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  #81  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2010, 2:38 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmigs View Post
At Gilmore the Amtrak trains are clipping along a fair bit faster than the VIA trains.
So... would you guys say that if commuter rail were instituted, assuming there were no holdups on the rail bridge, hat it could do Downtown to Surrey in 20 minutes?
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  #82  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2010, 6:19 PM
SpikePhanta SpikePhanta is offline
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Originally Posted by twoNeurons View Post
So... would you guys say that if commuter rail were instituted, assuming there were no holdups on the rail bridge, hat it could do Downtown to Surrey in 20 minutes?
Maybe 20 mins from Surrey to Pacific Central with a new rail bridge.

But to waterfront maybe 5-10mins longer.
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  #83  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2010, 6:56 PM
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I would say Langley or White Rock to Pacific Central in around an hour, with existing infrastructure, but using lighter weight trains than the WCE (more like the Ottawa O-Train).

I was taking some picture of the Royal Hudson last time she was in White Rock, and I raced from Crescent Beach to Broadway Station in my car and beat her by only 15 minutes (mid day, zero traffic). When I was on the AFB, I could see her along the riverfront section of track so driving from the AFB to Broadway took just a few minutes shorter than if the train left Scott Road.

It was neat watching a steam train go through the cut and drench Broadway station in steam. So if a steam train could make great time, a lightweight diesel could do better.
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  #84  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 6:09 AM
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Our federal government at work trying to kill tourism

From an email from Washington State Department of Transportation

Washington state working to keep second Amtrak Cascades train service to Vancouver, B.C.

Canadian federal government imposes nearly $550,000 in annual fees for border-clearance services


Quote:
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said today it and members of Congress are having discussions with British Columbia officials about Canada’s decision to impose border fees that will force the cancellation of the second daily Amtrak Cascades train to Vancouver, B.C.

The Canadian federal government late last week said it would require WSDOT to pay nearly $550,000 a year for border-clearance services. This money would cover additional staffing by the Canada Border Services Agency for the 10:50 p.m. second-train arrival.

“British Columbia and Washington are so disappointed by this news,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “The economic benefits for Vancouver and Washington are clear as travelers shop, eat and stay in local hotels. The second train has brought an estimated $11.8 million in economic benefits to British Columbia during the year it has been allowed to operate. Does it really make sense for $550,000 in annual border inspection fees to be the reason the service ends?”

“We proved that the ridership demand was there, during the Olympics and after,” Hammond said. “We have no money to cover this added cost and we will not ask Washington travelers to pay more for their tickets, when customers traveling into Washington don’t have to pay a U.S. customs fee.”

The Canadian government decided that the additional fee is necessary because of fiscal concerns. It did so after reviewing the pilot program over the past year and considering the staffing costs for the late evening arrival of the second Amtrak Cascades train into Vancouver, B.C.

"I am extremely disappointed that Canada has taken this counterproductive and harmful action against Washington state passengers," said U.S. Sen. Patty Murray. "This new fee will hurt our state and it will reduce cross-border economic activity that helps both countries. I will be monitoring this situation closely and I urge Canada to reconsider this decision."

Congressman Rick Larsen, 2nd Congressional District, said the second Amtrak Cascades train offers a clear economic benefit for communities on both sides of the border. “I urge the Canadian government to work with Washington so this service can continue to help enhance cross-border travel for people traveling and commuting in this region.”

“I am very disappointed to hear about this lack of commitment from the Canadian federal government,” said State Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “Washington has made investing in passenger rail service a top priority, but we need support from our neighbors to continue this valuable transportation option that connects our two countries. We will be reaching out to our congressional delegation urging their support in resolving this issue between the U.S. and Canadian governments.”

“The second train service to Vancouver, B.C., is an important transportation resource and I am saddened that the Canadian government has decided to impose this added fee,” said State Rep. Judy Clibborn, chair of the House Transportation Committee. “Washington has sponsored Amtrak Cascades for over 15 years and it’s time our neighbors helped support this service that brings in tourism and business to their province.”

The second Amtrak Cascades train service has been operating as a pilot project since Aug. 19, 2009, while the Canadian government evaluated the level of incoming traffic to Vancouver and whether additional fees would be necessary for ongoing customs services. After the 2010 Winter Olympics in British Columbia in March, the trial period was extended through Sept. 30 to provide additional time to assess the second-train service.

Total ridership on the second Amtrak Cascades train between Portland and Vancouver has grown steadily in the first year of operation, carrying nearly 245,000 passengers. Of these, 26,837 have traveled across the U.S./Canadian border into Vancouver, B.C.

