Originally Posted by twoNeurons
As for the 4h20 time, it's worth noting that the scheduled time was billed as 3:55 in 2003. My guess is they had a hard time keeping that schedule, so they had to change the schedule. They've also been using older trainsets while the Talgos were out of service for a mid-life. They're coming back into service soon. I hope that we can see 3h25 in the near term. 3h25 is the goal for WSDOT in the midpoint between 2003 and 2023. Initially, this mid-point was envisioned for 2008, but in the actual plan was determined as unrealistic given the status of funding was uncertain. At the midpoint, there would be a morning afternoon and evening train between Vancouver and Seattle ( 6 trips ).
Here's a list of what is needed (according to WSDOT) to get trains down to the sub-180 minute area:
*estimated in 2006 U.S. dollars.
- Vancouver Terminal Control System Installation of new traffic control system/$6.9 million
- Still Creek to CN Junction New siding/$12.9 million
- Sperling-Willingdon Junction Siding New siding/$11.4 million
- Willingdon Junction Grade separation/$16 million
- Brunette-Piper Siding New siding/$28.6 million
- Fraser River Bridge Replace or improve existing bridge/$575 million
- Colebrook to Brownsville High speed track, continuation of White Rock bypass/$91.8 million
- Colebrook Siding New siding/$11.4 million
- White Rock Bypass High speed rail bypass/$312.7 million
The White Rock Bypass and Colebrook High-speed tracks shave the most time off ( almost an hour )
The Talgos are back in service for the trains leaving Vancouver in the evening.
They pass my part of town around 7-7:15pm and I saw them a few days ago. I haven't been on the beach to see which set the train arriving in Vancouver in the evening are using yet.
But yeah, it takes the trains over an hour just to reach White Rock, and they move along the beach at a crawl because of all the pedestrians in the summer. But usually right after the Amtrak leaves Canada, a freight train comes back in the other direction into Canada, and tears through White Rock Beach over twice as fast as the Amtrak. And on top of it, people were actually trying to sit on the tracks and get their picture taken with the train bearing down on them, hardly getting out of the way in time.
The Amtrak should pick up and drop off in White Rock. The time between evening trains is enough for people from downtown to have some fish and chips on the beach. I'm sure there are a few people out there that would do that.