Nearshore Americas
US Canada rail

Despite Opening the Border, US-Canada Train Service Remains Suspended

The United States has opened its borders, yet Americans cannot cross into Canada via Amtrak rail services because Canada has not fully lifted travel restrictions imposed at the height of the pandemic.

Amtrak, the continental passenger train serving hundreds of destinations in the United States and Canada, says it is waiting for both countries to finalize protocols for train passengers crossing the border.

The cross-border train service has been suspended since March 2020.

“Amtrak Cascades is waiting for both countries to finalize protocols for train passengers crossing the border — particularly related to vaccine verification processes and negative Covid-19 tests,” reports Trains News Wire quoting Janet Matkin, spokeswoman for Washington State Department of Transportation Rail, Freight and Ports Division, as saying.

“Once those protocols are in place and Amtrak has incorporated them into its onboarding processes, we will announce a date for resumption of service to Vancouver, B.C. Tickets will go on sale at the same time.”

Canada is still insisting that it will not allow any unvaccinated passengers aged more than 12 years.

Vaccinated Americans have been able to enter Canada as of August 9 this year and able Canadians are arriving into the US by air. Today, most Amtrak trains stop at Niagara Falls, while a few others only go as far as Seattle.

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Canada is willing to ease restrictions, according to local media reports, but its customs officers are not prepared with protocols nor do they have guidelines for checking vaccinated passengers.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.