|Locale||Canada New England, Mid-Atlantic states|
New York City
|Owner||CSX, MNCR, AMTK (track)|
|Line length||0 mi (0.00 km)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
The Montrealer was a passenger train operated by Amtrak between New York City and Montreal, Canada. After operating from the 1970s to 1995, with a two-year stoppage in the 1980s, it was replaced by the Vermonter after service to Montreal ended.
The Montrealer was originally a service of the Boston and Maine Railroad (BM), running between Montreal and Washington, D.C. The Ambassador ran the same route but terminated in New York. Both services used the Boston and Maine's Connecticut River Railroad south of Vernon, Vermont, rather than the current route over the New England Central. The southbound line from 1972-1974 was called the Washingtonian, and the northbound was called the Montrealer. The Washingtonian was also Train 185, which came from New York and later along with most other regular trains on the Northeast Corridor, folded into one NortheastDirect in 1995.
Amtrak's Montrealer acquired a reputation as a party train due to the large numbers of skiers who would take the train, staying up late into the night or not sleeping at all. Amtrak equipped the train with its own dedicated lounge car outfitted with a piano, dubbed LePub.
The Montrealer was suspended from early April 1987 to mid-July 1989, because of deteriorating track conditions on the Boston and Maine Railroad, which had been taken over by Guilford Transportation. During the suspension, Amtrak offered "Ambus" service (operated by Vermont Transit) to Springfield, Massachusetts, where passengers would board an Amtrak train for points south to Washington. This situation precipitated the only instance of Amtrak seizing another railroad by eminent domain, followed by the re-sale of the track by Amtrak to the Central Vermont Railway. The matter went all the way to the Supreme Court in National Railroad Passenger Corporation v. Boston & Maine Corp., which upheld Amtrak's action. Led by Jim Jeffords, Vermont's congressional delegation secured federal funds to rebuild the track. Only the section between Windsor and Brattleboro, Vermont, was transferred, however, leaving the line between East Northfield and Springfield, Massachusetts, as an obstacle. The train was reinstated in July 1989, this time taking the long way over the Central Vermont Railway (now the New England Central Railroad), from East Northfield to New London, Connecticut, rather than traveling over the direct Guilford Rail System (formerly Boston & Maine Railroad, now Pan Am Railways) track.:47
In 1989, when the train returned to service, the stop in Northampton, Massachusetts, was discontinued, although the replacement daytime "Ambus" service via Vermont Transit continued running, and a new stop in Amherst, Massachusetts, was added. The crew change was shifted from Springfield to Palmer at the same time. In 1992 a stop was added at Willimantic, Connecticut, but service there was discontinued in 1995 upon inception of the Vermonter.
In 2012, a grant funding rail improvements in Vermont was approved, raising hopes that service to Montreal would eventually be restored.