Seems Amtrak’s Downeaster, between Boston and Portland, Maine, is showing a big surge in ridership. This is great news, and I hope it will persuade Amtrak to take another look at its long-abandoned Montrealer route.
The husband and I drove up to Montreal this past weekend, which cost us more than $120 in gas. I don’t feel good about that, or about the carbon emissions, either.
We would have happily paid more to ride a train on a reasonable schedule, but Amtrak doesn’t offer that. The former Montrealer route from Washington through Hartford is now the Vermonter, and it ends in St. Albans, Vt.
There’s still a train from New York to Montreal, the Adirondack. We could pick it up in Albany, but there’s only one train a day and it takes eight hours from Albany to reach Montreal — when it’s on time. We can drive that stretch in four hours.
It’s a pity to drive, though, because Montreal is a city with excellent mass transit. When we get there we just pay (and dearly) to park the car for the duration while we walk and ride the subway to get around.
What would it take for Amtrak to offer more frequent, faster, better service to Montreal – and lots of other places? Isn’t it time to figure that out?