We have written to Geneviève Guilbault, Quebec’s Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, asking for an update on progress toward custom preclearance for Amtrak passengers at Montreal’s Central Station, and for the condition of the track between Rouses Point and the city to be addressed. The long delay for customs inspection to cross the border, followed by a 35 minutes added to the schedule due to CN track conditions, are less than welcoming for passengers arriving in Canada using Amtrak’s Adirondack service, and without improvements the long-planned reinstatement of the Vermonter through to Montreal is stalled.
We enclosed a copy of blueprints that were prepared for Amtrak over ten years ago, showing the conversion of track 23 at Central Station into a fenced secure track with border crossing facilities, including an elevator for accessibility. While these plans may now require minor modifications, considering how much time has passed, hopefully the project can finally start construction soon.
Photo: Amtrak’s “Vermonter” headed for St. Albans, by James Tuttle.