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Old 01-03-2024, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
88,521 posts, read 84,705,921 times
Reputation: 114995

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal813 View Post
Yes. Amtrak is supposed to check at the station -- and they did. Hence people getting turned away.
You don't need a passport to buy a ticket.
A lot of stations also don't check boarding passes until you are on the train and it is well on its way.

At the US border, a US agent boarded the train and verified everyone's documents again. I didn't see anyone get removed there, although I've heard of it happening.
Yes, Penn Station New York is probably very strict about Amtrak following the rules, given the security in the city that has developed since 9/11. The station itself is, of course, considered a terrorist target.
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Old 01-03-2024, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
18,504 posts, read 15,540,438 times
Reputation: 11937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal813 View Post
A lot of people buy the ticket at the kiosk. Or try to. Only to then find out...

As for online booking, I can only guess here, but I'm going to assume that some entered their standard DL info under "enhanced," perhaps thinking they were the same thing, as some in this thread appeared convinced about as well. Amtrak's website doesn't check the validity of the numbers you put in there. You can literally put in anything you want and make up an expiration date.

A number were turned away when it came time to present ID. And from what I've read, it happens quite frequently with Amtrak (look it up.)
In Vancouver the whole operation is different. You go through US customs ( and Canada Customs on the way back ) at the train station. No one is getting on without proper ID. They do stop at the border, but it's US border guards that go up and down the train with dogs.

I understand there is no US custom at the Montreal Station, so who is checking for ID and proper documents before you board? Who did you have to present your ID to at the station?

I can understand the kiosks if coming from the US, but Montreal does not have Amtrak Kiosks. Unless the page is old.

https://www.amtrak.com/stations/mtr

Per their page for Montreal

Staffed station
ATM available
Elevator
Panorama Lounge
Payphones
No Amtrak ticketing kiosks
Restrooms
Ticket sales office
Unaccompanied child travel not allowed
No vending machines
No WiFi
Arrive at least 45 minutes prior to departure if you're checking baggage or need ticketing/passenger assistance
How long before departure to be at the station if you need ticketing, baggage or passenger assistance services.
Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure if you're not checking baggage or don't need assistance

I tried looking up some stories, but could only find people who were refused to board planes, and Greyhound busses. Not saying it doesn't happen, on a train, but a train being delayed an hour is expensive, and I would think Amtrak would do their best to make sure every ticket buyer is valid, and doesn't hold up the train.
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Old 01-03-2024, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
18,504 posts, read 15,540,438 times
Reputation: 11937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal813 View Post
Yes. Amtrak is supposed to check at the station -- and they did. Hence people getting turned away.
You don't need a passport to buy a ticket.
A lot of stations also don't check boarding passes until you are on the train and it is well on its way.

At the US border, a US agent boarded the train and verified everyone's documents again. I didn't see anyone get removed there, although I've heard of it happening.
OK so you've answered one of my questions. It's train employees at the station who check. In the Vancouver scenario, no one asks again for documents when the train stops at the border itself, since we've already gone through US customs.

I wonder if the Montreal to the US Amtrak service is busier than Vancouver's? If so, I would think allowing US customs to be done at the station would save a lot of headaches.
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Old 01-03-2024, 04:18 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,191 posts, read 107,809,412 times
Reputation: 116087
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Yes, I have a friend who has a friend with a house on the US side of the Thousand Islands. When you go out in a boat and cross over to the Canadian side, even if you are still on the water, you are supposed to check in and let them know. He says he always does that, even though the friend with the boat doesn't initiate it.
When I was a kid at summer camp in Washington's San Juan Islands, we would cross the border pretty often either in a sailboat or in large canoes, and camp out on the beaches of Canada's Gulf Islands. At the docks, there were always little official booths, never staffed, that had a registration book you were supposed to sign into. Everyone was on the honor system. The counselors in charge of our group would take care of it. If you were just camping out on a beach or sand spit for a night, far from any dock, there was no way to comply, nor not really any need to if your ultimate destination was elsewhere, where you'd be signing in.

Back then, kids didn't have ID anyway. I remember hitch-hiking across the border several times with friends who were going to school in the US, but would visit their parents in Vancouver on school breaks. No ID, just answer a couple of questions at Customs/Immigration, and get waved through, or they might make a quick check of one person's backpack, if anyone had one.


It was really amazing how free we were. The longest open border in the world, it was said at the time. It's almost hard to believe in hindsight.
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Old 01-03-2024, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
15,413 posts, read 9,055,068 times
Reputation: 20386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal813 View Post
Yes. Amtrak is supposed to check at the station -- and they did. Hence people getting turned away.
You don't need a passport to buy a ticket.
A lot of stations also don't check boarding passes until you are on the train and it is well on its way.

At the US border, a US agent boarded the train and verified everyone's documents again. I didn't see anyone get removed there, although I've heard of it happening.
Many years ago before all the 9/11 BS started, I rode an Amtrak International train from Chicago to Toronto. Just before we crossed the border, the conductor passed out Canadian customs forms to fill out. Then the train went through a long tunnel, and came out in Sarnia, Ontario. When the train pulled into the Sarnia station, they announced for everyone to remain seated. Almost immediately two Canadian customs agents walked through the train collecting up all the costumes forms, and asked a few random questions of passengers here and there. 5 minutes later they announced that we would be departing in 30 minutes and we could get off the train if we wanted to.

On the return trip, the process was the same. When we came out of the tunnel in Port Huron, Michigan the train stopped and the US custom agents came on the train. They took a bit more time collecting the customs forms than the Canadians did and asked more questions, but the process was the same. Which was okay, because there was no place to get off the train there anyway. There was just two small trailers outside. One labeled Amtrak and the other labeled US Customs.

Nobody was denied entry either direction, nobody was asked for ID and nobody was pre-screened. The only way anyone would have been denied entry to either country, is if they blurted out something to the agentes that would give them an indication that person shouldn't be allowed in. And then I don't know what they would have done with that person. They would have had to take them into custody and hold them until they could be put back on a train the next day going the other direction. I don't think any of American or Canadian agents would have wanted to do that.
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