New Canada-US Customs Pre-Clearance

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by DSS&A, Aug 20, 2019.

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  1. Aug 24, 2019 #51

    Seaboard92

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    One of the Montrealer’s lePub cars is preserved at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum in Nashville. Complete with its LePub interior. The electric piano is there however three hours of attempting to get it to work I was never able to manage it.
     
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  2. Aug 24, 2019 #52

    jis

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    I have had some truly memorable times in one of those LePubs. Both alcohol and women were involved. :p
     
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  3. Aug 24, 2019 #53

    railiner

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    IIRC, at times the Montrealer featured both a full heritage diner, and the Le Pub lounge. I have also been aboard when the passenger's "partied hardy", especially on Friday night trips. I also recall there being a paid piano player at times, and volunteer passenger performances other's.
    And...one more thing...I believe there was at some time a thru Montreal/Miami 10-6 sleeper conveyed to one of the Florida trains at WAS.
     
  4. Aug 25, 2019 #54

    NS VIA Fan

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    Here’s a Montrealer consist from May 1974

    257 E8A
    256 E8A
    1409 Baggage Dorm
    Sleeper Everglades
    Sleeper (CP Rail**) Chateau Richelieu
    Sleeper (CP Rail**) Chateau Lauzon
    8301 Diner-Lounge
    3301 Le Pub
    5803 Coach
    4575 Coach
    5287 Coach
    5283 Coach

    **Amtrak leased CP Rail Sleepers (this was 2 years before anyone had even heard of VIA).....and used them on the Montrealer, Broadway and Florida trains.
     
  5. Aug 25, 2019 #55

    NS VIA Fan

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    On Amtrak Day, May 1, 1971 there was still a Buffalo-Toronto service... jointly operated by Penn Central**, TH&B, CP Rail. (**Yes, Penn Central was still in the intercity passenger business besides commuter trains) It used CP RDC ‘Dayliner’ equipment. After VIA took over from CP Rail and Conrail from Penn Central….it was then a jointly operated Conrail-VIA train and lasted until the Maple Leaf was inaugurated in '81.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Aug 25, 2019 #56

    railiner

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    And it directly served Hamilton too, IIRC?
     
  7. Aug 25, 2019 #57

    jis

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    Yes. Amtrak advertised that connection though did not always provide a timetable for it.
     
  8. Aug 25, 2019 #58

    NS VIA Fan

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    Yes, at the TH&B Station downtown. Now the nicely restored and busy GO Centre.
     
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  9. Aug 25, 2019 #59

    railiner

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    Penn Central did...although you might have to go to Buffalo to get a copy of the single sheet printing. They also included it in their “East/West” TT, while that lasted.
    PC was actually very good about producing timetables for all their various passenger trains, as long as they ran them. And Conrail as well. I have sheets for the Valpo and Crown Point locals, as well as the Cleveland/Youngstown and Pittsburgh/College locals...
     
  10. Aug 25, 2019 #60

    jiml

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    Unfortunately I was accompanied by small children at the times I travelled, so never made it to the bar. We were in a standard Amtrak 10-6 sleeper every time. I do recall a through sleeper, but it either didn't work for us or wasn't offered at the time. One notable memory on a northbound Montrealer connecting from Florida, was a wonderful woman who was the "onboard chief" (if I recall the correct title of the day). She took my young daughter on a tour of the entire train (making dad jealous) and they returned with snacks from the café car. My daughter talked about it for years afterwards.
     
  11. Aug 25, 2019 #61

    jiml

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    Nice shot. I have a print of the Larry Fisher painting of the reverse angle of Hamilton station in the 50's hanging in my home. As a child my first "long-distance" train ride was from Toronto to Hamilton and back. Lots of memories associated with that station. Now it and points even further away are commuter runs.
     
  12. Aug 26, 2019 #62

    NS VIA Fan

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    Here’s the schedule in the Oct 1975 CP Rail Timetable for the jointly operated CP-TH&B-Penn Central train:


    [​IMG]


    And the jointly operated VIA-Conrail train from Oct 1979.


