Maple Leaf (train)

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Maple Leaf
Whirlpool bridge.jpg
The Maple Leaf crosses the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, in 1983.
Service type International Inter-city rail
Status Operating
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
Stops 20
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
On-board services
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 12 in (1,435 mm) (Standard Gauge)
Track owner(s) Amtrak, Metro-North, CSX, Canadian National, Metrolinx
Timetable number(s) 63, 64 (Amtrak)
97, 98 (Via)

The Maple Leaf is an international passenger train service operated by Amtrak and Via Rail between Pennsylvania Station in New York City and Union Station in Toronto via the Empire Corridor. Daily service is offered in both directions; the 544-mile (875 km) trip takes approximately 12 hours, including two hours for customs and immigration inspection. Although Amtrak rolling stock is used exclusively, the train is staffed by Via Rail personnel while in Canada. Service began in 1981.


Amtrak and Via Rail introduced the Maple Leaf 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 employed Amtrak's Amfleet coaches with a dinette car. A 1982 consist included a baggage car, two coaches and a dinette; time spent in customs ranged from thirty minutes to two hours.[1]

In the US an Amtrak crew operates the train whereas in Canada a Via Rail crew is in charge.[2] Because of this need for a crew exchange, 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.[3]:107

2013 terror plot

In 2013, the Maple Leaf was the target of a terror plot involving an attempt by two men, both non-citizen residents of Canada, who sought to derail the train as it crossed a bridge over the Twenty Mile Creek near Jordan, Ontario. The two men were allegedly affiliates of an Al-Qaeda group operating out of Iran.[4][5][6]

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.[7]

The Maple Leaf operates over Metrolinx, Canadian National Railway, CSX Transportation, Metro-North Railroad, and Amtrak trackage:

Station stops

State/Province Town/City Station Connections
New York New York City Penn Station Amtrak: Acela Express, Adirondack, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone Service, Lake Shore Limited, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter
LIRR: Main Line, Port Washington Branch
NJ Transit: North Jersey Coast Line, Northeast Corridor Line, Gladstone Branch, Montclair-Boonton Line, Morristown Line
NYC Subway: 1 2 3 A C E trains
NYC Transit buses: M4, M7, M20, M34 / M34A Select Bus Service, Q32
Yonkers Yonkers Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express
Bee-Line: 6, 9, 25, 32, 91 (seasonal service)
Metro-North Railroad: Hudson Line
Croton-on-Hudson Croton–Harmon Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited
Bee-Line: 10, 11, 14
Metro-North Railroad: Hudson Line
Poughkeepsie Poughkeepsie Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express
Dutchess LOOP: A, B, C, D, E, Poughkeepsie RailLink
City of Poughkeepsie Transit: Main Street, Shoppers' Special
UCAT Ulster-Poughkeepsie LINK
Metro-North Railroad: Hudson Line
Rhinecliff Rhinecliff-Kingston Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express
Hudson Hudson Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express
Rensselaer Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited
CDTA: 114, 214
Schenectady Schenectady Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited
CDTA: 63, 70, 353, 354, 355, 905
Amsterdam Amsterdam Amtrak: Empire Service
Utica Utica Union Station Adirondack Scenic Railroad: to Thendara, New York
Amtrak: Empire Service, Lake Shore Limited
CENTRO: 15, 31
Rome Rome Amtrak: Empire Service
Syracuse Syracuse Amtrak: Empire Service, Lake Shore Limited
CENTRO: 16, 48, 50, 60, 62, 70, 82, 236, 246, 250
New York State Fair Amtrak: Empire Service
Train only stops during fair
Rochester Rochester Amtrak: Empire Service, Lake Shore Limited
RTS: 1X, 4X, 13X, 34X, 35, 35X, 37, 37X, 38X, 47X, 48X
Depew Buffalo-Depew Amtrak: Empire Service, Lake Shore Limited
NFTA: Bus Route 46 (46A and 46B)
Buffalo Buffalo-Exchange Street Station Amtrak: Empire Service, Thruway Motorcoach to Jamestown, New York
Buffalo Metro Rail: Erie Canal Harbor and Seneca stations
Niagara Falls Niagara Falls Amtrak: Empire Service
Ontario Niagara Falls Niagara Falls GO Transit: Lakeshore West Train and Bus Service
Niagara Falls Transit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, Green Line Falls Shuttle
Niagara Region Transit: 50/55, 60/65, Fort Erie Link
WEGO Niagara Falls (formerly Niagara Parks Commission People Mover)
St. Catharines St. Catharines GO Transit: Lakeshore West Train Service
St. Catharines Transit: 3, 15, 115
Grimsby Grimsby Greyhound Canada: QuickLink (discontinued)
Burlington Aldershot GO Transit: Lakeshore West Train and Bus Service
Burlington Transit: 1
Hamilton Street Railway: 18
Via Rail: The Corridor
Oakville Oakville GO Transit: Lakeshore West Train and Bus Service, Oakville Hwy 403 Bus Service, Oakville Hwy 407 Bus Service
Oakville Transit: 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 180, 190, 200
Via Rail: The Corridor
Toronto Union Station GO Transit: Barrie Train and Bus Service, Brampton Trinity Common Bus Service, Kitchener Train Service, Hamilton QEW Bus Service, Lakeshore East Train and Bus Service, Lakeshore West Train and Bus Service, Milton Train and Bus Service, Orangeville Bus Service, Port Perry Bus Service, Richmond Hill Train and Bus Service, Stouffville Train and Bus Service, Sutton Bus Service, Union Pearson Express (starting 2015)
TTC: Line 1 Yonge–University, 509 Harbourfront, 510 Spadina
Via Rail: The Canadian, The Corridor
Ontario Northland: Northlander (discontinued 2012)
Can-ar Coach Service scheduled bus routes: Toronto-Pearson Airport-Orangeville-Kincardine–Port Elgin, Toronto-Scaborough-Port Perry–Lindsay– Haliburton)

Consist and equipment

Amtrak locomotive #106 pushing its train east through Toronto's Mimico GO Station.

The Maple Leaf operates year-round with Amtrak P42DC & P32AC-DM units and Amfleet I & II equipment. A typical consist will include:

  • 1 P42DC/ P32AC-DM locomotive
  • 1 Amfleet I Cafe/'Businessclass' car
  • 1-2 Amfleet II 'Coachclass' cars
  • 2-4 Amfleet II 'Coachclass' cars

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


  1. Malcolm, Andrew H. (February 14, 1982). "New York to Toronto Train". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Amtrak's new Toronto-NY line fills 10-year void; may be a winner". Miami News. April 28, 1981. Retrieved 2010-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Template:Solomon-Amtrak
  4. Rocha, Euan; Alastair Sharp (22 April 2013). "Canada thwarts "al Qaeda-supported" passenger train plot". Reuters Canada. Retrieved 23 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Macdonald, Alaistair; Siobhan Gorman; David George-Cosh (22 April 2012). "Canada Thwarts Alleged Plot to Attack Train". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Jordan train bridge reportedly target of thwarted terror plot". Retrieved 2014-01-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Travel Advisory; Grand Central Trains Rerouted To Penn Station". The New York Times. April 7, 1991. Retrieved 2010-02-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links