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  #101  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2010, 10:39 PM
racc racc is offline
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Originally Posted by SpongeG View Post
they don't want to expand because of the bridge situation in new west

could take decades for that bridge to get replaced
The Pattullo Bridge replacement is a prime opportunity to include a new rail crossing as part of the Bridge. As the planning is just starting for this, now would be a great time to encourage the provincial and federal governments to step up and help provide funding for this and other improvements along the corridor.
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  #102  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2010, 11:07 PM
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I suspect that CBSA is thinking that if it gives Amtrak a breack for Cascades, it'll have o do the same for the services from TO and MOntreal to NYC (Maple Leaf and Adirondack).
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  #103  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2010, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racc View Post
The Pattullo Bridge replacement is a prime opportunity to include a new rail crossing as part of the Bridge. As the planning is just starting for this, now would be a great time to encourage the provincial and federal governments to step up and help provide funding for this and other improvements along the corridor.
The big problem with that is putting them into the same structure. The road deck would have to be a high level crossing, while the train deck would have to be a low level crossing with an movable span or a tunnel. While it would be great to integrate them I'm not sure what synergies you would get out of a combined structure.
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  #104  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Alex Mackinnon View Post
The big problem with that is putting them into the same structure. The road deck would have to be a high level crossing, while the train deck would have to be a low level crossing with an movable span or a tunnel. While it would be great to integrate them I'm not sure what synergies you would get out of a combined structure.
Neither am I which is exactly why they should at least study the idea to see if there are any potential cost savings.
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  #105  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 2:34 AM
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I doubt that a high-level, cable-stayed bridge can functionally accommodate a low-level, vertical-lift bridge within the same structure. It doesn't seem to make much sense.

BTW, the studied replacements for the rail bridge were:

1. Vertical-lift rail bridge (with an increase in allowable speed from 10 mph to 20 mph) at a projected cost of $140 million (2004 dollars);

2. Tunnel with tunneled spirals along the foreshore at an estimated cost of $502 million (2004 dollars);

So nix the expensive tunnel idea. At the end of the day, I suspect something akin to the 2nd Narrows rail bridge, constructed in 1968, will replace the existing structure.
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  #106  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 9:50 AM
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Why even bother inspecting the trains? Currently I'm living in the UK and when traveling by train between European countries I have never been inspected by customs. Personally I think the current border inspection situation between Canada and the USA is ineffective, inefficient and a ridiculous waste of time and taxpayer dollars, but thats another conversation.

Canada needs to get it together, if the CBSA wants to inspect people entering the country from the United States it is the CBSA's responsibility to pay for it. The CBSA doesn't collect money from vehicle traffic so the suggestion that train travelers should be made to pay is asinine.
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  #107  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 10:40 AM
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I agree, crossing the US/Canada border is like being interrogated at a prison for a heinous crime compared to most other places. I've traveled between EU/non-EU countries and I've hardly ever been asked a single question. In fact, it was a sort of a WTF moment if they would ask me a question, because they usually don't.
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  #108  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 8:22 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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The British border is pretty anal as well... and I'm a citizen. Heaven forbid you don't provide the address where you're staying at (because you don't know yet)
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  #109  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 9:29 PM
go_leafs_go02 go_leafs_go02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racc View Post
The Pattullo Bridge replacement is a prime opportunity to include a new rail crossing as part of the Bridge. As the planning is just starting for this, now would be a great time to encourage the provincial and federal governments to step up and help provide funding for this and other improvements along the corridor.
Should almost do ala Patullo last year and have a nice wake-up call on the bridge.

Imagine if the bridge was deemed unsafe? that would get their butt into gear.

Or a boat crash into the bridge - See how fast they got Pattullo opened up after the fire last year? It was a week.
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  #110  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyjoeda View Post
Why even bother inspecting the trains? Currently I'm living in the UK and when traveling by train between European countries I have never been inspected by customs. Personally I think the current border inspection situation between Canada and the USA is ineffective, inefficient and a ridiculous waste of time and taxpayer dollars, but thats another conversation.

Canada needs to get it together, if the CBSA wants to inspect people entering the country from the United States it is the CBSA's responsibility to pay for it. The CBSA doesn't collect money from vehicle traffic so the suggestion that train travelers should be made to pay is asinine.
And that’s the advantage of the Schengen Zone. However, it wasn’t always that way. Schengen started in 1985, I believe, but even in 1986 and 1989 (when I travelled as a kid over there), customs/immigration officers would board trains to check passports, when passing between Netherlands-Belgium; France - Italy etc. Even today (or at least in 2004) when entering Norway via train, passports or civil ID are inspected they are not an EU member.

In an ideal world, we would have the same, but one has to remember that it took Europe, quite a while to get there.
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  #111  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 3:07 AM
aberdeen5698 aberdeen5698 is offline
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In an ideal world, we would have the same, but one has to remember that it took Europe, quite a while to get there.
And bear in mind that it's not just signing an agreement regarding customs inspections. In effect both countries have to be comfortable that the kinds of screening they're currently doing on their own will be implemented by the partner country too.

With the US currently in terrorism-paranoia mode, they would demand an awful lot of Canada before allowing an open border with us, if indeed they'd consider it at all. I'm not at all sure most Canadians would go for the changes that would probably imposed on us just to save some time going to the US.
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  #112  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 8:17 AM
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I find it quite ironic when people say Canada and the US share the longest undefended boarder.

It's sad that the thought of Canada and the United States having an open border like in Europe is just fantasy. Americans are largely to paranoid about the outside world and blind to the homegrown threats to ever consider such a thing. I just believe that the current boarder interrogations do more to dissuade tourists than stop threats such as terrorism or drugs. Try bringing a piece of fruit into the US and they will treat you like a criminal, WTF.
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  #113  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 4:07 PM
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You have to remember that the Europe borders have only been "open" for about 15 years, and it was only a handful of borders that were open at first.

