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Urban Sky

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Amtrak does operate commuter rail services in the sense that commuter rail tickets are accepted on certain Amtrak services through arrangements with agencies such as Metrolink (Los Angeles), Coaster (San Diego) and Sounder (Seattle), which are presumably at least partly funded by regional or state governments.

Plus all the state-funded Amtrak services which act partly as commuter services, such as the Capitol Corridor in California or the Hartford line in Connecticut.
I didn’t know about any of these arrangements and I also don’t find any mention in Amtrak’s own company profile:
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reaperexpress

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I didn’t know about any of these arrangements and I also don’t find any mention in Amtrak’s own company profile:

Sorry, I didn't have time to add references my last post, here they are now:

Metrolink Rail2Rail:
Under the Rail 2 Rail® program, Orange and Ventura County corridor Metrolink Monthly Pass holders can travel on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains, within the station pairs of their pass, at no additional charge, including Saturday and Sunday. Metrolink Monthly Pass holders who travel outside of station pairs identified on their pass are required to purchase an Amtrak ticket for the portion of the trip not within the Monthly Pass station pairs. Metrolink passengers simply show their Monthly Pass and board any Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train to their destination. These additional trains are not available to holders of One-Way and Round-Trip tickets or 7-Day Passes, except for Shared Service trains (A768 and A759) on the Ventura County Line. A Shared Service train is an Amtrak train that operates in a Metrolink train slot. All Metrolink tickets (One-Way, Round-Trip, 7-Day and Monthly passes) are accepted on those trains at any time.

Blackout dates do not affect shared service on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains 761, 770, 777 and 784 on the Ventura County Line

The Rail 2 Rail® program does NOT include travel on Coast Starlight trains.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Monthly Pass holders may ride any Metrolink train, within the station pairs on their pass, at no additional charge.

Amtrak 10-Trip tickets are only accepted on Metrolink trains that operate on the Ventura County Line between Burbank Airport-South and Los Angeles Union Station. All Metrolink ticket types are accepted on Amtrak trains that operate between Burbank Airport-South and Los Angeles Union Station.

Coaster Rail2Rail:
Ride Amtrak Pacific Surfliner® trains with your COASTER Regional Day or Monthly/30-Day Pass between Oceanside and downtown San Diego, with stops at Oceanside Transit Center, Solana Beach, Old Town, and Santa Fe Depot. Board any Pacific Surfliner® train for an express trip along the coastal corridor. See blackout periods below.
  • Memorial Day Weekend Friday through Tuesday
  • Labor Day Weekend Friday through Tuesday
  • Thanksgiving Week November 23 – 30, 2020
  • Christmas Week December 23 – 28, 2020
During complete blackouts, Pacific Surfliner trains listed on the COASTER schedule will not accept COASTER fare. Passengers who wish to use Pacific Surfliner trains must purchase an Amtrak ticket.

All Amtrak policies apply to Pacific Surfliner trains. Complete policy information is available at www.Amtrak.com/onboard or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Advance reservations and Amtrak ticket required for passengers with bikes.

Sounder Rail Plus
If you have an ORCA card with a monthly pass, you can ride four weekday Amtrak Cascades trains between Seattle, Edmonds, and Everett free of charge.

You can get a rail plus ticket at Sounder station ticket machines or International District Station.
  1. Choose your destination as Everett, Edmonds, or Seattle-King Street
  2. Select "Amtrak Rail Plus.
  3. Drop your ORCA card into the card slot, and the machine will print a ticket.
  4. Show your ticket to Amtrak conductors when boarding and boom, you're on your way.

Virginia Rail Express Step-Up (currently suspended)
Our cross honor agreement with Amtrak allows VRE multi-ride passengers the ability to use the Amtrak trains listed on our schedule, in conjunction with a Step-Up ticket, for commuter travel. Be sure that your ticket is for the proper zones that you are travelling between. For example, if you're detraining at Fredericksburg, and you normally detrain from Leeland Road, the ticket that you're using in conjunction with your Step-Up must cover Fredericksburg. Accepted ticket types are:
If any of the following Amtrak train numbers are operating: 66, 67, 83, 85, 86, 84, 87, 93, 94, 95, 125, 171, 174, 176, Monday through Friday, even on a weekday holiday when VRE is not running, an Amtrak step-up ticket with a properly zoned VRE Monthly, 5 day pass or 10 ride ticket, will be accepted by Amtrak for travel on that train.

Amtrak numbered trains that are different from any of the above are not considered cross honor trains and cannot be ridden by a VRE passenger with a VRE ticket or step-up. These trains can only be ridden with an Amtrak ticket.

