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Montreal, Quebec

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Amtrak's Adirondack arrives at CN Central Station (Gare Centrale) in downtown Montreal. The station concourse is the centre of an underground network of shopping malls linking hotels, office buildings and the Metro (subway system). The Queen Elizabeth (a former CN Hotel, now a Fairmont) is located directly above the station with elevators dropping right to the concourse level. The Hilton Bonaventure is across the street. If you stay at the Hilton……ask for a S-E facing room which will give you an excellent view of the elevated approach into the station.














Another Hotel directly connected underground is the Marriot Chateau Champlain…..a former CPR Hotel and across the street from Windsor Station. Trains no longer enter Windsor but the concourse is nicely restored and used for receptions. Trains (AMT Commuter only) now stop at Gare Lucien L'allier just to the west on the other side of the Bell Centre which was built above the truncated tracks into Windsor.





Montreal is a very safe city and no need to fear walking around at night. Unlike other cities where downtown closes at 5pm…….On a warm summer evening, St. Catherines St., two blocks up from Gare Centrale can be just a busy at 12 mid-night as it is at 12 noon with all the bars, and restaurants.






Don't speak French……no problem…..just about anyone you would be dealing with in hotels, restaurants and transportation is bi-lingual.


For the railfan, plan for a couple of hours at the VIA Station in Dorval. You can take an AMT commuter train there……12 miles west of downtown. Two CN tracks run parallel with two CP tracks providing what is essentially a four track mainline busy with freight, VIA (on CN) and AMT (on CP) and there's also the occasional CSX train on CN.





Another interesting AMT route is the electric Deux-Montagnes line running north out of Central through the 3 mile Mount Royal Tunnel. This is a scenic route, doing some island hopping in Laval. It also has the most frequent service of the several AMT routes so it easy to make a quick round-trip.





To sample some VIA trains, Ottawa is 115 miles away and Quebec City, 180 miles. Each city has several trains per day so a quick round trip is easily accomplished. I would recommend Quebec City for its history and architecture. Buildings dating from the 1600's, lining narrow streets located within the old walled, gated city. In summer, outdoor bars and cafes……and very European.





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Nice sales job. I'm def hooked on visiting Montreal for a few days, and heading up to Quebec too!


Thanks NS!

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:hi: Oh Canada! As always great pics and info! Makes one wnat to head to the Great White North ASAP! Looking forward to returning (in the Summer! :lol: )to ride the Ocean from Beautiful Montreal to the Maritimes! Along with the Canadian it's on my Bucket List!! (Ive done lots of Corridor trains between Windsor andMontreal and the Maple Leaf and Adirondack many times!!My favorite was the Constellation Night Train between Montreal and Toronto, why did they stop it :( ???) Edited by jimhudson

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So happy to have lived in Montréal for a year on a student work permit (that was how I was introduced to Amtrak, on numerous trips that started with the Adirondack).


In addition to the places mentioned above, I can highly recommend Montréal as a city to explore on foot at any time of the year. Spring,summer and autumn are equally delightful, and provided you wrap up warm it's a very decent pedestrian city in winter, with sidewalks cleared regularly and lots of appealing cafés, bistros and bars to warm up in. The 'Plateau' area is particularly beautiful for a meander - old walk-up houses, nice parks, colourful side streets and lots of good places to eat and drink along the main drags.


Likewise the 'Montagne' in the middle of the city has a wonderful climb to the viewpoint over downtown.


Finally, no trip is complete with exploring the city by Métro. Bus and métro services are run by STM, and the fascinating métro system (history, architecture, art, quirks, oddities and trivia) is detailed in this fan site: metrodemontreal.com Many American cities will be familiar with the NovaBus family of vehicles, and Montréal is no exception - they're built with pride in Saint-Eustache just outside the city.

Edited by jamesbrownontheroad

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I would love to hear more about Quebec. Maybe another topic?


Quebec City is fascinating for the history buff. The old walled city where narrow streets enter through gates in the fortifications......It's all real and over 400 years old......not a Disney re-creation!




Quebec has their famous Winter Carnival but summers are long and hot too! Here's a view looking across the ice clogged St. Lawrence. That's the Canadian Pacific Railways Chateau Frontenac Hotel (now a Fairmont) on the cliff above the river. Picture was taken in Jan. 1976 with CN's Halifax > Montreal "Scotian" in the foreground.




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cool info and nice pictures, I will be traveling to Montreal Early October 2012 for two days then taking Amtrak back to NYP

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