• Amtrak's ADIRONDACK

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  • 566 posts
  • 1
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 38

  by Jeff Smith
 
DutchRailnut wrote:The mind set in Albany now is screw Amtrak.
Dutch, do you or EL (Jim) think there's any chance NYS will take over some of the NYS Amtrak trains (excluding LD trains such as LSL) and run them under the MTA/MNRR flag? Obviously, MNRR is a commuter railroad, but maybe some of the shorter/corridor trips?

  by DutchRailnut
 
not unless Amtrak folds, Why would New York pay for MNCR to operate the trains while Amtrak is mandated to provide core network trains for free.
Only 403b train funded by New York is Adirondack, all Empire trains and 48/49 are part of core network.

  by Jeff Smith
 
"...if Amtrak folds..."

Even if that's not likely, it's possible that Amtrak might want to divest itself of routes, and NYS might want to assume them, provided that the funding source for Amtrak for NYS routes ends up going to NYS, so that no one is out of pocket.

  by johnpbarlow
 
Ornoi1 (aka Ross) says
waiting on single track and customs plays the largest chunk (98%) of the reasons that the Adirondack is late daily
Maybe the easiest answer here is to annex Canada as the 51st state to eliminate that custom's delay. :wink:

On a more serious note, somehow the EU nations have figured out to streamline the customs process as you go from country to country by air (I've never crossed a European border by train).

  by hsr_fan
 
When I traveled from Cologne to Basel, I don't think there even was a customs check. But on a later train ride from Lucerne, Switzerland to Innsbruck in Austria, we had a brief customs stop where agents boarded the train and checked passports. It was certainly much quicker than the Adirondack customs stop.

  by Dick H
 
The mention of Canada becoming the 51st state, reminded me of several proposals that were floating around the last time that Quebec was making serious noises about becoming an independent nation. While this would not have helped travel between New York and Quebec, it was proposed that the Atlantic Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador all petition to become part of the United States. Maybe Amtrak would bring back the "Gull" from Boston to Halifax...

Dick

  by PRRTechFan
 
johnpbarlow wrote: ...somehow the EU nations have figured out to streamline the customs process as you go from country to country by air...
...Wasn't NAFTA supposed to accomplish the same thing between the USA and Canada? Was the export of American manufacturing to Mexico and Mexican citizens to the USA the only result? :wink: ...Or did 9/11 quash plans to provide more open and easier access between the US and it's neighbors?
Sarge wrote: Wouldn't it be common sense to have the customs check in Montreal, rather than right at the border? This way the train's not sitting on the track while customs walks through, eh?
Are our customs inspectors permitted to enter Canada to perform their inspections? It certainly seems like a logical idea, but I know nothing about the rules and regulations that may permit or prohibit it.
Railjunkie wrote: Top speed for passenger is 60mph, with a lot of 30 to 45mph due to curves and grades.
Are you sure about that 60mph limit? I don't have access to any better track and speed information; but two years ago on my Adirondack trip, we definitely were exceeding 60mph on several stretches of track north of Saratoga Springs. I am not familiar enough with the track and area up there to be able to tell you exactly where and how long; but we sure seemed to be exceeding 60 just prior to reaching Plattsburgh and again once out of Plattsburgh to just before Rouses Point on my northbound trip...

  by hsr_fan
 
I think 60 was the max north of Saratoga when I took it in October.

  by JimBoylan
 
Sarge wrote:Wouldn't it be common sense to have the customs check in Montreal, rather than right at the border?
PRRTechFan wrote:Are our customs inspectors permitted to enter Canada to perform their inspections? I know nothing about the rules and regulations that may permit or prohibit it.
They do it in Vancouver, B.C. for Amtrak's Talgo Train. However, I don't know if it's permitted. When the Canadian Pacific train was restarted across Northern Maine about 1980, U. S. Customs decreed that traveling inspections were not legal, and any "grandfather clause" had expired with the last discontinuance of the train. There was also a press release that the Customs Department's mission was not to facilitate international trade, but rather to enforce laws to hinder it with tariffs, duties, and prohibitions.

