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  #21  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2009, 6:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenC12 View Post
CBSA has been having union disputes with the government lately, so the cynical side of me says this may be posturing. However the other side of me says hey these people are supposed to have our safety as their #1 priority. On a related note the Feds also mentioned funding to beef up the Pacific Crossing facilities.

What am I missing with this Amtrak plan? I've been on the Seattle train today and it's both expensive and mostly empty, where's the demand for a second line?
the way the train works now any amtrak connections south of seattle cannot be made

If you could catch a train from vancouver to seattle in the morning you could than catch the trains to Portland, and California etc.

if you want to do that now you have to spend one night in Seattle at a hotel and than the train the next day

some people just like to travel by train

i would love to do it one day - my friend has taken the train numerous times to seattle and loves it but it gets there so late at night
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  #22  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2009, 7:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
I think this was talked about a long while ago somewhere on this forum, maybe when the study was commissioned. That or i heard about this project in the news. I think it is a good idea. There are way to many at grade rail crossing in Metro-Vancouver. One of the worst is in Pitt Meadows where Harris road (the main road in Pitt Meadows) crosses the CPR right beside a WCE station.
I thought I read something here about that. well it's nice that TransLink actually lists this project now.
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  #23  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2009, 4:27 PM
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How are they going to build an overpass at Harris Road? There's a condo right there and I'm sure the residents will oppose anything of that sort. But yea it is a pretty bad crossing, I tried taking the 791 from Pitt Meadows to Braid and we were stuck at that crossing for like 5 minutes for a freight train that crossed just a minute after the West Coast Express left.
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  #24  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2009, 5:17 PM
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its a major major major problem for Pitt Meadows. The entire city is cut off by the tracks on both sides: Harris on the west, Maple Meadows Way on the east. Don't have to exaggerate how risky that is for emergency services
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  #25  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2009, 6:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SpongeG View Post
i would love to do it one day - my friend has taken the train numerous times to seattle and loves it but it gets there so late at night
I've taken the Coast Starlight to Sacramento from Seattle. It's a nice trip, but it's slow.
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  #26  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2009, 6:50 PM
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Quote:
How are they going to build an overpass at Harris Road? There's a condo right there and I'm sure the residents will oppose anything of that sort. But yea it is a pretty bad crossing, I tried taking the 791 from Pitt Meadows to Braid and we were stuck at that crossing for like 5 minutes for a freight train that crossed just a minute after the West Coast Express left.
I was thinking more of an underpass, similar to that of where the Mary Hill Bypass goes under the CP tracks. It could easily be done there as well.
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  #27  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2009, 5:28 PM
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Angry CBSA wants to charge $1500/train for inspections.

Quote:
Amtrak tries to increase service to B.C.
Amtrak wants to start a second daily Seattle-to-Vancouver train, but the proposal is stalled because of a dispute about fees for Canadian immigration and customs inspections.

By Kristin Jackson


Seattle Times Travel staff

There's an easy way to avoid delays at the U.S.-Canada border crossing at Blaine, both now and during next year's Winter Olympics: Take the train from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C.

It will be even more convenient if Amtrak Cascades starts a second daily round-trip train between the two cities.

Amtrak Cascades, which has one round trip a day between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., says it's been ready since last summer to start a second train. But that's been stymied by a dispute over payment for immigration/customs inspections of rail passengers arriving in Canada aboard the second train.

"In July, we were notified by the Canadian Border Services Agency that they will require $1,500 [Canadian] a day in reimbursement for inspections of northbound passengers," said Ken Uznanski, the rail-passenger manager for the Washington Department of Transportation.

Amtrak Cascades, the Pacific Northwest rail service operated by Amtrak under contract with the governments of Washington and Oregon, doesn't want to pay that daily fee (equivalent to about $1,218). Talks have been held but so far there's no resolution — and no second train.

"The province of British Columbia, the tourism industry and others have been working to attempt to get the fee waived," said Uznanski. "The current Seattle-Vancouver round trip does not have such a charge ... (that's) what has held up the start of service."

A spokeswoman for Canada's Border Services Agency, Faith St. John, said the federal agency could not comment on the issue.

