Amtrak resumed service between Montreal and New York in April after a three-year hiatus. Is it worth traveling 11 hours to get to the heart of the Big Apple? If you’re patient and have something to keep you busy, why not!

Along with the coach (which can take up to nine hours), the Adirondack Train is the most environmentally friendly way to travel to Manhattan. It’s also the cheapest, at US$70 (approximately C$95) each way (return tickets must be purchased separately).

On the round trip, you are sure to “lose” two full days of your life, since the journey is not done at night, as was the case with the Montrealer in another era. From Montreal, departure is at 11:10 a.m., for an arrival around 10 p.m. From New York, the train leaves Penn Station at 8:40 a.m. and arrives at Central Station around 8 p.m.

But we can also see it differently. Those who have a job allowing them to work remotely can very well make the trip with their eyes glued to their laptop rather than the landscape.

In one of the articles in our recent feature on boredom, published on Sunday, May 21, theater man Hugo Bélanger spoke about his appreciation of the Adirondack train. “That’s 11 hours of time!” Round trip, that’s 22 hours! […] It’s like a mobile office. You do nothing, there is a hypnotic side, the scenery changes and you have no choice! Of course there is WiFi, so it is dangerous. But otherwise it’s like a mobile prison. […] It inspires me deeply,” he told our colleague Silvia Galipeau.

Certainly, about halfway there is the Willsboro Way, roughly opposite Burlington, Vermont, which passes 100 feet above Lake Champlain. This is the most impressive passage. The driver says it: “It’s one of the best parts!” We also see herons in a marshy landscape and even a deer in the forest. But the Quebec portion is mostly made up of cornfields as far as the eye can see and new mansions in Brossard.

Observation not your thing? With reading, films or series downloaded on his tablet, music or meditation apps, a notebook to draw, time flies. Not fast. But it passes! You will also want to eat. The cafe on the train is not bad, with a choice of morning specials, sandwiches, hot dishes, nibbles and drinks.

There and back, the train is far from full. Departing from Montreal, our car neighbors include a teenager from Ottawa visiting his mother in Philadelphia (that one hasn’t arrived!), an elderly man on his way to join his sister in New York, a dancer from Brooklyn returning home, an American couple enchanted by their stay in Quebec.

While there may be up to 17 stops along the way, we only made about ten. Plattsburgh, Saratoga Springs, Albany… On the way back, we take the opportunity to go down to Albany, rent a car and take a walk in the Catskills. To re-embark in the Adirondack two days later, you obviously have to buy a ticket for the Albany-Montreal portion.

If your plan is to marry town and country, the A to Z car is a better option, because adding the price of two train tickets (N.Y.-Albany then Albany-Montreal portions) and a car rental for two days on return, the bill rises to $460 CAD.

But it is also possible to stop with the train in the very pretty village of Hudson and then enjoy its new hotels, cafes, shops and restaurants without even needing a car. The train station is a 10-minute walk from the beautiful Maker Hotel, among others.

Returning from Albany, we chat with a lady from Texas who flew to New York to take the Adirondack to Montreal, where she will be spending time with her friends from Verdun. She loves to travel by train. ” It’s relaxing. The fact remains that after 11 hours of hustle and bustle, we end up looking forward to arriving.