Amtrak trains pass through White Rock but don't stop. Years of lobbying have failed there

B.C. allies back Blaine Amtrak station

Passenger train Stop near Peace Arch more convenient for many outside Vancouver

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.

The city has postponed the decision one year while the building’s significance is assessed.

“I just want to get more awareness and hopefully there will be a groundswell of support,” Becht said. “Tearing a historic train station down is an asinine thing to do.”

He thinks Canadians will be key allies in the fight.

The current Vancouver-Seattle service, which has no intermediary stops north of Bellingham, is much less convenient for the 600,000-plus South of Fraser residents who must first get to Vancouver’s Main Street train station to board Amtrak or else wait in border lines and drive to Bellingham to connect.Blaine station pictured in 2010, courtesy blainestation.com

Surrey resident Gordon Hall notes Amtrak’s morning trains leave Vancouver too early for anyone from Surrey to get to the station on public transit.

“If we could park north of the border, walk to customs and get on the morning train headed south, then return on the evening train, it would work very well,” he said.

Numerous Canadian supporters have already posted on the blainestation.com website.

“This concept would bring hundreds of BC residents into Blaine for travel to Seattle and further,” predicted White Rock’s Christy Grant.

“We would love to take the train south but driving to downtown Vancouver or Bellingham doesn’t make sense,” added Bill Hughes.

“It would be far more efficient and convenient to use my Nexus pass to cross the border and hop on a train to Seattle, or points south, than to catch a plane from Vancouver International Airport where I would have to spend two hours or so clearing security,” wrote Kane Scott.

Metro Vancouver residents also suggested TransLink buses run an extra eight blocks east from White Rock to the Peace Arch to support the service.

Others said the stop may even reduce pollution and lineups at the Peace Arch crossing.

Amtrak now runs two daily trains in each direction between Vancouver and Seattle.

Amtrak has opposed adding another stop because it would lengthen run times.

A proposed stop in White Rock was even more challenging because of the need for passengers to clear customs – a problem that would not exist in Blaine.

“They’d have a leg up there,” White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin said. “But it’s certainly not going to be a cakewalk.”

He noted hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to upgrade the passenger rail line to reduce the travel time.

View Larger Map

Blaine’s old train station is near the intersection of Marine Drive and Peace Portal Drive.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wally Oppal says policing ‘too important’ to be left to the police

Oppal was keynote speaker at a Surrey Board of Trade “Hot Topic Dialogue” breakfast event Wednesday

White Rock man says landlord ‘threatened’ tenants for seeking cash after no heat over Christmas

Porte Realty VP says original notice was harsh and quickly replaced

Surrey man charged with murder in West Kelowna tries to change guilty plea

Following an shocking guilty plea on Feb. 25, Tejwant Danjou applied to retract that plea on Feb. 26

17 medals for Delta athletes at 2020 BC Winter Games

More than 1,000 athletes from across the province competed in Fort St. John Feb. 20-23

Surrey skater speeds his way to four golds, a silver at BC Winter Games

‘I just really enjoy going fast on the ice,’ says Barnett Liu, 14

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

Trucking company fined $175K for Lemon Creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Alberta tourist dies after plunge from 70-metre cliff in Stanley Park

The 26-year-old hopped a fence at Prospect Point on fell to a walkway below, police said

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also led police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

New Westminster woman’s ‘out of character’ disappearance probed by police

She left without telling anyone, prompting investigation by Major Crimes Unit, police say

Most Read