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Thread: Albany to Montreal by train?

  1. #1
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    Albany to Montreal by train?

    Has anyone taken Amtrak from Albany to Montreal? I am thinking about doing it in mid-August. Should be relaxing and scenic. Any recommendations? I'll be hobbying while in Montreal. Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    Wouldn't do it.

    I saw a previous thread in here about how US CBP is doing exit interviews for Canada-bound trains.

    So you go through US CBP as you leave the US, go through CBSA entering Canada, and then go through US CBP again returning home!

    I prefer flying, but driving would also be an option.

  3. #3
    Sr Member StripperLover's Avatar
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    bond_james_bond,

    What are US CBP & CBSA ?

  4. #4
    Wine, women, & song ... ck_nj's Avatar
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    CBP - US Customs and Border Protection
    CBSA - Canada Border Services Agency

    CK
    Clark
    ------
    MOONEY: Sergeant, I swear! Flying! With a big red cape! And bright red boots as well! Then, quick as a wink - he was gone! Flew up in the air again, he did. Like a big blue bird!
    SERGEANT: Like a big blue bird....with bright red boots! Why don't you take the rest of the night off now, Mooney. Go back to Murphy's bar and finish what you plainly started. I'll be off myself in a bit and join ya there...

  5. #5
    Sr Member StripperLover's Avatar
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    bond_james_bond,

    It could be but I find that hard to believe.

  6. #6
    Sr Member StripperLover's Avatar
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    Jeff247,

    I wouldn't advise the train to Mtl from Albany because it the milk run through the Adirondacks, picking up & dropping off cars along the way therefore many stops & takes many hours.

    It's much faster to take the bus or a 4 hour car ride max

  7. #7
    Here`s the thread I read about exit interviews:

    https://merb.cc/vbulletin/showthread...exit+interview

    Don`t know if it`s true or not, but I`ve seen the US govt do just about anything.

    For example, at one time, if you wanted to ship something to someone via USPS, they wanted to "search" the package. You had to open it up in the post office and show them what it was. Then, wrap it back up again. A few months later, they stopped this policy. Who knows anymore?

  8. #8

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no

    A few times you get both the exit and entrance checks, but not always. I enjoy the train, it is relaxing, scenic and air conditioned. The train engineers and team for that ride have been doing this a long time, and all are very friendly and great conversationalists. Yes, it is long, but it is cheap and a great way to see the Adironacks.

    I do it a few times a year... never tire of it!

    xoxox
    Anik

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by curious
    It most definitely is true and is based on a trip I made last fall. I don't know if they are still doing it, but I assume they are. U.S. Customs has been much more aggressive than Canadian Customs both coming and going.

    Your chances of being searched by U.S. Customs are high.
    The trains are slow, tend to run late, food is awful and expensive (you should bring a sandwich and snacks) and the bathrooms are smelly and not maintained well
    I traveled in June and there was no US Customs on board coming into Canada. and I have been taking the train for more than 4 years on average 6 times a year and have been searched once. I get searched every time I fly

    Yes, the train is slow, but they have made many improvements on the line over the past year, and have even updated the bathrooms... as for the food, greasy, yes, expensive, absolutely, and they only carry Pepsi products (blah)... bring your own food!

    xoxox
    Anik

  10. #10
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    That's what I am talkin about!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Just-ass-weet
    A few times you get both the exit and entrance checks, but not always. I enjoy the train, it is relaxing, scenic and air conditioned. The train engineers and team for that ride have been doing this a long time, and all are very friendly and great conversationalists. Yes, it is long, but it is cheap and a great way to see the Adironacks.

    I do it a few times a year... never tire of it!

    xoxox
    Anik
    That's what I was looking for. I have time and looking for a relaxing scenic ride. I am west of Syracuse, so I will drive to Albany. I have a NEXUS pass. Will that help at customs? Do I need to bring passport or birth certificate? Thanks for you info.
    Last edited by Jeff247; 07-22-2006 at 08:56 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff247
    That's what I was looking for. I have time and looking for a relaxing scenic ride. I am west of Syracuse, so I will drive to Albany. I have a NEXUS pass. Will that help at customs? Do I need to bring passport or birth certificate? Thanks for you info.
    Nope. There are only NEXUS programs for air, sea, and land (by car) crossings, each of which requires a separate application. There is no "fast-lane" for border crossing by train or bus.

    a) NEXUS Air only works at Vancouver airport and has a very questionable future.
    b) NEXUS Marine only works at the Detroit/Windsor lake crossing and also has a limited future.
    c) Your NEXUS Highway card is usually only good at the general area you got it from (i.e. Ontario/Buffalo).

    These days, I highly recommend using a passport. Anything less will usually invite more questioning.

  12. #12
    I have taken this trip once, about 2 years ago. From NYC to Montreal and back on Amtrak. I agree with most everything that has been said already, but I will add a little bit.

    It's a looooooong trip, says 10hrs but it took more like 12hrs, or at least it seemed like that to me. From Albany it should be a lot shorter though. When I took it in the winter it was only $100 round trip, which is really not that bad, but I assume it is higher in the summer time. Food options are very limited and expensive, definitely bring your own. At least you can get a beer or something though if you choose to. Customs both in and out of Canada took a while, up to an hour going into Canada. But, it was only one time each, Canadian customs crossing in and U.S. customs coming back. The train was not very full at all, maybe 25% capacity so it could be worse if there were more passengers. I will say though that people were removed from the train by customs on both occasions, so maybe this added to our delays. I'm not sure why because they take you up to the "dining" car out of public view if they want to really search/interview you. The scenery is very nice even in winter, so a summer trip should be pleasent. You get a power outlet in your seat which is usefull if you have electronics. The train station in Montreal is pretty nice and convenient. It is right downtown, one street below St. Catherine. There is a Metro station right there and you can grab a cab easily(my hotel was only a few blocks away so I just walked). It is underneath some hotel, but I forget the name of it.

    Overall not bad, but it is a leasurly trip at best. Driving is way faster.
    Oh yeah, definitely bring your pasport if you have one. Birth certificate and a license will work, but a passport is much better.

    Sox

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff247
    Has anyone taken Amtrak from Albany to Montreal? I am thinking about doing it in mid-August. Should be relaxing and scenic. Any recommendations? I'll be hobbying while in Montreal. Thank you for your help.
    I took this trip back in early March from NYC to Montreal. Like everyone else said, the food sucks and is expensive for what you get. And beer is not available any more.

    And it took way more time than printed schedule indicated... like 5 more hours... arrived in Montreal at around mid-night. There were no exit interview but some kind of authority figure got into the train at the last US side stop then examined all the faces. Briefly talked to two Arabic looking men but not much happened. Waited like 3 hours b/c a freight train in front was being inspected and was blocking our way. Then Canadian custom came in and examined everyone's paper which took more than a hour.

    Even the sceanary wasnt all that cracked up to be: half of what you will see are industial backyards, and there are better ways to enjoy Adirondacks and Catskills.

    I once took train from NYC to Pittsburgh and it was kinda blah experience. This one was a mild disaster. I was planning one of those excursion trips on Amtrack Empire Builder or somthing like it, but now I am not so sure.

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