Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V

  by trainsinmaine
As a resident of Maine and as a lifelong railfan, I have long lamented the 1994 demise of the Atlantic Limited (later Atlantic), the passenger train that ran between Montreal and Halifax for over a hundred years, latterly under the ownership of VIA. I rode the train several times since I moved here in the late '70s, finding it to be a wonderful --- and memorable --- experience. It was also regarded as an important transportation link, especially by many New Brunswickers.

Given that the Canadian Pacific is about to acquire the Central Maine & Quebec Railway, I'm wondering whether there is any chance at all of reviving the Atlantic. I know there has been some talk about it. Is it a possibility, or just an unrealistic pipe dream? Post-9/11 Customs checks would slow the ride, certainly, but they're done elsewhere without any apparent problems.

Other than nostalgia, would there be any motivation for a revival of service?
  by exvalley
The biggest hurdle will be the politics. Right now the Ocean services many Canadian communities that would lose service if the route went through Maine.
  by ExCon90
That may depend on whether the idea is to replace the Ocean or supplement it. In either case, would it have to be operated by VIA, or could it be operated by CP if they would even consider that? I'm not very familiar with travel patterns In that area--would a CP train serve any significant traffic generators not already served by the Ocean?
  by electricron
VIA runs the Ocean on a thrice a week schedule.
If they had a higher traffic demand, they could/would run more trains.
Therefore, adding more trains thorough Maine is extremely unlikely.
  by exvalley
I agree that the chances of seeing this route are practically nil.

That said, there is a related concept that could work: A limited beach train in the summer. The train could run one or two days per week in peak summer season to get Montrealers to the beaches near Portland, Maine. The train could either stop at Old Orchard Beach, or could stop at Portland and have a thru-bus connection to the beaches south of Portland. Ideally the train would include a stop somewhere in Saint Lambert (or thereabouts) at a station with plentiful and cheap parking.
Wrong route. That would be the St. Lawrence and Atlantic xCN-GT between Sherbrooke and Portland....and it did have Beach Trains into the mid '60s.
  by Tadman
It would probably be a hard act in a political sense for Via to run subsidized trains through the emptiest part of the USA/Maine while the CN route through Canada is only 3x/week. Not to mention the borders are different today than they were in 1994, which was pre-9/11.
BandA wrote: Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:38 pm How would customs clearance be handled for a revived Atlantic?
With great difficulty!

After the Atlantic was restored in 1985...it took several years of negotiations to allow the train to be sealed across Maine... and that was all before 9-11.
  by Backshophoss
Forget about US routing,VIA will stay north of US. Thanx to 9/11,not worth the hassle or paperwork involved.
  by Tadman
Here's the real question - doesn't CMQ have an F3 of BAR origin? What happens to it now?