Amtrak : Best Kept Secrets

Discussion in 'Amtrak FAQs & First-Time Rider Info' started by wannacruise, Sep 8, 2006.

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  1. Aug 5, 2019 #151

    Qapla

    Qapla

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    Their simple answer as to why all the problems with running through Canada would be:

    Homeland Security
     
  2. Aug 5, 2019 #152

    toddinde

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    It can comeback after a fashion. I’m an advocate for an overnight train from Chicago to Toronto with set out sleepers in Detroit. That could easily connect to the Maple Leaf. The naysayers that say “never gonna happen” are just expressing an opinion that’s not bourn out by anything. Night trains are making a huge comeback in Europe. Night trains eliminate the need for major investments in high speed while building a market. A corresponding night train from New York to Toronto could likewise connect to a day train from Toronto to Chicago. Anybody who believes that aviation and highways can handle all the transportation needs in this country doesn’t fly or drive. Your idea is essentially sound, and would link three of North America’s largest and most important cities. Those are all existing passenger routes with the insignificant exception of the Detroit tunnel. Michigan Central Station is being revitalized, and is perfectly located for a Detroit stop. Read about the Caledonian Sleeper to see what’s possible. It’s about vision and the art of the possible.
     
  3. Aug 5, 2019 #153

    toddinde

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    Well, they do it now between New York and Montreal and Toronto and between Seattle and Vancouver. I just rode the Adirondack. No big deal. Also crossed between Windsor and Detroit by Uber between VIA and Amtrak. Again, no problem. Anyone can find excuses not to do something, but that’s not productive.
     
  4. Aug 5, 2019 #154

    jis

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    For Toronto you just have to lug all your bag and baggage off the train, walk through C&I inspection and then pile back onto the train, often not into the same seat that you previously occupied because the boarding order after C&I may have put someone ahead of you that chose your previous seat. It is not exactly a pleasant experience. But it is par for the course and similar to the experience crossing from say Malaysia into Thailand, but worse than the experience of crossing over say from Finland to Russia.

    Anyway, I thought we were discussing whether DHS would allow running a sealed train through Canada thus avoiding C&I inspection, so these observations are somewhat irrelevant in that context.

    At present, for the purposes of customs inspection DHS doesn't even allow a sealed train between Vancouver and Blaine for the Cascades Vancouver service. Even though the Immigration check is done at Vancouver, the Customs inspections is at least notionally completed only at Blaine, at the border. It will be interesting to see what they do when (and if) the C&I inspection for Adirondack moves to Montreal Central.

    And of course none of this should prevent introducing a service provided someone is willing to fund it. Funding is the thing that is the biggest risk in all of these schemes that we dream up here.
     
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  5. Aug 6, 2019 #155

    Qapla

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    This is not Europe. Are the tracks in Europe owned by the freight lines?

    One of the largest roadblocks to adding trains to existing routes or creating new routes, in addition to funding, is the resistance of the owners of the tracks, the freight companies, to allow additional trains to run on their tracks - thus disrupting their schedules and flow of freight revenue.

    We can think a route would make sense. Amtrak may even agree that a route would make sense. However, if the owners of the tracks do not agree - that route will not happen.
     
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  6. Aug 6, 2019 #156

    jiml

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    Especially in February.
     
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  7. Aug 8, 2019 #157

    dogbert617

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    For what you were talking about in the first paragraph, were you talking about riding the Amtrak/VIA Maple Leaf train? If you were talking about getting off the train briefly in Niagara Falls for the C&I inspection, I see what you mean there.
     
  8. Aug 8, 2019 #158

    jis

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    Yes. It is a brief almost one hour standing in various lines with all your baggage before you get back on
     
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  9. Aug 8, 2019 #159

    jiml

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    Yeah, nothing brief about it and there is always someone who doesn't have the right documentation delaying things. You're also right about possibly losing your seat, unless in Business Class. The only disadvantage of the old onboard system was that VIA would sometimes force all US-bound passengers into one or two cars, regardless of class of service. You wouldn't be able to claim your Business Class seat until departure from Niagara Falls, NY.
     
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  10. Aug 8, 2019 #160

    anumberone

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    Night trains are great for some. I think, not so much for tourists. As a tourist, you miss what you came to see. The airlines have really cut prices on short trips across the Continent, so it's sort of a win win situation for one who wants to Visit places and not sleep through them. New Caledonia for example, nice, unless you want to see the Country.
     
  11. Aug 8, 2019 #161

    jis

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    The saving grace about the Caledonian Sleeper is that they run in daylight in the summer through Scotland. Of course you still miss all of England and southern Scotland, some of which is quite scenic.
     
  12. Aug 8, 2019 #162

    v v

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    Agree and disagree with you, there are other factors to consider even as a tourist.

    Budget. Saving the price of a hotel while travelling to where you want to go has to be considered if you are on a budget. It's also possible if on a longer journey to choose which days to look at scenery and which nights to sleep through.

    Scenery. We are planning a train journey from Vienna to Bucharest, the route is via Budapest. There are options on day or night trains on this route, we have chosen the night train. Leave Vienna in the evening, arrive Budapest at night. A major city at night seen from a train can be a thing of wonder too. Next morning through to late afternoon the countryside of Romania that includes the Carpathian mountains which so I've read are spectacular. Arrive in Bucharest in time to see a little of the city in daylight.

    This is where we agree, losing the option to see the best scenery by travelling at night. If budget and or time are tight then sometimes a night train is a big help, but you lose a major part of the reason to take the train, what's outside the window. Sometimes that can be countered by returning on the same train which runs at a better time through the best or most interesting scenery, I think the Empire builder is a good example of that although we found both directions were really good.

    Last, and in the main this applies to Europe but not only. There is a different atmosphere on a night train, somehow the people are or act a little differently. The standouts for me are Eastern European night trains, very easy on certain routes to imagine you are in a Cold War movie. The TranSiberian at night is an experience of it's own, and in a way even better is travelling across the US south western deserts at night can be magnificent if there is a clear moon.
     
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  13. Aug 8, 2019 #163

    Bob Dylan

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    Well written Jamie!:cool:
     
  14. Aug 9, 2019 #164

    anumberone

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    Your advice is well taken. I do hope you you get a clear view on your next trip, I enjoy reading about what you see.
     
  15. Aug 9, 2019 #165

    velotrain

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    No big deal if you're headed to Montreal, as you get to stay in your seat, but I suspect the opposite direction is quite different. I took the Maple Leaf back and everyone had to de-train with luggage (to be scanned) and stand in a slow moving line for an hour. I have leg issues and was allowed to sit until the end of the line passed me, but it was still an experience I don't care to repeat.
     
  16. Aug 9, 2019 #166

    jis

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    On the Adirondack you stay on the train both ways since there is really no on shore processing facility at Rouses Point either.

    On the Maple Leaf you get off both ways for C&I processing since both Niagara Falls NY and ON have on shore processing facilities. You do not get to stay in your seat heading into Canada by the Maple Leaf, except possibly for some special disabled passenger handling by the CBSA. The Canadians occasionally tend to be more sensitive than the Americans.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019

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