When my mom took me on a European tour in 1990, we stopped for passport control 9 times in 11 days. Most of those were gone when I did a similar tour in 2000 (I think Swiss and the U.K. were the only ones left, and I think those might have been eliminated since then as well).

Given time, it's conceivable that our border to the U.S. might be made open like this. But you have to ask the question - do we want to give all U.S. citizens unfettered travel into our country? It is not just a question of our own convenience, but also our protection.
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  #114  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 7:55 PM
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It's only the UK, Ireland, Lichtenstein in Western Europe that aren't in the Schengen zone, Romania and Bulgaria will also join shortly.


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_area, which has more details.
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  #115  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 8:04 PM
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if you could just drive across the border like europe shopping would be killed at least in vancouver bellingham would build a megamall and be over run with canadians

even with all the restrictions and hard time crossing thats the what the majority cross for
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  #116  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 9:00 PM
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washington state would be flooded with cheap marijuana!
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  #117  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2010, 8:02 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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A co-worker recently took a repositioning cruise from Seattle to Vancouver. He wanted to take the train from Vancouver to Seattle... but said it was fully booked.

He ended up taking the Amtrak Bus.
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  #118  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2010, 8:08 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Some more news.

Quote:
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.”

The Canadian Border Services Agency declined a request for an interview.

In an email statement from Ottawa, CBSA repeated that it will cancel the pilot project on Oct. 31, but would continue border services if Amtrak paid for them.
The Province: Source

From The National Post:
Quote:
Canadian Border Services not budging on Seattle-Vancouver train fee
Train travellers have been fretting in recent days that a second daily train from Portland, Ore., to Vancouver could go off the rails thanks to the Canadian Border Services Agency’s insistence that Amtrak pay a daily $1,500 cost recovery fee to provide, well, border services.

B.C. Transportation Minister Shirley Bond promised on Tuesday that the 10:50 p.m. train will continue to roll into Vancouver daily, as it has since last August (in preparation for the Olympics). Keeping that promise could involve the province reaching into its pocket to the tune of some $548,000 annually.

The Washington State Department of Transportation estimates the train brings $11.8-million to British Columbia’s tourism industry. The agency is miffed at the prospect of Amtrak’s customers being charged so its passengers can cross the border when motorists can do it for free.

In an email to the Post Wednesday, the Border Services Agency wrote that it won’t budge:
Quote:
It has always been clear that this temporary pilot for a second train was introduced to fulfill a need posed by increased travel volume during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The CBSA has advised Amtrak officials of the coming conclusion of the temporary pilot project. Of course, CBSA will continue to accommodate one train per day.

While this temporary pilot was due to cease on the 30th of September, CBSA has offered to continue the service until 31 October 2010 as a courtesy for travelers during peak tourism season. Amtrak has accepted this offer.

The Agency is fully prepared to continue providing service for the second Amtrak train on a cost-recovery basis should Amtrak wish to pursue this option. The Agency is prepared to continue discussions with Amtrak to review this option and discuss next steps.
Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/09...#ixzz10rAztDDL
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  #119  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2010, 7:58 AM
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Save the train to Seattle

By HARVEY ENCHIN 30 SEP 2010 COMMENTS(0) EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS

Filed under: global warming, United States, British Columbia, Metro Vancouver, rules of the road, transit
Let's see if we've got this right. Amtrak has been running a second daily train linking Vancouver with Seattle and Portland since August 2009, to complement its Cascades service that has served the transportation corridor for nearly two decades. It has been an unqualified success, carrying more than 245,000 passengers, of whom 26,837 crossed the U.S./Canada border into Vancouver.

The economic benefit to British Columbia in its first year of operation is estimated at $11.8 million, a higher value per visitor than the first train because the schedule of the second encourages an overnight stay, along with more dining and shopping. Amtrak wants to keep the extra train running, deepening the rail links of the Pacific Northwest to develop a more integrated region of Cascadia -- a step toward the realization of a long-standing dream on both sides of the border.

Now the federal government wants to bill the Washington State Department of Transport $1,500 a day to cover the cost of staffing the Canada Border Services Agency for the 10:50 p.m. arrival of the second train, a fee it had waived when the service was first introduced. That works out to more than $20 a passenger, which neither Amtrak nor Washington State believe they should have to pay. After all, U.S. authorities do not charge the return trip for border inspections and no such levy was charged when the first train began rolling into Vancouver in the 1990s. Unless the dispute is resolved, the second train will leave the station for the last time on Oct. 31.

If our reading of the situation is correct, it is ludicrous. Is Ottawa so short-sighted that it cannot see the idiocy of putting this service in jeopardy in order to collect $550,000 a year? A recent study by the Border Policy Research Institute of Western Washington University in Bellingham determined that Canada's federal, provincial and municipal governments collect an extra $1.9 million in sales taxes and hotel room taxes from the additional tourists the second train delivers.

So waiving the fee would bring in more than three times that amount in revenue while stimulating the aforementioned economic spinoff benefits.

At a time when governments are trying to coax people out of their cars and on to mass transit, it makes no sense to eliminate one of the more ecofriendly means of travel. A passenger travelling by train emits a fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions of a single car driver.

What's more, the fare from Vancouver to Seattle is equally consumer-friendly. A family of four -- two adults and two children between the ages of 2 and 15 -- can do a round trip in coach class for a total of $210 US.

...

http://communities.canada.com/VANCOU...o-seattle.aspx
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  #120  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2010, 7:42 PM
simonfiction simonfiction is offline
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"Mayor urges federal government to support second Amtrak train; deadline Friday"

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=446426345689
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