The British Columbia government "recognizes the benefits" of a second train, provincial- government spokesman Alex Dabrowski said Friday. But it's awaiting the outcome of talks and has no timeline for when the train may start.

In the meantime, Amtrak Cascades saw record annual ridership in 2008, carrying 774,421 passengers on its routes that stretch from Eugene, Ore., through Portland and Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. That's up from 676,670 passengers in 2007.

High fuel costs for motorists and the convenience of trains — its most popular stretch is Seattle-Portland service with four round trips daily — helped boost ridership.

A second train between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., would give passengers a better choice of times. The current northbound train departs Seattle at 7.40 a.m.; it leaves Vancouver, B.C., at 5.45 p.m. for Seattle.

The new train would leave Seattle at 6.40 p.m. and depart Vancouver the following morning at 7 a.m.

Another advantage of the second train, beyond the increase in service, is it would be an extension of an existing service between Seattle and Portland.

That would let travelers remain on one train between Portland and Vancouver, B.C., avoiding the train changes and long waits now required for such a trip.

Kristin Jackson: kjackson@seattletimes.com or 206-464-2271.
article


This annoys me. Is this a case of Ottawa's meddling? I wonder if there is a charge for cross-border trains back east?
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  #28  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2009, 8:05 PM
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A spokeswoman for Canada's Border Services Agency, Faith St. John, said the federal agency could not comment on the issue.
^Sounds like it to me.
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  #29  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2009, 11:07 PM
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it would be sweet if it was going to start up

you could catch an afternoon flight out of seatac with the new LRT in seattle whoosh
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  #30  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2009, 4:28 AM
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If they want to charge a train $1500 for crossing, they should start charging airplanes and cars for crossing the border! I'd like to see them try that. CBSA and the Federal government are being bone-headed about this issue.
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  #31  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2009, 5:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mattropolis View Post
If they want to charge a train $1500 for crossing, they should start charging airplanes and cars for crossing the border! I'd like to see them try that. CBSA and the Federal government are being bone-headed about this issue.
Agreed. Further, I imagine it costs less "per person" to inspect a trainfull of people than to do them all in their own cars. If the service is popular enough, I imagine they could actually save money by doing this.
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  #32  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2009, 6:11 AM
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they inspect them at the station don't they?
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  #33  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2009, 7:43 AM
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The overnight train between Toronto and NYC stops at Niagara Falls and wastes about 2 hours there.
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  #34  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2009, 5:53 AM
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Guess this is the best thread for this, pretty big news, at the same time lets not get too excited as this isn't set in stone yet. But it does show that the False creek rail yard isn't going anywhere. I tried to edit the info down a bit but so much of it is of interest, anyone that wants more can read the following document.

http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/...uments/tt3.pdf

Quote:
RECOMMENDATION
THAT Council provide its support in principle to proceed with the Powell Street Grade Separation project, subject to a successful funding agreement with Transport Canada and other agencies.

