Stephen Rees's blog

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

Extra Vancouver-Seattle Amtrak train to start run next month

with 9 comments

Finally the Border services Agency has backed down! The Vancouver Sun is now reporting that the second train will start running in August though they also say they cannot confirm the schedule. The idea is to have a train times to be convenient for Canadians – that is leaving here in the morning and the returning here in the evening. The present train arrives here late in the morning and then leaves for Seattle in the afternoon, though there are bus services at other times of day.

The border services agency had been insisting that Amtrak cover the costs of border service agents required to check passengers.

But the agency has agreed to waive those fees, said Chris McCluskey, spokesman for the public safety minister, who oversees the border services agency.

The service would be a test to evaluate if the level of traffic would be high enough to justify the customs services required, the public safety minister said in a release.

So the important thing is now that there will finally be some semblance of a real service we start to use it.

Amtrak Cascades Mud Bay Surrey BC 08-04-2005 10-28AM

Written by Stephen Rees

July 3, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Posted in Railway

9 Responses

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  1. I like to think it was my terse email that did it. I’ll be checking to see when I can try out the new schedule.

    It was supposed to start almost a year ago. I wonder what that comes to in lost tourist revenue? Or GHG?


    July 3, 2009 at 4:55 pm

  2. Finally! Can’t wait to join the 2nd world transportation standards with *twice* daily train service – it’s ain’t Japan or Germany yet but it’s a start … quite exciting for Cascadians indeed!


    July 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm

  3. Great news indeed! Miro Cernetig talked about Amtrak’s problems with Canadian Customs in todays Sun (Friday, July 3rd) in a piece about Harper refusal to help BC capitalize on the Olympic games. “Another major Ottawa blunder on the Olympics”

    Red frog

    July 3, 2009 at 11:43 pm

  4. I believe that there has been an evening train for some time, but it terminated at Bellingham. So, now for a few miles more, it will stop at Vancouver.

    According to the Sun:

    “Washington state owns the trains and subsidizes $11 million of the annual costs for the portion of the Amtrak Cascades line that goes between Vancouver and Portland, Ore., and British Columbia and Amtrak also subsidize the costs, Wood said.”

    $11 million annually? That’s peanuts! By comparison SkyTrain is subsidized by over $200 million annually!

    Also, I have read somewhere that the current train operates at about 80% to 90% capacity, which is very good and bodes well for the new evening service.

    D.M. Johnston

    July 4, 2009 at 6:59 am

  5. About time! I’ve been hoping to visit Portland for over a year. I was about to give up and plan a road trip this summer, but now I can take the train.


    July 4, 2009 at 8:43 am

  6. Though the “we don’t know the schedule yet” part worries me, I’m hoping to be the first one aboard the new a.m. service to Portland.

    See you on the train!

    Andrea C.

    July 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm

  7. Great news! It must have been the efforts of Transport 2000 BC that got the job done. 😉
    By the way if you look at the schedule at Amtrak Cascades the proposed train would enable through service to Portland. If the train leaves Vancouver around 7 am it should be in Portland around 3pm.

    Matthew Buchanan

    July 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm

  8. […] of the MAX Green Line here in Portland, and understandably so.  I’m more excited about Amtrak’s extended service to BC from Seattle (thanks for the info, Stephen Rees).  Maybe it’ll finally be possible to catch a train from […]

  9. […] Extra Vancouver-Seattle Amtrak train to start run next month « Stephen Rees’s blog […]

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