Transport Action BC

2013, March 2

The Future of Canada’s Passenger Trains. Are you on Board? Part 2


The federal government’s willingness to get rid of passenger rail extends beyond eliminating actual trains. Even symbolic references to passenger rail are disappearing. Passport Canada’s latest “Tips” brochure shows no rail pictogram on its cover. 

                                                    Passport Canada Brochure                                                                 

The federal bureaucrats responsible for approving the brochure have forgotten that Canadians actually can cross the US border by rail from Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal. An unintentional lapse, perhaps, but it indicates how far passenger rail is from the consciousness of the federal government.

Fortunately, many groups are defending passenger rail transport as a viable and sustainable transportation option. Transport Action Canada  and its regional affiliates, the National Dream Renewed Project, the Island Corridor Foundation on Vancouver Island and other local and national organisations are campaigning for more investment to improve and expand Canada’s passenger rail network.

Your support for these organisations is crucial in the fight for Canada’s passenger rail service. Please consider signing up.


2011, August 17

Seattle-Vancouver Amtrak will continue

Filed under: Announcement, Inter-city rail — Tags: , , , , — Matthew @ 8:55 pm

The second daily Amtrak train between Seattle and Vancouver will continue. Canadian Border Services has agreed to not charge Amtrak for customs and border inspection services. Unlike past announcements, this one seems to be permanent.

Crosscut has a good summary of the news:

Canada relents on cash demands for late Amtrak run from Seattle


Amtrak Sign

Amtrak Cascades sign at Pacific Central

2011, March 15

Amtrak Cascades trains cancelled by mudslides again

Filed under: Inter-city rail — Tags: , , , , — Matthew @ 11:27 pm

Yet again the Amtrak Cascades service between Vancouver and Seattle has been canceled due to a landslide along the track. This is the twentieth time this season! See below the picture for more information about this story.


Sign at Pacific Central says no trains.




2011, January 30

Wi-Fi now available on Amtrak Cascades

Filed under: Announcement, Inter-city rail, Uncategorized — Tags: , — Matthew @ 11:53 pm

Another reason to take the train in the Vancouver-Seattle-Portland corridor is the introduction of free wireless Internet on the trains. This is a good enhancement for business people, students and anyone who wants to stay in touch and be productive while travelling.

Visit the Amtrak Cascades website for more information.


Cab control car for Amtrak Cascades train at King St station in Seattle. Photo by M. Buchanan



2010, October 14

Reprieve Granted for Amtrak Train

Filed under: Announcement, Inter-city rail — Tags: , , , , — Matthew @ 9:17 pm

At the last minute, a deal was made to continue the Amtrak train for another year. Canadian Border Services (CBSA) wanted to charge Amtrak $1500 per day ($550,000 per year) for border inspections. Amtrak refused to pay and was going to cancel the second daily Vancouver-Seattle train at the end of October if a deal wasn’t going to be made by October 15th. Transport Action has learned that the CBSA has agreed to a one year extension,

Thanks to everyone who spoke out on this issue including Transport Action members who contacted politicians, publicised the story on blogs, and talked to friends and colleagues. A special thanks go to Ian Burkheimer at PNWER who organised a group of tourism officials, government people, and public transport advocates. Ian brought together everyone with conference calls and emails to try to get the government to listen to common sense.

This issue isn’t dead yet, only delayed for another year. The fact that the CBSA made another extension instead of dropping the idea of cost recovery means that we haven’t heard the end of this story. At least it will give Amtrak Cascades another year to grow and improve the service over the next year.

More Details

2010, September 30

Supportive Vancouver Sun editorial on Amtrak vs. CBSA

Filed under: Inter-city rail — Tags: , , , , — Matthew @ 7:54 pm
Nice to see a supportive voice for this issue. From the Vancouver Sun.

2010, September 23

Take Action to Save Amtrak Train

Filed under: Announcement, Inter-city rail — Tags: , , , , — Matthew @ 5:01 pm

Regarding the proposed cancellation of the second daily Amtrak train due to Canadian Border Services.

You can make a difference by sending a brief email or letter to one of the following people to make it known that the CBSA should back down on their proposed charge of $500,000 on Amtrak.

You may want to mention:

  • The economic benefits of the second train service.
  • The importance of this train to US federal government decisions to invest additional rail infrastructure right up to the border.  “This isn’t just about a hundred people riding the train a day, but potential investment of 100’s of millions of dollars”
  • The pilot project was a success with more than the CBSA benchmark of 60 riders per day on the train

You can contact the following people:

Federal Ministers

Opposition Critics

Provincial Politicians

Get your MP’s email and contact info here:

Send a regular letter:

Please send your letter for free (no postage necessary), to any MP to the following address (NO POSTAGE NEEDED):

House of Commons
Ottawa, Canada
K1A 0A6

2010, August 18

Second Daily Vancouver-Seattle Train Under Attack from CBSA

Filed under: Inter-city rail — Tags: , , , — Matthew @ 12:38 pm

There are rumours that Canadian Border Services Agency may be getting ready to impose the $1,500 fee and kill the second train. …

In related news….

Amtrak Cascades reports highest second-quarter ridership since 1994

Edit. Aug 25th.

The Province Newspaper reports that “Daily trains from Seattle to Vancouver to Double”

Blog at