?), train to train at Toronto. @PVD's driving suggestion sounds both easier and quicker.
There were also a few schedule iterations when you could also "white knuckle" it if the Adirondack cleared the border early [I believe there was about a 10-minute gap between the Adirondack arriving and the last train to Ottawa departing at one time]. You could, however, do this in reverse quite comfortably [I did this once].
 

fdaley

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
437
Location
upstate New York
There were also a few schedule iterations when you could also "white knuckle" it if the Adirondack cleared the border early [I believe there was about a 10-minute gap between the Adirondack arriving and the last train to Ottawa departing at one time]. You could, however, do this in reverse quite comfortably [I did this once].

Yeah, there was a period in the early '90s when the Adirondack was due at Montreal at 6:30 p.m., and I used it a few times to make white-knuckle connections to the Ocean and Atlantic at St. Lambert. The last time, I remember standing behind the conductor in the vestibule as we approached the station, hoping I didn't see a VIA park car speeding past in a blur. Luckily, the Ocean was delayed leaving Central Station that night. I guess I had a higher tolerance for stress in those days. Going the other way, as you say, the Adirondack had much more forgiving connections.
 
Last edited:

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,799
Location
Denver
The trans-border service continues to struggle.

Effective 3 Feb 22 on Greyhound Lines:

TABLE 152
Schedules 4007, 4008 – The portion between Montreal, PQ and Albany, NY will be discontinued. The times between Albany, NY and New York, NY will remain as published.

This leaves GL with one round trip and ADP with two round trips Montreal<>NYC.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
4,623
Location
Baltimore. MD
The trans-border service continues to struggle.

Effective 3 Feb 22 on Greyhound Lines:

TABLE 152
Schedules 4007, 4008 – The portion between Montreal, PQ and Albany, NY will be discontinued. The times between Albany, NY and New York, NY will remain as published.

This leaves GL with one round trip and ADP with two round trips Montreal<>NYC.
Is service to Ticonderoga, Port Henry and Plattsburgh also messed up, or do they have a local bus that takes care of that?
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
6,193
Location
NYC/Queens
I'm not sure, I have friends in Plattsburgh that come to NYC pretty often. SOP for them is drive to Albany, Amtrak down. Funny, usually when we talk about buses it's the new Prevosts and Novas running through their neighborhood on test runs before they come to NYC for delivery.
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,799
Location
Denver
Is service to Ticonderoga, Port Henry and Plattsburgh also messed up, or do they have a local bus that takes care of that?
Just as in the Empire service, there are more buses between Albany and NYC, so I understand why someone would drive or get a ride from someone from Plattsburgh.

Looking at the December timetable, 4007 was a southbound daylight run, stopping Plattsburgh, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Albany. 4008 was also a daylight with the same intermediates plus suburban Ridgewood, NJ.

The remaining GL trips are both overnight on hot schedules. Southbound the only intermediate service is at Queensbury (discharge), Albany and Ridgewood (discharge). Northbound the intermediates are Albany, Saratoga Springs, and Plattsburgh. They sometimes adjust the stops to make more sense later on. In this unregulated era they are winging it at times.

Sorry for interrupting this thread with bus info, but it makes sense to pair it with eastern cross-border travel issues. The overall trend is not good.
 

Amtrak25

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 7, 2021
Messages
227
Location
New Jersey
Two Adirondack Trailways Montreal buses is all they ever had, they stop at Longueuil, so they are running at 100%. It is Greyhound with their one time 3 or 4 freqeuncies that is down to one. The Montreal - Vermont - Boston route of four frequencies was down down to one also the last time I looked.


Amtrak could run the Adirondack to Saratoga if NYS wanted it to, but they obviously are not interested. It is a hell of a tedious schlep on CDTA buses from Rensselaer. Ethan Allen runs at totally different times.
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
32,303
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Amtrak could run the Adirondack to Saratoga if NYS wanted it to, but they obviously are not interested. It is a hell of a tedious schlep on CDTA buses from Rensselaer. Ethan Allen runs at totally different times.
Too bad they don;t have the new double ended trainsets. They could run all the way to Plattsburgh. If they really wished they could do so with a top and tail powered set even today, if they could find enough maintained and serviced equipment that is.
 

George

GAT
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Messages
453
Location
San Francisco
@Amtrak25 - The timetable linked is dated 2017. I read some months ago that Greyhound Canada has gone out of business. (Sorry, I can't recite the source.) I don't know if that includes Greyhound busses originating in the USA.
 

Amtrak25

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 7, 2021
Messages
227
Location
New Jersey
@Amtrak25 - The timetable linked is dated 2017. I read some months ago that Greyhound Canada has gone out of business. (Sorry, I can't recite the source.) I don't know if that includes Greyhound busses originating in the USA.

Go to the left and they have a pdf of every month through Dec 1, 2021.

Greyhound Canada only entered the US at Buffalo and Detroit.
Greyhound Lines runs to Montreal and Vancouver.
 
Last edited:
Top