Maple Leaf (train)
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The Maple Leaf crosses the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, in 1983.
|Service type||International Inter-city rail|
|Locale||Eastern United States/Canada|
|First service||April 26, 1981|
|Current operator(s)||Amtrak (within US)
Via Rail (within Canada)
|Start||New York City, New York, United States|
|End||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Distance travelled||544 mi (875 km)|
|Average journey time||12 hours, 30 minutes (includes time at border control)|
|Service frequency||Daily each way|
|Class(es)||Business and standard class|
|Seating arrangements||Reserved Coach Seat
Business Class Seat
|Catering facilities||On-board café (not available between New York City and Albany)|
|Baggage facilities||Carry-on baggage only|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (Standard Gauge)|
|Track owner(s)||Amtrak, Metro-North, CSX, Canadian National|
|Timetable number(s)||63, 64 (Amtrak)
95, 97 (Via)
The Maple Leaf is an 875-kilometre (544 mi) passenger train route operated jointly by Amtrak and Via Rail from New York City's Pennsylvania Station to Toronto's Union Station via Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. The train travels each way during the daytime hours and takes approximately 12 hours for the entire journey. Around two hours of the trip is spent at the US/Canadian border for border controls at Niagara Falls, Ontario on westbound (Toronto-bound), and Niagara Falls, New York for eastbound (New York-bound) service. Amtrak rolling stock is used exclusively, although the train is staffed by Via Rail personnel while in Canada. The train is code shared with Via's Corridor service and Amtrak's Empire Service.
The original Maple Leaf passenger train was a Grand Trunk Western Railroad service between Chicago, Illinois and Toronto, Ontario. The service operated between Chicago's Dearborn Station and Toronto's Union Station on a route through Stratford, Ontario, Port Huron, Flint, Lansing, and Battle Creek, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana. The route between Battle Creek and Port Huron is still served by Amtrak trains 365 and 364, but is now called the Blue Water service.
The long-standing The Maple Leaf name was later applied to a joint Lehigh Valley Railroad/Canadian National overnight service between New York City and Toronto. Its only paralleled the Amtrak route to the extent that it shared the termini of Toronto and New York City along with Buffalo. It traveled an interior route into New York's Southern Tier, through Geneva, New York and Wilkes-Barre, Allentown and Bethlehem in eastern Pennsylvania. The last LV/CN Maple Leaf ran on Feb. 4, 1961.
Amtrak and Via Rail introduced the Maple Leaf along the "Water Level Route" along the Hudson River and Erie Canal on April 26, 1981. The new Maple Leaf was the first collaboration between the two companies and the first New York to Toronto passenger service in a decade. The new train utilized Amtrak's Amfleet coaches with a dinette car; Amtrak crews were changed to Via Rail crews at the border crossing. A 1982 consist included a baggage car, two coaches and a dinette; time spent in customs ranged from thirty minutes to two hours.
The Maple Leaf was one of the last Amtrak trains to receive the new GE Genesis locomotive owing to the Via Rail's crews' unfamiliarity with the unit. The Maple Leaf retained the EMD F40PH until Via received its own Genesis locomotives in 2002.
In 2013, the Maple Leaf was the target of a terror plot involving an attempt by two men, residents of Canada (but not Canadian citizens), who sought to derail the train. The two men were allegedly affiliates of an Al-Qaeda group operating out of Iran.
Route details 
A change of locomotive is made at Albany on select days with P42DC units utilized north of Albany and P32AC-DM units taking over the remainder of the route to Penn Station. The Maple Leaf has previously operated with P32ACDM units directly from Toronto to New York. Rarely, the P32ACDM may stay on the train to Toronto. East of the border crossing, the service is shared with Empire Service trains. Prior to the completion of the Empire Connection in 1991 the Maple Leaf originated at Grand Central Terminal in New York instead of Penn Station.
- CN Oakville Subdivision and Grimsby Subdivision, Toronto to Niagara Falls
- CSX Niagara Subdivision, Buffalo Terminal Subdivision, Rochester Subdivision, Mohawk Subdivision, Selkirk Subdivision, and Hudson Subdivision, Niagara Falls to Poughkeepsie (Amtrak-owned between Hoffmans and Schenectady)
- MNRR Hudson Line, Poughkeepsie to Spuyten Duyvil
- Amtrak Empire Connection, Spuyten Duyvil to Penn Station
Station stops 
Consist and equipment 
The Maple Leaf operates year-round with Amtrak P42DC & P32AC-DM units and Amfleet I & II equipment. A typical consist will include:
The Maple Leaf consist grows to six cars with the addition of an extra Amfleet II car during the winter Christmas Holiday Shopping rush to handle additional seasonal demand.
See also 
- 1946 Lehigh Valley timetable for The Maple Leaf. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=46013
- "Amtrak's new Toronto-NY line fills 10-year void; may be a winner". Miami News. April 28, 1981. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- Malcolm, Andrew H. (February 14, 1982). "New York to Toronto Train". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- Solomon, Brian (2004). Amtrak. MBI.; 107.
- Rocha, Euan; Alastair Sharp (22 April 2013). "Canada thwarts "al Qaeda-supported" passenger train plot". Reuters Canada. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- Macdonald, Alaistair; Siobhan Gorman; David George-Cosh (22 April 2012). "Canada Thwarts Alleged Plot to Attack Train". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "Travel Advisory; Grand Central Trains Rerouted To Penn Station". The New York Times. April 7, 1991. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
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