- Amtrak’s return to Canada has been delayed due to crew shortages and vaccine requirements.
- According to a spokesperson for the railway, the return of Amtrak’s cross-border tourist rail service to Canada has been postponed until early 2022.
Amtrak, the United States’ government-owned railway, announced the cancellation of all Canadian service in March 2020, as COVID-19 incited governments on both sides of the border to restrict travel to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
The Cascades train, the Maple Leaf which travels between New York City and Toronto, also the Adirondack, which trips from New York City to Montreal, have not crossed the border since the health crisis began.
And the railway service will remain unavailable to Canadian passengers during the upcoming holiday season, which will be a busy travel period with American Thanksgiving and Christmas falling within the last six weeks of the year.
“We expect to restore the current cross-border trains we are working with customs and border protection on both sides, as well as the people who own the tracks, to re-establish that in 2022,” said Marc Magliari, the railway’s Chicago-based media relations officer.
The United States lifted its ban on non-essential land travel last week, allowing many Canadians with cross-border connections to travel from the United States by car as long as they are fully vaccinated. While the United States requires a COVID-19 test before arrival by air, the same standard does not apply to Canadians who cross by land.
Even though most land border restrictions in the United States have been raised for fully vaccinated air travel has continued in some form since the outbreak of COVID-19 an Amtrak spokesperson said the situation is more complicated for rail.
“We have to go through a procedure to re-qualify the crews who have not been operating the trains in a long time. Indeed, the vaccination conditions on the Canadian side must be met, and there will be inspections as a result. All of this means that we won’t be resuming cross-border service until after the first of the year, “He stated. There is currently no set restart date.
Source: CBC News