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Review: Adirondack Train Montreal to New York

Travel Service - Bus & train

A truely epic train trip

  • By SilverTraveller deneboy

    13 reviews

    Ribbon

  • June 2018

78 people found this review helpful

Over the years I have started to develop a real passion about train journeys. Having travelled on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express and the Rocky Mountaineer from the Rockies down to Vancouver, I thought for my next trip I would try the Adirondack train service which runs from Montreal to New York. Leaving from Montreal at just after 10 am and arriving into New York around nine in the evening, I was privileged because of a certain age to be given priority boarding and a special seating area in Montreal station. As there were no seat reservations I was the first person on the train and so I chose a wide comfortable seat facing forward. All the seats on this service are similar to business class on airlines and provide plenty of space and excellent panoramic windows from which to view the scenery. There is no restaurant car service but there is a buffet car which provides hot and cold drinks and snacks.

It stops at a number of rural and urban stations on its way. At Albany there is a short engine change which means that you can get off and stretch your legs and take in further supplies from the buffet.

My train arrived into Central Station due to track maintenance but usually it will be Penn Station.

The first part of the journey is through suburban Montreal and then out into the country. After a while the train comes to a halt out in the countryside at the border between the US and Canada. The train is then boarded by Homeland Security who check papers and passports. This is a thorough procedure and it was interesting to see several people turned away and returned back into Canada. This process can take between one and two hours so be prepared for a delay.

After the border the countryside gets a lot more attractive. For the best views on this part of the trip you should sit yourself on the left side so that you can take in the wonderful vistas across the many lakes. As the train proceeds south you may then want to change back to the right side as you make your way down the Hudson River and on to New York.

During my journey I was impressed by the number of herons near the lakes and also other wildlife including moose and deer. The train tends to pick up more passengers as it approaches New York particularly at Albany where there is a break for an engine change. Some of the earlier stations include the delightful town of Westport on Lake Placid and Saratoga Springs famous for the battle of Saratoga which took place in 1777.

Several people left the train and boarded at the smaller halts which gave you a feeling of rural America.

Beyond Albany there are plenty of delightful resorts along the Hudson River including Rhinecliff-Kingston station and Poughkeepsie station which became a popular weekend retreat for the rich and wealthy of New York City such as the Vanderbilts and the Astors.

For me the most attractive parts were the lakeside vistas and then beyond Albany along the river.

The staff onboard the train were courteous and friendly and knowledgeable about the area. Other passengers included those visiting their families, tourists looking for an alternative to the plane and business people travelling between the two cities.

This trip is certainly worth considering if you have the time. Both stations are very central and the scenery is extremely attractive.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • DRSask
    about 2 years ago
    Thanks for the idea. I remember a bus trip from Montreal to New York City in the late 60s when I was a child and it was not fun. This sounds a much better experience. I too like train travel and have enjoyed the train in and out of Denali National Park and highly recommend it. The Venice-Simplon Orient Express is on my list!