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Passenger rail service suspended between Montreal, NYC after CN-Amtrak deal

The so-called Adirondack route is no stranger to disruption
An Amtrak train arrives at a station stop on Dec. 9, 2021, in Burbank, Calif. Passenger rail advocates want to revive the Amtrak line between Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans that was shut down after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Mario Tama | Getty Images | TNS

Amtrak says no passenger trains are set to run between Montreal and New York City for at least the next six weeks due to maintenance work after it struck a deal with Canadian National Railway Co.

Schedules show that service on the U.S. railway between Canada’s second-biggest city and the upstate New York town of Whitehall has been halted between May 20 and June 30 — just before high season begins to peak.

In an email Saturday, Amtrak and CN said they had reached an agreement that would see the Montreal-based freight railway draw on a settlement payment from Amtrak to carry out work on the tracks.

The so-called Adirondack route is no stranger to disruption, after Amtrak suspended the only daily train between Montreal and New York City last summer — a move that followed a three-year halt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A couple of months after restoring the route, Amtrak announced last June it would again suspend service along the CN line north of the border due to speed restrictions prompted by summer heat, which can cause kinks in the steel tracks.

The American railway giant said at the time that “inconsistent application” of CN’s heat order policy meant customers could be stranded or experience delays of up to three hours, while CN pointed the finger right back by saying Amtrak failed to pay for maintenance that would have allowed upgrades to the line, which could then withstand the soaring summer temperatures.

The Canadian Press