Amtrak restores passenger train service in Toronto, more than two years after closing it due to the pandemic

For more than two years, Amtrak has listed its service to Toronto from New York, via Western New York, as a project that will eventually be restarted. That changes on Monday, as a train passes Niagara Falls, New York and Toronto

Passengers will still need to follow Canada’s strict and complicated rules for crossing the border, including using the ArriveCAN software to notify the Dominion that the person is arriving. Tomorrow, passengers will learn what the rules are for coming from Canada to the United States.

The restart of service is in the process of being approved by supporters of passenger rail. Bruce Becker is a past president of the Empire State Passenger Association. He said ridership in upstate New York has increased and that will help.

“Amtrak has added additional cars to trains serving Western New York over the past few months,” Becker said. “Upstate New York attendance is doing very well and in fact for at least two or three months in a row, upstate attendance is higher than it is. was in the comparable months of 2019, before the pandemic.

Becker said those who have ridden Amtrak see the tens of millions of dollars New York has invested in new stations along the line between New York and Niagara Falls.

“The new downtown Buffalo station at Exchange Street is beautiful. Downtown Buffalo traffic is growing and that’s a good sign,” Becker said. “More and more people are using Amtrak to and from Buffalo, enjoying the convenience and beautiful new station.

What proponents of passenger rail service pushed for were much faster trains, with speeds like the top speed of 110 miles per hour from near Amsterdam to New York.

Becker said Washington was almost ready to release an environmental study, which had been in the works for 13 years.

“The Federal Railroad Administration is committed to releasing this study in 2022, and its current dashboard is already somewhat outdated, but is aiming for a final version this summer,” he said.

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Jose P. Rogers