SUMMARY
The City of Vancouver has recently completed the False Creek Flats Rail Corridor Strategy, which provides a plan to improve the connectivity of the False Creek Flats to the Waterfront. This would be achieved through a number of overpasses and at grade road closures along the Burrard Inlet (BI) Line rail corridor. This study identifies the Malkin Avenue overpass and the Central Valley Greenway connection as providing the highest City benefits and the Powell Street Overpass as providing the highest rail benefits.
Transport Canada is finalising its South Shore Trade Area Study with the final report expected to be complete in February 2009. One of the recommendations expected from this study is to call for the completion of the Powell Street Rail Grade Separation. The primary benefit of this project would be an additional east/west rail line to increase rail capacity along the waterfront.
Transport Canada has identified the Powell Street Grade Separation as a potential candidate for funding through the Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative. To be eligible for this funding the project would need to be completed by 2014 and would require a partnership with the City of Vancouver and other agencies. At this time, Transport Canada is seeking support in principle to proceed with the grade separation of Powell Street. Details of the contributions for each agency would need to be discussed with all funding partners if agreement to proceed in principle was achieved.
The consultation process up to this point has been technical in nature and involved numerous transportation interests in the Flats. Should an acceptable funding agreement be reached, staff will commence additional consultation with community, business and other interests.
PURPOSE
The purpose of this report is to provide Council with an update on the results from the False Creek Flats Rail Corridor Strategy and to obtain approval in principle to proceed with working with Transport Canada and other partners to develop a strategy to move forward with the Powell Street Overpass.
DISCUSSION
Vancouver is Canada’s gateway for Asia Pacific Trade which emphasises the importance of railways for delivering goods to and from the rest of Canada and North America. Compared to moving goods by large truck, railways create 5 times less greenhouse gases and as an environmentally focussed City and region it is important that continued growth in goods movement can be accommodated by rail wherever possible.
Recent agreements (co-production agreement) between CN and CPR for coordinated rail operations have made significant increases in the short term rail capacity for the container terminals along the south shore of Burrard Inlet. These changes have focussed operations in an east/ west direction along the waterfront and has led to a decrease in freight rail traffic travelling from the waterfront terminals to nearby False Creek Flats.
The Flats are only 2 kilometres away and are home to over 95 acres of rail lands. The recent declining use in the False Creek Flats rail yards, as support for waterfront rail activities, is due primarily to the poor rail connection (BI Line) between the two areas. This rail line has two main limitations: the six at grade rail crossings along the line and the rail intersection with the east/west mainline (Heatley Diamond) at the waterfront. As container traffic continues to grow and space is limited for rail yards along the waterfront, the City of Vancouver anticipates there will be a need to overcome the rail limitations of the BI line in order to better use the freight rail capacity within the Flats.

Through the South Shore Trade Area Study, Transport Canada has identified the Powell Street Grade separation as a potential candidate. To be eligible for this funding the project would need to be completed by 2014. To deliver this project, Transport Canada would be seeking a partnership with the City of Vancouver and other agencies. This would be a similar delivery model to the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor project.
Through the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor Study, a public-private partnership was formed and an agreement in principle assigned by the government of Canada, British Columbia, Translink, VPA, BC Rail, CP, CN, BNSF Railway, Delta, Surrey, Langley Township and the City of Langley. The total investment package includes up to 9 grade separations totalling over $360 million, for which the Government of Canada contributed $75 million. The cost-sharing involves funding contributions from the Government of Canada (23%), the BC Ministry of Transportation (17%), Port Metro Vancouver (17%), TransLink (17%), the municipalities (17%) and the railways (11%).

The Central Valley Greenway Bridge and the Malkin Avenue overpass are both high priority projects for the City. The Central Valley Greenway Bridge is dependent on the conclusion of the False Creek Flats Planning Program and the Malkin Avenue Bridge will be discussed with Transport Canada for future funding opportunities.

Last edited by deasine; Feb 12, 2009 at 6:49 AM. Reason: Addition of Quotation Tags
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  #35  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2009, 8:13 AM
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interesting article. Thanks for posting. The images on the pdf help, if anyone is wondering what this article is talking about.
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  #36  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2009, 4:10 PM
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very cool....I was wondering what happened to the "prior st replacement/new malkin viaduct" project.
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  #37  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2009, 9:24 PM
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Thanks. Wonder how much of an outcry there'll be from the community.
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  #38  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2009, 11:19 PM
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Thanks for the link, I was having a tough time picturing what they were talking about in the article until I checked out the PDF. Seems like a good idea, I come in down Powell alot and I have never once seen those tracks in use and I've even wondered in the past what they are used for... this should help alleviate some of the strain on the rail lines east of the port and might facilitate easier future expansion as there are more options inland.
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  #39  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2009, 5:20 AM
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The Powell st tracks are used quite a bit. They are used extensively overnight when traffic is low, but even during the day there are a couple of trains just before 7am and then a couple more at about 3pm. I'm sure if these improvements are made the track will see much more usage.
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  #40  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2009, 5:28 AM
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I would think they would make Venables St. a priority for a vehicle and pedestrian underpass/overpass. It really is one of the best routes to leave downtown, the Georgia Viaduct ends on Prior which becomes Venables.
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