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Thread: Trains and borders.

  1. #1

    Default Trains and borders.

    Well, I couldn't sleep, so I was up watching the news and they were talking about President Trump and the border wall.
    That got me thinking, what do trains do when they have to cross the border and how many border crossings are there?
    Well, since I couldn't sleep, I decided to start at the western end of the US/Canadian Border and work my way eastward
    from one end to the other. I didn't mark roads, but I did mark state boundry lines along the border for reference.
    What amazed me was, during this journey, there were some places where you could actually see the border crossing tracks
    on Street View. In other places, the crossing was little more than a gate in a field. I plan on doing the US/Mexico border next.
    Why am I doing this? I don't know, grins and giggles I guess. It would be an interesting thing to have the entire US rail system
    playable in a train sim. (I know, tooooo large, but I can dream can't I?)
    I put the point in the center of the track as best as I could get it.

    48.493917 -124.780613 BORDER START
    49.002084 -122.757495 1 Track Canada To Blaine, WA
    49.002391 -122.266944 4 Tracks Canada To Sumas, WA
    49.000751 -117.626936 1 Track Canada To Stevens County WA
    49.999265 -117.032547 Canada-Washington-Idaho Confluence
    49.000877 -116.049000 Canada-Idaho-Montana Confluence
    48.998392 -111.959050 3 Tracks Canada To Toole County MT
    48.999889 -104.048722 Canada-Montana-North Dakota Confluence
    48.998944 -102.549054 2 Tracks Canada To Portal North Dakota
    49.000447 -97.228938 Canada-North Dakota-Minnesota Confluence
    49.000446 -97.203176 2 Tracks Canada To St Vincent Twp Minnesota (Street View)
    48.719630 -94.591388 1 Track Canada To Baudette Minnesota
    48.607777 -93.401742 1 Track Canada To International Falls, MN
    48.013173 -89.483778 Canada-Minnesota-Michigan Confluence
    46.508529 -84.361518 1 Track Canada To Salt Ste Marie Michigan
    41.959244 -83.112390 Canada-Michigan-Ohio Confluence
    42.325031 -80.517491 Canada-Ohio-Pennsylvania Confluence
    42.514331 -79.762322 Canada-Pennsylvania-New York Confluence
    43.109260 -79.058297 1 Track Canada To New York (Whirlpool Rapids Bridge)
    45.010311 -73.372791 1 Track Canada To Champlain NY
    45.010335 -73.370984 1 Track Canada To Champlain NY
    45.010716 -73.343168 Canada-New York-Vermont Confluence
    45.012532 -73.241209 1 Track Canada To St Georges De Clarenceville Vermont
    45.007162 -72.412182 1 Track Canada To Troy Vermont
    45.101652 -71.795104 1 Track Canada To Norton Vermont
    45.305675 -71.084287 Canada-Vermont-Maine Confluence
    44.695986 -66.982280 BORDER END

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002


    This is an interesting bit of research. I am surprised actually how few crossing there are for the thousands of miles long border. I live a couple of miles from the 3rd one on your list ( Sumas ). There are two tiny yards on the Canadian side, one served by Canadian Pacific, and the other by Southern Railway of BC. For the most part they make up cuts of cars that are pushed across the border a few at a time. But several times a day there are long BNSF coal trains that just run through non stop without even changing power.

    And you might have missed one Canada US crossing - at White Pass Alaska ..


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Brockville, ON, CA


    Back when I was visiting my uncle I would take Amtrak from Montreal south to Rouses Point NY. Just a very short stop in Lacole PQ before heading another four miles to Rouses Point when American Boarder Agents would come on board, pass out various immigration and declaration cards. Small train and that took about ten minutes.

    Northbound it was a stop in Lacole PQ for that ten minutes before the train was heading north again.

    In Lacole and Rouses Point the D&H would bring up or bring back any COFC and TOFC cars for inspection which meant the containers and trailers were removed with a My-Jack and the contents physically searched. At the time this was just six or eight cars a day and they were dropped off around 1800 hrs. There was also a regular freight that would head north in the early morning, picking up the TOFC/COFC equipment that was released at that time. Other rolling stock on the train was just inspected to make sure the seals were not tampered with and numbers matched, they were "pre-bonded" before they ever left the original consignee. Same south bound but at Rouses Point.

    Paul :-)

  4. #4


    You're right. I didn't do Alaska, I just was curious about the lower mainland.
    What was surprising to me was how open the border was. People could just walk across.

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