Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Save Blaine Amtrak Station

If you've never taken the Amtrak train down to Seattle or Portland, I recommend that you do. With Interstate 5 always under construction and always congested, taking Amtrak is a much more civilized way to travel and is inexpensive. If you are car-free like myself, the only option is to take Amtrak from Pacific Central Station in Vancouver as there is no station in the South of Fraser. If you own a vehicle, it is much more convenient to take the train from Bellingham as the train moves slowly through Canada due to our poor rail infrastructure.

For a while there has been calls to add a station back in South Surrey to give better rail access to South of Fraser residents which would shave an hour off the travel time on the train. So far adding another station in Canada has fallen on deaf ears, but what is there was another option that was easy to get to? According to the Surrey Leader:
Efforts to get a White Rock stop for Amtrak passenger trains have so far failed, but a new push is now on to use Blaine's historic train station just a short stroll across the border.

The idea is that Canadians – particularly from cities like Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford – could park near the Peace Arch border and board trains there to Seattle.

"It would have heavy Canadian usage as they could cross the border by foot or bike even," predicts Bill Becht, one of the Blaine residents behind the campaign to restore the shuttered station.

The issue has become urgent in Blaine since BNSF Railway applied for a permit to demolish the old station building.
There is a website setup and a movement called Save the Blaine Station which aims to prevent the demolition of the station and see it back in revenue service.

As a Langley resident, it would be great to see this station restored as I could take the pending TransLink Langley/White Rock bus to the US border and walk to the train station.

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