Morning Read: Easier train travel between Montreal and North Country?

Amtrak train 69, The Adirondack. Photo: Adam E. Moreira

It may soon be just a little bit easier to take the Amtrak train north to Montreal, according to Senator Charles Schumer’s office.  This from the Associated Press.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Canadian officials have tentatively agreed to end the two-hour inspection and screening delays at St. Lambert in Quebec.

The deal still needs final U.S. and Canadian approval. But new screening facilities in Montreal are being built for Customs and Border Patrol agents to complete prescreenings and end the need to stop at St. Lambert.

Schumer says Amtrak has agreed to no longer making the extra stop once the new facilities are approved and operating.

The North Country Chamber of Commerce says the move is a major economic step toward creating what it calls border fluidity.

Making the trip a bit quicker might make it…feasible.  Currently, a train ride from Plattsburgh to Montreal takes about four hours and gets you into the city at 7pm.  That trip includes a nearly two-hour stop at the border.

By car, the drive takes about an hour and fifteen minutes.

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11 Responses to “Morning Read: Easier train travel between Montreal and North Country?”

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  1. This last fall I took the train from Montreal to Plattsburgh after sailing to Montreal from Clayton. The border stop was absurd. The Border Patrol went through with radiation detectors, checked all the passenger’s documents, etc. You’d think we were entering a high security military base. Why not instead have agents check documents as passengers board and is the radiation screening really necessary? I doubt it.

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  2. Pete Klein says:

    As things now stand, I have no intention of ever leaving or entering this country.
    My philosophy is simple. If the government doesn’t trust me, I don’t trust it.

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  3. Pete Klein says:

    Breaking news
    U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Bill Owens announced today, May 14, that the Federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) has heeded their call and approved Iowa Pacific Holdings’ request for common carrier status, which will allow them to reopen the Tahawus Line between North Creek and Newcomb, and resume hauling freight to and from businesses along that line. Iowa Pacific Holdings has been seeking this rail status for several months, and after the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Transportation got on board with this plan, Schumer, Gillibrand and Owens called on the Federal Surface Transportation board to grant this critical status.

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  4. Walker says:

    So much for the New York State constitution.

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  5. Michael Greer says:

    Making train travel easier and faster is a great step in the right direction. Now if we only had connecting routes from Syracuse, Watertown, and especially Canton and Potsdam, then on through Massena and Cornwall. We live very close to a major East/West railway, but access from the North Country is difficult.

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  6. tootightmike says:

    Oh Pete…I don’t like a lot of what our government is doing, and the Patriot act makes me feel like I live in the old Soviet union, or Nazi Germany, or Israel, but I’m not about to let that stop me from visiting Canada. Both Ottawa and Montreal are closer and easier to get to than Syracuse, and there’s fun to have, culture to enjoy, museums and galleries to wander, and food…ah the restaurants…don’t miss it.
    The only negative experience is crossing the border. The paranoia is thick, and it’s eye opening to see how much money can be spent to feed this national fear.

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  7. Pete Klein says:

    Mike, why bother with Montreal when there is Manhattan?

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  8. tootightmike says:

    Manhattan is great too, but Ottawa and Montreal are so close…

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  9. tootightmike says:

    …and back to the original point…wouldn’t it be cool to be able to get on a train here, kick back and read a book, and step off in either of those places. We rode the train to New Orleans a few years ago and I’m totally convinced…we should stop spending money on airports and highways, and go with rail.

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  10. Paul says:

    This is good news for the 4 people that use this train.

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  11. oa says:

    Actually, Paul, Amtrak ridership on the line has been increasing for some time now, despite these stupid delays. Takes people off the roads, too, so less traffic locally. This is a good thing.

    http://www.metro-magazine.com/News/Story/2012/04/Amtrak-on-pace-to-set-new-ridership-record.aspx

    http://www.progressiverailroading.com/passenger_rail/news/Amtrak-reaches-16straight-months-of-ridership-growth–26003#

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