Maryland Area Rail Commuter Cross-Honoring
MARC passengers can use monthly (including TLC tickets) and weekly tickets, on days that MARC operates, on Amtrak trains shown in the current MARC timetable. Travel is restricted to the points indicated by the footnotes in the timetable. Please note that many trains have restrictions on what city pairs MARC tickets are accepted. Tickets must also be of the same or longer destinations to be honored. For example, a Washington-Edgewood ticket is NOT good between Washington and Aberdeen. Please note that Amtrak train 151 WILL NOT accept MARC passengers at Baltimore or BWI, regardless of the origin of the ticket.

MARC monthly and weekly ticket holders may ride select Amtrak Reserved Regional trains that operate Monday through Friday on days that MARC operates. No additional step up fee is required. This rule presently applies to Amtrak trains 137, 151, 181, 85, 148, and 188.

On weekends, monthly and weekly tickets are good on CERTAIN Amtrak reserved Regional trains for no additional charge. Monthly and weekly tickets are NOT valid on any premium service (Metroliner or Acela Express) or Reserved Regional trains 87, 135, 152, 156, 192 & 194; or any long distance trains operating outside of the MARC Penn Line service area.

MARC monthly and weekly tickets are ONLY good on certain Amtrak trains Monday through Friday on days MARC operates and on days MARC does NOT operate as long as they are NOT Federal Holidays, such as the day after Thanksgiving, the day after Christmas, and other similar days. These trains are AMTRAK Trains 137, 151, 181, 85, 148 and 188 and are listed in the MARC schedule. Please read the footnote for all applicable restrictions.

Connecticut Rail Cross-Honoring
Beginning 09/27/2021, Amtrak will honor CTrail Shore Line East monthly and ten-ride tickets on Amtrak Regional trains 86, 93, 94, and 137 between New Haven and New London.
  • CTrail Shore Line East monthly and 10 ride customers wishing to use their tickets on approved Amtrak trains must make confirmations through Amtrak’s RideReserve Program prior to boarding a train.
  • Amtrak’s RideReserve program requires CTrail Shore Line East customers with Monthly or Ten-Ride tickets to pre-select their intended trip(s) on cross-honored Amtrak trains to ensure ample seating space onboard.
  • RideReserve confirmations can be canceled and rebooked, but they cannot be modified.
  • A Metro-North UniRail pass will require RideReserve confirmations on Amtrak trains only when a CTrail Shore Line East passenger is traveling between New Haven and New London. CTrail Shore Line East customers with UniRail tickets for travel on these trains will need to make RideReserve confirmations using the UniRail ticket number on Amtrak.com or the Amtrak app.
 
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Urban Sky

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Holy moly, my head smokes from just trying to understand some of these policies. Does anyone here have any suggestions how equivalent procedures with VIA and Metrolinx could look like?

VIA did propose a commuter train project for Halifax but the city eventually declined if I remember correctly.
If it had been interested, the city of Halifax would have just contracted VIA to operate its commuter rail service, just like commuter rail networks in Maryland, Southern California and Connecticut contract Amtrak for operation (and eslewhere for track access) or how West Coast Express contracts CP for track access, Bombardier for crewing and VIA for maintenance:
CP used to provide crews, with VIA providing maintenance services as well as on-demand equipment loan as necessary.

Bombardier now provides crews for WCE trains, and has for several years.

Dan
 

DirectionNorth

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Holy moly, my head smokes from just trying to understand some of these policies. Does anyone here have any suggestions how equivalent procedures with VIA and Metrolinx could look like?


If it had been interested, the city of Halifax would have just contracted VIA to operate its commuter rail service, just like commuter rail networks in Maryland, Southern California and Connecticut contract Amtrak for operation (and eslewhere for track access) or how West Coast Express contracts CP for track access, Bombardier for crewing and VIA for maintenance:
If my memory is correct, it failed because CP rail declined access to tracks very early in the process.
 

Krypto98

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CP used to provide crews, with VIA providing maintenance services as well as on-demand equipment loan as necessary.

Bombardier now provides crews for WCE trains, and has for several years.

Dan
Isn't it Alstom now? After Alstom bought Bombardier
 

TerryJohnson

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The Lac Megantic tragedy and proposed rail bypass is not directly related to VIA - unless we're suddenly getting the Altantic back - but I recommend the recent article about the issue in the Globe and Mail. The difficulty in completing the bypass would seem to be for reasons that have no bearing on land acquisition for HFR, and if a route change is needed to respect the wishes of grieving families, then so be it.

 

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