    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Aug 26, 2019 #63

    NS VIA Fan

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    I rode the Niagara Rainbow from Detroit to Fort Erie, Ontario in November 1977. Canada Customs came aboard in Windsor and asked me a couple of questions as I was getting off in Fort Erie, but I don’t believe Americans “just passing through” were even inspected......probably just a head-count. We had to remain in the last car and I remember that the attendant from the snack car would come back every so often to take our food orders. I got off in Fort Erie but anyone in that last car who got on in Canada would have been inspected by US officials in Black Rock.

    [​IMG]

    And since I had already cleared customs in Windsor….I could get off for a picture in St. Thomas ON.

    [​IMG]

    I believe the this was the only train where you buy an Amtrak ticket and ride between two Canadian stations. I remember the CTC (Canadian Transport Commission) was reluctant to grant this authority as they felt it would open up a case for Amtrak to apply for a subsidy to operate the service. The only other Amtrak timetable I can find without restrictions on stops in Canada is for the original ‘Pacific International’ with stops at New Westminster and White Rock BC. Don’t know if you could actually ride between there and Vancouver:

    http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19721029&item=0057
     
  14. Aug 26, 2019 #64

    jiml

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    Ah, the days when crossing the border was often little more than a friendly greeting in either direction. Then when "cross-border shopping" for Canadians became an issue, the fear was of Canadian Customs catching that you'd brought back too much stuff. Before the first free-trade agreement the exemptions were so low there would often be a long line of returning Canadians emptying their cars at the checkpoint. Of course terror threats and the recent spate of new tariffs has done away with most of the good will in both directions.

    The best was crossing on the train. Until the current nonsense on the Maple Leaf started I had probably done dozens in both directions on a train, including the Montrealer, Maple Leaf and International. I regret never doing any of the "Rainbows" but they didn't fit into travel plans.
     
  15. Aug 26, 2019 #65

    jiml

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    Was White Rock actually a passenger stop or simply the Customs location? Same for Blaine, WA?
     
  16. Aug 26, 2019 #66

    NS VIA Fan

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    Don’t know. There’s nothing in the footnotes indicating it’s just a customs stop and you can't board there like today’s schedule for the Adirondack where it says Lacolle QC is not a passenger stop – customs only.
     
  17. Aug 26, 2019 #67

    railiner

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    Used to love to ride the Empire State Express, and later Niagara Rainbow between Buffalo and Detroit...
    In the early years of Amtrak, prior to the Lake Shore starting operations, the only way to get from upstate NY to the west, without backtracking thru NYC, was "by way of Canada"...
    The RDC to Toronto was the only link for awhile.

    Prior to Amtrak, and before the Penn Central, the New York Central/Michigan Central ran a few thru New York / Chicago trains that way.
    Some passenger's were probably not even aware that they traveled thru a "foreign country" enroute, and blissfully slept thru the two border crossing's undisturbed in those simpler times...no passport or even ID required...
     
  18. Aug 26, 2019 #68

    NS VIA Fan

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  19. Aug 26, 2019 #69

    Bostontoallpoints

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  20. Aug 26, 2019 #70

    jis

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  21. Aug 26, 2019 #71

    Bostontoallpoints

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    Below is a copy of the Montrealer Diner menu.
    https://picclick.com/Vintage-Montrealer-Amtrak-Train-Menu-133150063741.html
     
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  22. Aug 27, 2019 #72

    NS VIA Fan

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    Montrealer Menu after the train was HEPed and an Amdinette was providing the meal service:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Aug 27, 2019 #73

    jiml

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    Other than the train being gone, this is a sad reminder of two things: the prices and Amtrak's switch to Pepsi.:(
     
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  24. Aug 27, 2019 #74

    jis

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  25. Sep 12, 2019 #75

    dogbert617

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    I see. Too bad US Customs in Dublin didn't totally process your customs clearance while over there, and made you do it at O'Hare! Since I remember myself and my family got the customs process all totally done at Dublin's preclearance facility, before we boarded our plane back to the US when my family all did a 2017 trip.
     

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