Montreal Rail Preclearance Moves Forward

On December 16, 2016 President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 6431, the “Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act of 2016” – a law that will help to facilitate the establishment of U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance at Central Station in Montréal, and the planned extension of Amtrak’s Vermonter service north into Canada.

Montreal Central Station | December 9, 2016 | Jean Gagnon
Central Station | Montréal, Quebec | December 9, 2016 | Jean Gagnon

 

Now we wait for both Chambers of the Canadian Parliament to pass Bill C-23, “An Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States,” a bill that enables the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance between the governments’ of Canada and the United States that was signed on March 16, 2015. Various sources suggest that this should happen early in the new year.

Once Bill C-23 becomes law in Canada it will probably take about three years (one year of planning and two years of construction) to build the new joint customs and immigration facility in Central Station that will be used by both Canada Border Security Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

 


See also

Vermonter Extension to Montreal

 


Further reading

“New Legislation Moves Toward Restored Rail Service Between Vermont And Montreal”
By Sam Gale Rosen | Vermont Public Radio | December 20, 2016

Note that this article includes a link to a lengthy radio interview with Carl Fowler, a long-time rail advocate and member of the Vermont Rail Council.

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“New Law should ease Canada-US travel”
By Wilson Ring | Associated Press via the Daily Hampshire Gazette | December 23, 2016