All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by Jeff Smith » Fri May 17, 2019 8:18 am

Reminders:

New HSR topic Cascadia Rail: http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=137&t=169084" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Wreck thread: http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=166546" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by Jeff Smith » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:52 am

https://www.aldergrovestar.com/news/all ... in-blaine/
...
All Aboard Washington government affairs director Luis Moscoso, who is a former Washington State Legislature representative, contacted Peace Arch News this week to raise awareness of the public meeting and presentation, which is to be held at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, July 13 at 1:15 p.m.

The discussion will be focused on how Amtrak Cascades could better serve Blaine, Whatcom County, White Rock and Surrey.

While British Columbia has contributed a total of $600,000 for a Vancouver-Seattle-Portland ultra-highspeed rail service study since 2018, Moscoso says that more can be done – in the meantime – with the Cascadia corridor.

“We’re already running a train system that’s woefully underachieving because of the failure it took to look at what more it should do.
...
Moscoso said he’s heard from Canadians that an Amtrak stop in Blaine would be more convenient for Surrey and White Rock residents, as the nearest Amtrak stops are currently in Bellingham and Vancouver.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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Vincent
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by Vincent » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:18 am

Vancouver could use a suburban stop equivalent to Seattle's Tukwila or Edmonds stations. There is a lot of population growth in the Surrey and Langley areas that would likely prefer to use a Blaine station rather than backtracking to downtown Vancouver to catch a train. The question is who will be paying for the cost to build the Blaine station. The BC government has historically been reluctant to participate financially in the Cascades partnership. If the station is going to be built in Blaine WA for the convenience of Canadian citizens, how willing should the WA legislature be to provide funding for that project?

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by mtuandrew » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:30 am

How about a compromise: BC commits to a White Rock bypass, WA funds a Blaine station?

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by bdawe » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:03 pm

A white rock bypass would cost a heck of a lot more than a Blaine Station

That said, it's worth noting that back-in-the-day, the GN Seattle Vancouver trains made the same time but stopped in New Westminster, White Rock, and Blaine
B. Dawe's map of routes and urban populations https://brendandawe.carto.com/viz/80b9d ... /embed_map" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; NOW updated with 2016 Canadian Populations

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by NorthWest » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:03 pm

The Blaine station still exists, but it's pretty close to the border and is a boarded up mess at the moment.

Considering that the southbounds tend to be delayed at the border, having the station right there might be useful...

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by gokeefe » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:58 pm

I think a Blaine, WA station is a great idea. The economic benefits are positive all around. I'm sure there are plenty of U.S. citizens working in Vancouver metro and living in Washington State.
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by NorthWest » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:57 pm

I think a stop in Blaine would be beneficial, too, but not for commuting.

There are a bunch of US citizens/residents that work in Canada, but usually in the areas surrounding the border. Commuting into the city itself every day would be a nightmare regardless of mode. Even if Amtrak's schedule worked for commuters (and at the moment it doesn't) it takes forever to get into the city. Because of how customs are handled, I doubt any additional stations in Canada make sense. The New Westminster Sub skirts most of the population anyway.

So everyone just gets Nexus and drives.

Short trips to Seattle or Portland for sporting events, concerts etc. would be the real market.

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by Vincent » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:01 pm

WSDOT has guidelines for deciding whether or not to add stations on the Cascades route. https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/publications/m ... /SSPGD.pdf

I think a stop at Blaine would be a net-benefit for the Cascades trains. There's a lot of population living in Surrey that would find it easier to hop a train in Blaine rather than backtracking to downtown Vancouver. There often is a fairly long stop at Blaine anyway for Customs & Immigrations officials to get off the train, so the amount of time lost for boarding and deboarding passengers at the Blaine stop would be minimal. But there would need to be a lot of cooperation and planning between the border authorities of both Canada and the USA before a Blaine stop could be opened.

As a WA taxpayer, I would be willing to fund the Blaine station improvements if BC would be willing to chip in on track improvements that would increase the track speeds in BC. Or, BC could pitch in to help fund a 3rd daily train.

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by AgentSkelly » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:19 pm

Once the Cascades becomes a full pre-clearance train, the stop in Blaine becomes super easy.

As some of you are aware, the BC section is pre-clearance on the US Immigration at VAC; But in the recent amendments to the Pre-Clearance acts in both nations, the customs portion will move to VAC as well and eliminate I think 20 minutes on southbound trips...
New Westminster to Amtrak 516, whats up with the extra 4 axles, over?

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by gokeefe » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:50 pm

Wow. I didn't realize Customs was a separate stop on the Cascades
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by AgentSkelly » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:27 pm

gokeefe wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:50 pm
Wow. I didn't realize Customs was a separate stop on the Cascades
It’s due to how the 2001 US-Canada pre-clearance agreement is implemented; US CBP Officers don’t have full powers on Canadian soil; this was remedied in the 2015 update that also allows for pre-clearance on the Adirondack.

In practice it’s acually faster than a full FIS inspection at the border. At VAC Pre-clearence, US CBP can flag anyone they want a secondary inspection at Blaine, so they know you are coming. Otherwise, it’s just take your declaration card and ask you one dumb question and the train is on its way under 20 minutes if all goes well.
New Westminster to Amtrak 516, whats up with the extra 4 axles, over?

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by NS VIA FAN » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:45 am

With pre-clearance in Vancouver there can be no other stops between there and the border. If a new stop was implemented in Surrey…..the whole idea of pre-clearance is defeated and would require a Canadian CBSA inspection in Surrey (n/b)…..and full US CBP in Blaine (s/b).

That’s why you won’t see pre-clearance in Toronto for the Maple Leaf (or maybe a future Chicago train). Just too many stops between there and the border…..and the loss of a lot of potential passengers.

Let those Canadians living in Surrey or White Rock cross on their own at the Peace Arch or Pacific Highway and use a new stop in Blaine.

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by gokeefe » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:35 pm

The FRA announced the following today:
Washington – Washington State Passenger Rail Car Replacement Project
Up to $37,500,000
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)

The proposed project will procure three new consists for use in the Amtrak Cascades intercity passenger rail service between Eugene, OR, and Vancouver, B.C., on the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor. The project will replace the three Washington State-owned Talgo VI trainsets: two used in current service and one damaged in the December 2017 derailment. The loss of the damaged trainset reduced the Amtrak Cascades schedule from six to four daily round trips. The project will enable WSDOT meet existing and anticipated passenger demand, and allow Washington to retire its Talgo VI trainsets. Additionally, the new consists will provide flexible train car capacity, reduce infrastructure lifecycle costs for the Amtrak Cascades fleet, and improve onboard amenities.
The new trainsets appear to be non-articulated equipment.
gokeefe

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by Backshophoss » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:43 pm

These sets might be based off the Caltrans/Midwest fleet cars being built by Siemens.
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