Transport Action BC

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.

 

 

Stories

2011, March 8

Current issue of Trains should be required reading

Filed under: high speed rail, Inter-city rail — Tags: , , , — Matthew @ 12:25 am

The April issue of Trains magazine has a special 48 page report on fast trains. It describes new high-speed trains in China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Europe, relative speed, why some Americans can’t seem to embrace high-speed rail, a map showing the highest speed portions of tracks in the USA (70 mph (112 km/h) is considered high-speed for Amtrak) and many other articles.

A special article on Amtrak Cascades describes how Washington state has grown their system slowly and steadily over the past 10 years by focusing on small incremental improvements to increase the average speed over time, instead of trying to focus on top speeds. It is frequency, reliability and comfort that will bring people back to the train, not absolute top speed.  This article especially should be required reading for folks at the BC Ministry of Transportation who are overly focused on roads.

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:

http://webinfo.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/MainMPsCompleteList.aspx?TimePeriod=Current&Language=E

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 WordPress.com.