Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak’s Maple Leaf’

More Amtrak Service Cuts Announced

March 16, 2020

Amtrak updated its service reduction plans on Sunday and added the Colorado ski train to the list of cuts.

The service advisory said that the ski train, which operates between Denver and Winter Park, would be canceled for the remainder of the season.

Ski resorts in the state have closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Amtrak also said that café car service in the Northeast Corridor will be suspended on some trains operating between New York and Washington.

The carrier had earlier said that starting March 16 Northeast Corridor service will be reduced to 40 percent of its typical weekday operations.

In addition, Keystone Service will operate on a Saturday schedule between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Amtrak will not provide service to the Pennsylvania cities of Ardmore, Paoli, Downingtown, Parkesburg, Coatesville and Exton.

The Hartford Line and Valley Flyer will operate  on a Saturday scheduled seven days a week.

On the Empire corridor, the Maple Leaf will operate only between New York and Niagara Falls, New York, with service to Toronto suspended.

The New York-Montreal Adirondack will operate only between New York and Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

Amtrak said other services may be affected by service cuts and changes as circumstances surrounding the coronavis pandemic change.

Amtrak Makes More Service Cuts in the East

March 15, 2020

Amtrak will be making additional service cuts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective on March 15, the Maple Leaf will temporarily cease operating between Toronto and Niagara Falls, New York.

Nos. 63 and 64 will continue to operate between New York and Niagara Falls.

The Adirondack will cease operating north of Albany-Rensselaer, New York, but will continue to operate between New York City and Albany.

Effective March 16 service in the Northeast Corridor will be reduced to a typical Saturday schedule on a daily basis.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said it will continue to maintain frequent service by Acela and Northeast Regional trains to Boston, New York, Washington and Virginia points.

The service reductions in the Northeast Corridor will extend through March 29.

Amtrak earlier had announced reduction of service in the Keystone Corridor to a typical Saturday schedule with service suspended to Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

That service cut does not affect daily operation of the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian.

Also starting March 15 service on the Harford Line and the Valley Flyer will operate on a Saturday schedule on a daily basis.

Blockade Disrupts Amtrak Service to Canada

February 18, 2020

A blockade of Canadian National tracks in Canada disrupted last weekend Amtrak service to that country.

Amtrak’s Maple Leaf, which ordinarily operates between New York and Toronto, was halted at Niagara Falls, New York.

The New York-Montreal Adirondack did not operate north of Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

Also affected was Cascades Service in the Pacific Northwest although some trains did operate all the way to Vancouver, British Columbia.

The blockades, which have lasted more than a week, are being staged to protest construction of a natural-gas pipeline that crosses Wet’suwet’en territory in northern British Columbia and is opposed by the First Nation’s hereditary chiefs.

CN has shut down freight service in eastern Canada after blockades sprang up in that region.

VIA Rail Canada has also canceled most of its services within Canada.

NY Wants Canadian Customs on its Side of Border

January 17, 2020

Officials in Niagara Falls, New York, are pushing for Canadian customs officials to begin screening passengers there who are traveling into Canada.

The station, which opened in 2016, has space for that purpose, but the Canadian customs service has preferred to screen passengers at its facility in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Amtrak’s New York-Toronto Maple Leaf makes stops in Niagara Falls on both sides of the border.

U.S. officials say two stations are about the length of four football fields apart, but the Amtrak timetable shows them as being two miles apart.

U.S. customs inspects passengers entering the United States on the U.S. side of the Niagara River gorge.

On the U.S. side, Niagara Falls officials see the matter as economic development issue.

“This next step is great for economic development, not to mention expanding our leisure and tourism industry,” Niagara Falls Mayor Robert M. Restaino said.

The United States and Canada signed an agreement allowing pre-clearance last year, but it hasn’t been implemented.

The Canada Border Services Agency in an email to the Buffalo News said the agency does not have any pre-clearance operations in the United States

“However, Canada is exploring the potential for Canadian pre-clearance operations in both the traveler and commercial streams. Unfortunately, we cannot speak to the specific timelines or locations at this time,” the email statement said.

The Maple Leaf schedule allots one hour and 12 minutes in Niagara Falls, Ontario, for Canadian customs inspection, and one hour and 43 minutes in Niagara Falls, New York, for U.S. customs screening.

During Amtrak’s 2019 fiscal year, the passenger carrier handled an average of 95 people per day in Niagara Falls, New York.