  by TomNelligan
 
PRRTechFan wrote:Are our customs inspectors permitted to enter Canada to perform their inspections? It certainly seems like a logical idea, but I know nothing about the rules and regulations that may permit or prohibit it.
It is permited with the consent of the host country, in this case Canada. For many, many years now, airline passengers headed to the US from Toronto and Montreal (and I believe from several other major Canadian airports as well) clear US customs at their originating airport. US officers screen passengers on Canadian soil by agreement with the Canadian government.

And as I have written several times in various threads in this forum, prior to the Amtrak era US customs officials performed on-board inspections on southbound trains out of Montreal, and Canadian customs officials similarly performed en route inspections northbound.

  by quadrock
 
When I did a rountrip on the Adirondack this past April, customs on the way back to the USA actually seemed a lot more efficient, as they were waiting to board the train as soon as we got there. On the way to Canada, we sat for about 20 minutes before the van carrying the inspectors even got there, and about 15 more after that before they even boarded the train. That delay, coupled with extremely slow running from the border to St. Lambert greatly increases Adirondack's travel time.

On a positive note, the staff was great with frequent updates as to train status and cafe car openings/closings. The only non-custom delay we encountered was on the way back to NYP in Metro-North territory. Understandable, as we arrive about an hour and a half after our scheduled slot. They did hold an NEC train to Washington for 15 minutes though, which a lot of passengers were very grateful for.
  by Passaic River Rat
 
Perhaps a new treaty with Canada could be negotiated to allow for on-board inspections.
Unless there is one in place already. :(
  by Greg Moore
 
Passaic River Rat wrote:Perhaps a new treaty with Canada could be negotiated to allow for on-board inspections.
Unless there is one in place already. :(
Unfortunately given the new rules being implemented and this administration's apathy towards Amtrak, it ain't gonna happen.

  by Dieter
 
I haven't ridden The Adirondack in ten years and from these exchanges and from speaking with other people, it is clear that not much has changed.

The biggest delay of all is the stop at Albany. The longest crew change I've ever sat through. In the days of the Turboliner service, the tank was topped off from a truck, the snack bar was replenished, but never adequately to cover the entire ride. Is that train waiting for a connector from Buffalo or Boston, or why is the delay so long coming and going?

As for the Customs delay, I've been on that train and seen some pretty seedy people get the lock-stock-and-barrel treatment. In 1997, I saw several well-dressed Saudi and Pakistani nationals taken off the train by the Canadians at LaColle, never to be seen again.

Screening people is a problem because if you want to turn them back, you don't want to deal with them 40-60 miles past the border and have to worry about the logistics of getting them around if the team decides to deny a person or persons entry. It's a sticky issue.

Look at how US bound air passengers are handled at Dorval; you are passed through US Customs & Immigration BEFORE you board the flight. That way, if there is a problem and someone is denied entry, they're still on Canadian soil. If the traveller is denied entry to the US upon arrival, it is the responsibility of the AIRLINE to get the person back to the point of origin.

In the case of people being taken off the train at LaColle, I have heard of them being reassured that if allowed into Canada, transport to Central Station Montreal would be provided. I don't know if Immigration Canada or AMTRAK pays for that ride, but since the person has paid for passage, I know they don't shell out any additional. If they were NOT allowed into Canada, I assume they would have a choice of their own means, or Amtrak putting them up in a Motel in Rouses Point and having a ride back to New York the next day. Anybody know about that for sure?

I always wondered why Canadians don't board the train at Plattsburgh and begin processing people between there and LaColle.

Speeds? I'm still waiting for Canadian Pacific to do something about that. I remember under D&H, there was GRASS growing between the rails, like abandoned trackage in a meadow. I remember several times between 1977 and 1997, having to back up into a siding to allow a freight to pass.

D/
  • 1
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 38