Service by the second train to Vancouver has been extended through Oct. 31 and reservations can now be made for travel through that date.

Amtrak Cascades operates three daily round trips between Portland and Seattle; one daily round trip between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., and one between Portland and Vancouver, B.C.; and daily service between Eugene and Seattle, via Portland. Amtrak Cascades is operated by Amtrak in partnership with the Washington and Oregon Departments of Transportation. For Amtrak Cascades fares and schedules, visit AmtrakCascades.com.

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or e-mail address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your e-mail address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact support@govdelivery.com.

This service is provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation, contact us at WebFeedback@wsdot.wa.gov
WSDOT Rail News
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Freight/News/archives.htm
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  #85  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 6:18 AM
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thanks a lot ottawa
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  #86  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 3:37 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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What an asinine decision.
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  #87  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 5:55 PM
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First we lose cruise ships and their money, now we're going to lose the train. THANKS Ottawa indeed! Seriously, I hope this Gun Registry issue gets voted down and Harper has to call an election. About time we had someone in office that gave a shit about this country.
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  #88  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 6:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattropolis View Post
From an email from Washington State Department of Transportation

Washington state working to keep second Amtrak Cascades train service to Vancouver, B.C.

Canadian federal government imposes nearly $550,000 in annual fees for border-clearance services




WSDOT Rail News
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Freight/News/archives.htm
This is really embarrassing. The US government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade passenger rail service along the Cascade corridor and yet the Canadian government is unwilling to continue to pay $550,000 a year for border-clearance services following the successful trial of this service over the last year.

Please write Prime Minister Harper and demand the Canadian government continue to pay for border-clearance services so the second daily train can continue.

pm@pm.gc.ca

And copy:
Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca
Layton.J@parl.gc.ca
Strahl.C@parl.gc.ca
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  #89  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 7:14 PM
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This is rather unfortunate to say the least. I'm curious, however, how much extra labour costs the US side incurs due to the second train service? I'm not familiar with the schedules, but it could be possible that the US customs agents are able to do all their work within a more compact shift schedule than their Canadian counterparts. This might explain why the Canadian federal government seems more hesitant to continue with this.

That being said, to shut down over $550 000 is stupid, and short-term thinking. The mutual economic benefit right now is justification enough. And if you build ridership, who knows, there could be even more frequent and faster service in the future. I hope they are able to work something out.

The article cites 'fiscal concerns'. What does that mean exactly?
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  #90  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 8:07 PM
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seattle times comments:

Quote:
It's been a while since I've driven over the US/Canada border.

Does anyone know what the toll is for the highway crossings (to cover the cost of the US/Canadian Customs personnel)?
Jim Cusick
Edmonds, WA

Well, is not our neighbor to the north a socialist one, and requires high taxes and fees to provide cradle to grave welfare for its grateful citizens?

It is best we be not like them, economically, and our taxes kept low, or we will feel less prosperous.

By the way, in retaliation to this new tariff, we should slap a 20% tax on all imports from Canada, including our natural gas we use here in the Puget Sound.

Write your legislators this wise proposal today.

Socialism, You always run out of the tax payers money to pay for people not to work-Margaret Thatcher
tsaye
Bothell, WA

Classic Canadian behavior. Try to advantage themselves in every single aspect of anything related to commercial transactions that have mutual or multinational benefits. They almost pride themselves on showing us how they can "win" in these situations. They've punished Washington State's initiative on passenger rail from the beginning, constantly engaging in this type of nonsense. Ironic given their admirable record on promoting mass transit around Vancouver. Let's save our money and our effort until they grow up....and I thought the Olympics had matured them!!
hardchoices
Seattle, WA

I have planned a trip to Toronto and Montreal in early October. I regret to inform the Canadian government that my $1,500 USD can just as easily be spent on the US side of the border and I am canceling the Canadian portion of my trip. Sorry guys, this is crap..
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  #91  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 9:05 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racc View Post
This is really embarrassing. The US government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade passenger rail service along the Cascade corridor and yet the Canadian government is unwilling to continue to pay $550,000 a year for border-clearance services following the successful trial of this service over the last year.

Please write Prime Minister Harper and demand the Canadian government continue to pay for border-clearance services so the second daily train can continue.

pm@pm.gc.ca

And copy:
Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca
Layton.J@parl.gc.ca
Strahl.C@parl.gc.ca
Thanks, letter sent. I encourage you all to do the same.
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  #92  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 9:17 PM
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This is embarrassing that the federal Government wont cover such a relatively small amount to help strengthen tourism and business between Vancouver and Seattle.