In Niagara Falls, Ontario, an average of 34 people per day boarded or disembarked from the Maple Leaf.

NY Amtrak Routes Posted Ridership Gains in FY2019

November 23, 2019

Ridership numbers for various Amtrak routes are starting to be released in the wake of the passenger carrier releasing a summary of its fiscal year 2019 performance.

This includes routes serving the Empire Corridor of New York where the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf posted a 6.5 percent increase to 390,355 passengers.

The Lake Shore Limited, which links Chicago with Boston and New York, saw a 5.9 percent gain to 357,682 passengers, while the Empire Corridor south of Albany posted a 5.5 percent gain to 1,214,206 passengers.

The Adirondack between New York and Montreal was up 5.5 percent, while the Ethan Allen Express between New York and Rutland was up 1.7 percent.

Storm Damage leads to Cancellations Friday in East

November 2, 2019

Severe weather in the East led Amtrak to cancel and modify some services on Friday.

Most of the affected trains operate in New York State on the Empire Corridor and north of New York City.

Canceled were Boston-New York Acela Express No. 2190; Empire Service trains 280 (Niagara Falls-New York) and 243 (New York-Albany; and Springfield shuttle trains Nos. 451-490 (Springfield, Massachusetts, andNew Haven, Connecticut).

The westbound Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited was cancelled between Boston and Syracuse, New York, and the New York section was canceled between New York and Syracuse.

Passengers were taken by bus to Syracuse to catch No. 49.

The eastbound Lake Shore terminated at Syracuse and the equipment turned to become No. 49.

Some Acela Express and Northeast Regional Service did not operate between New York and Boston.

The New York to Toronto Maple Leaf was cancelled between Albany and Niagara Falls.

Likewise, Empire Service Nos. 284 and 218 were cancelled between Niagara Falls and Albany, but did operate between Albany and New York.

Amtrak’s website on Saturday morning did not indicate if any services were being cancelled or modified today.

However, the eastbound Lake Shore Limited was running several hours late after departing Chicago at 2:16 a.m. rather than its scheduled time of 9:30 p.m.

No. 48 arrived in Cleveland today at 12:22 p.m., nearly seven hours late.

Track Work to Affect Empire Corridor Trains

September 5, 2019

Amtrak has announced that track work being performed by Metro-North will affect the operations of Empire Service trains on Sept. 7-8 and 14-15.

All southbound trains will leave Albany-Rensselaer, New York, five minutes earlier and northbound trains will leave New York City five minutes earlier.

Train 233 will depart New York 22 minutes later and operate on a later schedule through to Albany-Rensselaer.

Train 259 will depart New York 25 minutes later and operate on a later schedule through to Albany-Rensselaer.

In another development affecting some Empire Service, reconstruction of the Whirlpool Bridge

Between Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, will affect operations of the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf between Sept. 9 and Nov. 1.

Train 63 will terminate at Niagara Falls, New York, with alternate transportation being provided between Niagara Falls and Toronto, stopping at Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Bus 4498 will operate between Niagara Falls and Toronto with no intermediate stops in Ontario at St. Catharines, Grimsby, Aldershot or Oakville.

Train 64 will originate in Niagara Falls, New York with alternate transportation being provided between Toronto and Niagara Falls, stopping at Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Bus 4497 will operate will not make intermediate stops at Oakville, Aldershot, Grimsby, or St. Catharines.

Proper documentation is required to cross the U.S./Canadian border.

All Board the Maple Leaf In Syracuse

August 29, 2019

It’s train time in Syracuse, New York, as passengers board the Maple Leaf bound for New York City and points in between. The image was made in May 2014.

Buffalo Exchange Street Station Razed

August 27, 2019

Razing has begun of the Exchange Street Station in Buffalo, New York, to make way for a new facility.

The former New York Central depot is served by all Amtrak trains in Buffalo except the Lake Shore Limited.

Amtrak passengers have been using a temporary facility since Aug. 12. Exchange Street station opened in 1952.

Its replacement will cost $27.7 million and is expected to open in fall 2020.

Exchange Street is served by two Empire Service roundtrips between New York and Niagara Falls, and the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf.

The Maple Leaf in Toronto

August 19, 2019

Although it looks to all the world like an Amtrak train, when the Maple Leaf is in Canada it is a VIA Rail Canada operation.

The VIA crew operates the train between Toronto Union Station and Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The VIA cafe car attendant even brings aboard his or her own stock of food and beverages that are sold within Canada.

The New York-bound Maple Leaf is shown above in Toronto.