Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Coastal passenger rail service needs rapid improvement

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The Province

Improving basic passenger rail service between Vancouver and Seattle, for example, has failed to receive the attention it deserves — despite the fact that efficient high-speed trains would clearly provide a big boost to tourism and other economic development in our region

It is nice to see the Province editorial. Of course going from one through train to two is only a small start. This is the sort of thing that should have happened long ago.

Recent picture of teh Cascades

The service to Seattle will now become something that people who live here can consider, but the timetable is critical. Seattle should be a day trip – unless of course you are just going to buy stuff, in which case you need to be out of Canada for 48 hours to make it worthwhile and legal. The present late starts and leisurely pace on the service from Seattle to Vancouver only gives visitors a few hours here. The day trip market will not start to open up until there are faster, earlier (and later return) trains.

Written by Stephen Rees

April 17, 2007 at 9:58 am

Posted in Transportation

One Response

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  1. Looking for something else I found an MoT Press Release I had missed

    VANCOUVER – An agreement has been reached on a railway infrastructure project that will bring in a second daily Amtrak passenger train between Seattle and Vancovery, announced Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon today.

    “Government is partnering with private industry and Washington State on a project that ultimately will benefit all British Columbians,” said Falcon. “This project will boost tourism dollars, reduce traffic congestion, and ease vehicle emissions on our major transportation corridors and at our border crossings.”

    A railway siding, or “passing track,” will be built on the BNSF Railway in Delta near Colebrook road. The passing track is a second secrtion of track running parallel to the existing track, and it allows one train to move to the side, so another train can pass. The passing track is required to accommodated the operation of a second daily Amtrak train.

    The Province will contribute up to a maximum of $4.5 million dollars. The remainder of the project will be funded by BNSF and Amtrak. The work will start this spring, and the project is expected to be completed by summer of 2008.

    “BNSF is pleased to work with the Province, Washington Department of Transportation, and Amtrak, to provide emissions friendly passenger capacity to British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest,” said Pete Rickershauser, vice-president of network development, BNSF Railway.

    In its first full year of operation, the second Amtrak passenger train from Seattle to Vancouver is expected to bring approximately 50,000 travellers to Vancouver, injecting an estimated $13.9 million dollars into B.C.’s economy.

    Stephen Rees

    September 18, 2007 at 2:50 pm


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