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Maple Leaf Border Crossings at NF, CA

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My two friends are planning on taking the Maple Leaf to Toronto from NF, NY and had a concern about how the border crossing check is done. Do they take you off the train or can you stay on? I know they check on the train on the Adirondack.

 

One friend has mobility issues and so they would rather not have to leave the train. If you do have to leave the train where is the check done? Is it a high platform or not? Thanks for any insight.

 

 

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Never rode it northbound, but southbound into the US, everyone must detrain, go through Customs. You are not permitted to reboard until Customs clears the train. The Niagara Falls, ON station is not high platform. The new Niagara Falls, NY station is.

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The changed the procedure recently after building a new facility on the US side... So I don't remember what the procedure is anymore; if you search around here you'll find a thread talking about it. The station is low-level on the Canadian side, and high-level on the US side.

 

peter

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I did ride SB into the new Niagara Falls, NY facility. The procedure was similar to what it was before. Basically everybody gets off, clears customs, and waits in the station until the train is cleared and you reboard.

 

On leaving Toronto, everything but one Amfleet I coach and the cafe/BC were locked off. Upon reboarding, most of the train was open (there was one coach that stayed locked off until Albany) and the longer distance passengers were directed into other coaches (which were mostly Amfleet IIs, IIRC) based on destination. You were instructed to take everything with you when deboarding for US Customs.

Edited by zephyr17

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Basically you are riding 2 different trains... an Amtrak train, and a VIA rail train. But you have a guaranteed connection. And it's physically the same train. ha.

 

When I rode it Northbound a few years ago, everyone had to get off the train with all of their luggage and line up inside the station and go through a screening. They asked ALOT of questions including my employment, how much money I was bringing into the country, how much money I currently had access too with credit cards, all of my plans while in the country, when I was next expected to work inside the USA, etc. There were smaller rooms with open doors where people were getting luggage hand searched, and a line where people were having luggage screened, but after my questioning I was sent directly out the door into Canada. (I only had 1 carry on suitcase).

 

Basically when you get off the train, you are still legally in the USA... then you go inside the station screening room and when you get cleared you walk out the door into Canada... then you can walk 10 feet and walk back into the main station doors (just as someone would enter who lived in Canada) and wait for the boarding of the train. I hope that makes some sense.

 

It should be noted that Business Class passengers on this train get to detrain first, and therefore get a head start on the Customs... this is a major advantage in my book.

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Crescent-Zephyr nailed the North bound procedures, and Biz Class is definitely worth it on the Maple Leaf.

 

I haven't ridden since the new US Station opened in Niagara Falls,NY but the border cops there are not noted for their PR Skills or sense of humour when entering the US from Canada.

 

Never had any problems with the Canadian officials when heading to Toronto but YMMV.

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It should be noted that Business Class passengers on this train get to detrain first, and therefore get a head start on the Customs... this is a major advantage in my book.

Don't the BC passengers still have to wait for the rest of the passengers and train to be searched before boarding can start?

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It should be noted that Business Class passengers on this train get to detrain first, and therefore get a head start on the Customs... this is a major advantage in my book.

Don't the BC passengers still have to wait for the rest of the passengers and train to be searched before boarding can start?

Yes. But BC gets to Detrain first and then go through the customs and get cleared into the country. Then you are free to walk around outside, or just go in and sit in the train station and relax before boarding begins.

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