The former train station in Blaine

New study revives interest in Blaine train stop

Potential Canadian passengers input sought in survey conducted for the city by Western Washington University students

The idea of a passenger rail stop in White Rock may have ground to a halt years ago – but the concept is still alive and kicking just across the border for the City of Blaine, Wash.

Blaine, which began pursuing the idea in earnest again last year, is receiving help from economics students at Western Washington University to conduct a feasibility study for an Amtrak stop on the BNSF line through the city.

Participants, led by student Shannon Peterson, have compiled a short online survey to help determine potential ridership – both North and South of the border – that would be attracted by a passenger stop in Blaine.

And Canadians are being encouraged to participate by logging onto the survey at this link, or on the city website, www.cityofblaine.com/849/A-New-Train-Station-in-Blaine).

The sooner potential riders can respond the better, longtime train-stop booster, Bill Becht, owner of Blaine’s Horseshoe Coins & Antiques told Peace Arch News.

He confirmed that Peterson and other students who put together the survey, together with Professor Thomas Roehl, chair of the Department of International Business at WWU, have been invited to speak at a major conference of the National Association of Railroad Passengers in Tukwila, Wash. on Saturday.

Preliminary information from the study is going to be submitted to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) at the meeting, Becht said.

“All the department heads for passenger rail in the northwest will be in attendance,” he added.

Becht said the feasibility study itself “will go a long way in helping our city get this most important passenger rail stop.

“It’s a really good sign – this is great news.”

Supporters of the project have theorized there could be more than a million riders in Canada’s Fraser Valley alone, seeing the ability for this market to easily access the Amtrak system as a huge potential boost for the Blaine economy.

“We consider the Lower Mainland are south of the river as a primary market for a Blaine station,” said Lloyd Flem, executive director of the rail advocacy non-profit All Aboard Washington.

He said the WWU study is very welcome “and will definitely provide some hard information.

“WSDOT can be very cautious about making any changes or doing anything new. We’re pushing them on this. They’re hesitant to add new stations – it’s a matter of proving a Blaine station can pay its own way.”

 

Just Posted

Proudly Surrey modifies child-care policy

Slate wants to use school board property for child-care spaces

Surrey school board wants to expand French Immersion program

District had to close program at Cougar Creek Elementary due to low enrolment

VIDEO: Scarecrow festival kicks off in Port Kells

Fourth-annual event will be on until Halloween

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants earn a 3-1 victory over Everett in season-opener in Langley

Langley’s major junior hockey team opened the season at home with a victory over the Silvertips.

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income owners in Lower Mainland

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Most Read