Bring Back The Montrealer

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? 


One thought on “Bring Back The Montrealer

  1. rdegray

    Yes, ‘Bring Back The Montréaler’! It is a pity that there is no reasonable way to get to Montréal nor for Montréaler’s to come here.
    It is not only the reasons sighted in your note but also offering those who cannot or don’t like to drive an alternative.
    Increasing tourism between New England and Quebec is important but the last thing any of us need is an increase in traffic.
    A suggestion for helping the cause is to join some of the passenger railroad groups such as the National Association of Railroad Passengers –


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