Lots of people have been emailing us about the news that Canada’s government has agreed to fund the border guards to allow a second Seattle-Vancouver round trip, one that will go all the way to Portland.

It’ll leave here in the evening, and come back in the morning.

According to the Times, it’ll start next month.  The bad news is that the fix is temporary: it’s only through the Paralympic Games, which finish March 21, 2010.

I’m sure Brian will be back with more, but please resume your weekend merrymaking.

24 Replies to “Second Vancouver Amtrak Run Enabled”

  1. About time.

    Then again too, depending on how much Vancouver BC likes having the second frequency of train (suddenly, two way transportation is enabled! Now Canadian Citizens can take the train into Seattle and back!), maybe it will continue past March 2010.

    We’ll see. We’ll see…

  2. I suspect that the run will continue indefinately since this could be a way for the Canadian government to save face. They can say that due to overwhelming demand the beefits outweigh the costs of that second train. That would be nice. I can’t wait for new details, especially the schedule!

    1. Train 513 now leaves Bellingham at 0835, so I’d bet on an early (0700?) departure from Vancouver.
      Train 516 now arrives in Bellingham at 2105, so a Vancouver arrival about 2230 would seem reasonable.
      Doubtless there’ll be some minor adjustments; there is about 2.5 hours turn around time between the arrival of 513 in Portland and its return to Seattle as 508 in the evening, so 513 could leave Vancouver a bit later than 0700. We’ll see. Brian’ll know soon enough.

  3. Yes, we’ve been haglging, praying and demanding this on this Blog and elsewhere for so long now and I hope our Canadian friends will be just as excited as we are in Seattle – they can even make it to Seattle for a day trip.

    Looking to even more trains, I am sure that we will be making a case after Vancouver and Portland join the MLS in 2011 for there to be special trains to and from Vancouver and Portland after any evening matches involving the two sides and the Sounders or between each other. Hint hint!

    Look forward to hearing Brian’s assessment of the news as well as anything else of interest along the line.

    By the way, I hear from a reliable source in Leavenworth, that they are building a trail or path from the proposed station to downtown Leavenworth and also that tracks are being realigned. I am hoping to go to Leavenworth in September to review progress amongst other matters (vacation)!


  4. it ends the same day the vancouver temporary streetcar ends :(

    me thinks we might need some citizens “lobbying” for keeping this extra train

  5. as an amtrak conductor based in seattle this is great news. i don’t remember the specific times but the plan was if/when the 2nd train went to vancouver 516 and 513 would be changed a little bit. remember that crews bringing the train to vancouver at night would be taking it back the next morning and need 8 hours rest after tying up the train so getting in close to 11 and leaving at 7 wouldn’t work since we have to report to work an hour before the train leave to have a briefing.
    when i go to work tomorrow i will try to get all the info i can about this. last i heard this had made its way to the US congress who started putting pressure on canadian officials to let this train go through.
    i agree with shawn, this train will sell out on a regular basis just as the 510/517 do and canada can say “ok ypu have convinced us, we’ll drop the fee and help out” and look like good guys.

    1. I hope Amtrak uses this opportunity to ‘demystify’ the current schedule between Seattle and Vancouver, BC.
      There are 6 northbound, and 7 southbound trips, all told(train or thruway bus)
      Some only go as far as Bellingham, some skip all the stops and are express only.
      Some leave within minutes of each other during the day, while other periods have no service for the entire afternoon.

      It’s maddening to book a trip from A to B on Amtrak Cascades, only to find out later it’s a bus, and not a train, AND it doesn’t stop at the train stations along the way, OR, it you miss the 11:30 southbound bus, your next and last bus leaves at 5pm.

      Think of the bus as a ‘starter line’ for future train trips. Make all the stops (c’mon, there aren’t that many of them!)

  6. The extra trail will not stop after the 2010 Olympics, lets be honest – this is a convenient way for the Federal government to save face after maintaining a myopic vision for passenger rail on this corridor for the last two years.

  7. Anyone know when tickets for the second run will be available on amtrak.com?

    1. a coworker checked the quiktrak machine at king street station this morning for like august 7th and was able to get a ticket from bellingham to vancouver, bc.

      1. I tried doing the same thing for late August. I got the regularly scheduled train plus the busses. No 2nd train yet. I know, I know, no patience!!! Oh well…

    1. Also want to ad that the article includes these hours from the proposal:

      “A train leaving Vancouver at 7:30 a.m. to Seattle and a train arriving in Vancouver at 10:45 p.m. from Seattle.”

      1. Looking at tim f’s contribution above, I’d bet the northward arrival will be a bit earlier, and the southward departure a bit later to allow for a full 8 hours crew rest plus a late train arrival in Vancouver.

  8. Also, on the current Seattle-Vancouver schedule, can anyone explain why the northbound takes 3:55, and the southbound 4:20? I was under the impression that southbound passengers are pre-cleared at Pacific Central, so if anything it should be faster, right? Is it just freight congestion?

    1. Purely my speculation, but it might have something to do with anticipated dwell time at the border; US inspections might take longer? Or else there’s a conflict with scheduled freight service. Or perhaps the 4:20 is a secret reference to the fact that it’s coming from Vancouver :-)

      1. Customs inspections takes place at the border so the southern runs do take longer. Maybe they can do customs at Vancouver one of these days! Why don’t they? It certainly makes the most sense. Right?

  9. I have one word: “YAY!”

    One additional source of passengers “could” be passengers going to Seattle Premium Outlets. If the trip is promoted well, day trips to the outlets by international students without cars are a definite possibility. It would give them a shopping time from 11am – 7pm, which is about right for trips I’ve taken there.

    The only thing holding them back is a shuttle to the outlets (10 miles from Everett’s Amtrak station).

    Last time I went there, I counted 50% Canadian plates.

    1. The casino is right next door. Wouldn’t surprise me if they run a shuttle.

    2. You’ll be able to get a shuttle to the outlet store from Everett Station. Stanwood was lobbying to get a shuttle from the new Amtrak station as well.

  10. Ooogie boogie oogie – yay yay yay!!

    Excuse the silliness, but I am one happy Canadian. Still sorely embarrassed at all levels of my native government, but happy nonetheless.

    After all the years of obstruction and chicanery, I will have to witness this new train to believe it (and that won’t be hard – I can see the trains come and go at Pacific Central station from my third storey window).

    I’ll be watching….

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