At the same time that comment SpongeG posted is down right idiotic and hilarious! I am honestly happy that guy is not coming to Canada!
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  #93  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 9:28 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
This is embarrassing that the federal Government wont cover such a relatively small amount to help strengthen tourism and business between Vancouver and Seattle.
Well, I hope you've sent the pm an email, then.
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  #94  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 9:36 PM
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Typically stupid decision by Ottawa, they would never pull this crap if the train was running from Toronto to the U.S. Hopefully the local politicians can convince Ottawa how dumb their decision is. the second train was an economic generator for the region.
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  #95  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 9:44 PM
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One would think that with Chuck Strahl, the new federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (from the Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon riding), we would be able to have some political clout in order to have this matter rectified. In the end I suspect (hope) that will be the case.
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  #96  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 10:07 PM
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Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties here ...

But you're all forgetting something, uttering all this falderall about damage to the economy of Canada if a second train comes. It would reduce profit, but it would follow the Canadian business and administrative tradition. We can'tallow something as innovative and yet financially questionable happen in Canada.

"It's not the Canadian way !!!! "
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  #97  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 10:08 PM
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Governments exist to fix problems, and you can't fix problems if they don't exist first. So if they don't exist, they get created. So I expect this to be fixed, as the taxes generated by the visitors has to be greater than $20 each (which is what they want to charge). Then we can all thank our MP's for fixing this problem (even though they created it with the sole intent of fixing it).
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  #98  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2010, 8:37 PM
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Second daily Amtrak trip won't be derailed: Transportation Minister

BY JOHN BERMINGHAM, THE PROVINCE SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 9:44 AM

B.C. Transportation Minister Shirley Bond said she won’t let an Amtrak train between Portland and Vancouver be derailed.

Bond told The Province she wants the federal government to fund border-clearance services on the second daily train, which arrives in Vancouver every night at 10.50 p.m.

Last week, Canada Border and Services Agency said it will end a pilot program that provided free border services to the second train, which ran through the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Washington State said in turn that it will end the expanded service on Nov. 1 if they are billed the annual $550,000 fee for border services.

“We are not prepared to write it off,” Bond told The Province Tuesday. “We are going to lobby aggressively to the federal government.

“We are disappointed with where we find ourselves today.”

The second rail service was championed by Premier Gordon Campbell and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire when it was launched in August last year with a $2.9-million investment from the province.

Bond admits she’s concerned the service is in peril over only $550,000.

Bond has been meeting with Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond to find a solution. They meet again Thursday.

The service is operated by Amtrak, along with the Washington and Oregon departments of transportation.

Washington DOT spokesman Andrew Wood, who helps run the service, said the second train brings an average of 73 passengers to Vancouver, so additional border staffing would effectively cost $20 per passenger.

“The fee should be waived,” said Wood. “People cross at the border by day and by night, by road, and there’s no special fee.”

Amtrak’s long-term plan is to run four round-trips to Vancouver by 2030.

“This cuts across everything we were trying to do,” he said.

NDP transport critic Harry Bains said the rail service also creates jobs in the taxi and hotel industries in Vancouver — so the provincial and federal governments need to pony up the $550,000, Bains said.

“I think it’s a no-brainer,” he said, standing outside Pacific Central Station at Main and Terminal. “This is something that we need.”

Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh urged the federal government to reverse its decision.

“If the CBSA’s fees go ahead, the Harper government will be putting a stop to the daily second Amtrak train and permanently derailing the estimated $11.8 million in annual tourist spending and economic benefits that come with it,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

Tourism Vancouver’s Candice Gibson, who works with Amtrak and Washington State in marketing the rail service, said the rail link is eco-friendly, and it’s become part of the Vancouver experience for Washington State tourists.

“The Amtrak train provides consumers from our largest U.S. market an option to rubber-tire trips,” said Gibson.

“We have no doubt it will be a positive thing if we can see the expansion of the Amtrak service into Vancouver in the coming years.”

...

http://www.theprovince.com/business/...megadrop_story
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  #99  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2010, 9:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SpongeG View Post

Amtrak’s long-term plan is to run four round-trips to Vancouver by 2030.
Might want to lobby them to plan more than that by then.
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  #100  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2010, 9:16 PM
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they don't want to expand because of the bridge situation in new west

could take decades for that bridge to get replaced
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