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Rail service between Montreal and New York suspended, announces Amtrak

The Amtrak logo is seen on a train at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Feb. 6, 2014. (Matt Rourke, The Associated Press) The Amtrak logo is seen on a train at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Feb. 6, 2014. (Matt Rourke, The Associated Press)
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Amtrak announced that passenger train service between Montreal and New York will be suspended for at least the next six weeks for maintenance work, following an agreement with Canadian National.

As scheduled, there will be no passenger rail service between Montreal and the upstate New York town of Whitehall from May 20 to June 30.

In an e-mail sent on Saturday, Amtrak and CN announced that they had reached an agreement. The American company will pay for the maintenance work to be carried out by the Canadian company.

This is not the first time that service on the Adirondack train has been interrupted. Last summer, Amtrak decided that its trains 68 and 69 on the Adirondack line would only run between New York and Albany "until further notice."

The company had just re-launched its New York-Montreal route in April 2023, after shutting it down three years earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amtrak had explained its decision by the speed restrictions imposed by Canadian National (CN) on its rails due to the heat. This now implies a speed limit of 16 km/h over a distance of some 60 kilometers, between the Canada-U.S. border and Montreal's Central Station, which could cause delays of up to three hours.

Canadian National had criticized Amtrak for not paying for maintenance work on the track to keep it resilient in the hot summer weather.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published in French on May 18, 2024.

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