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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Vancouver > Transportation & Infrastructure

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  #21  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2009, 6:58 PM
officedweller officedweller is offline
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Of those, I think the Colebrook siding has been built.
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  #22  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2009, 7:49 AM
BCPhil BCPhil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoNeurons View Post

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:
  • 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
*estimated in 2006 U.S. dollars.
source

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.
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  #23  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2009, 6:43 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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The only way they could do that would be locking off some cars. Passengers have already cleared customs at Pacific Central (as I understand it) so you can't let some off in White Rock.

White Rock should simply be bypassed.
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  #24  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2009, 10:11 PM
BCPhil BCPhil is offline
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Do they do the customs at Pacific Central? Where do they do customs entering Canada? I always just assumed they did at the boarder crossing as the tracks are right there next to the depot.

As for bypassing White Rock, I hope they know what they are doing. It is a very tall hill (up then down) along Highway 99 through South Surrey, most cars and trucks have a hard time keeping up the 100km/h speed limit.
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  #25  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2009, 12:24 AM
officedweller officedweller is offline
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The hill is reflected in this 1897 map of Surrey showing an old railway line (that no longer exists) (squiggle looks like the Arbutus one, huh?):



Other Fraser Valley maps:

http://www.vanc.igs.net/~roughley/early_fv_maps.html
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  #26  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2009, 5:45 AM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post
Do they do the customs at Pacific Central? Where do they do customs entering Canada? I always just assumed they did at the boarder crossing as the tracks are right there next to the depot.

As for bypassing White Rock, I hope they know what they are doing. It is a very tall hill (up then down) along Highway 99 through South Surrey, most cars and trucks have a hard time keeping up the 100km/h speed limit.
I believe they only do checks at the border. bomb sniffing dogs etc. They don't do any processing there in Blaine.

On that map, it detours around the big hill, but for a high speed line there are ways to minimize the slope. The hill length is 2000m and the elevation gain is 90m. Not sure what trains can handle, though.
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  #27  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2009, 5:54 AM
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Originally Posted by twoNeurons View Post
I believe they only do checks at the border. bomb sniffing dogs etc. They don't do any processing there in Blaine.
Pacific Central has US border pre-clearance. I think Seattle and Portland may have customs clearance as well.
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  #28  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2009, 7:23 AM
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Well I'll find out next week where abouts customs is done. I'm booked to leave Vancouver on Tuesday to Portland, then to Seattle on Wednesday and back to Vancouver on Friday before I head home.

And a bit O/T, but does anyone have any suggestions for a good parking lot near Pacific Centre that has reasonable rates? Message me if you have any suggestions
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  #29  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2009, 7:38 AM
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^Kind of a seedy area around Pacific Central. I wouldn't park my car near there if I was going to be gone for any length of time.
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  #30  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2009, 8:01 PM
BCPhil BCPhil is offline
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Haha, Park in the long term lot at YVR and take the Canada Line into downtown then Skytrain over to Pacific Central. I suggest that because most parking lots in Vancouver are day based or even work day based (6am to 6pm) at the most and parking longer than 24 hours gets you a massive ticket. Even in gated parkades, parking longer than 24 hours can get you a penalty. And at YVR it's $12/day where as most parking downtown is $10 just for an evening (more during the day). If you are feeling brave/lucky check out the Easypark parkade on Keefer street.
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  #31  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2009, 11:30 PM
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Yeah, I was thinking to try that. The hotel I'm at on Granville is $14/day which is bad enough for an ungated lot
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  #32  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2009, 3:23 AM
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Actually ended up parking in the EasyPark lot across from Main Street Skytrain station, came to $48 for the 4 days and not a worry when I got back.

As for the question about customs, its currently:

Going south:
1. Pre-clearance at Pacific Central before boarding, including bags being put through the scanner (checked luggage is collected post customs before you board)
2. Quick questioning by US border agents on the train at the former Blaine train station, the three we had go through just drove over from the actual border station then drove off as we pulled back out

Going north:
1. Nothing at the border, you collect your checked luggage as you get off the train, then wait in line and go through Canadian customs inside Pacific Central, this is just a couple quick questions and handing over your declaration form


Overall I'd say the service is a good thing, going down to Seattle on the early train (6:40am departure from Van) the train was probably 90% sold, coming back from Seattle on the earlier train (depart Seattle 7:40am) onwards it was over 100%, they actually ran out of seats so some people made the trip sitting in the dining car (most in here were for some of the stops between Seattle and the border though). They are using the Talco's for all the runs now, which was nice as they are a pretty decent carset, they actually look older then the date on the plaque inside says due to the choice of molded plastic and brown curtains. Having the full cafe car was also nice, a few people opted to enjoy having the bar as a few were drinking soon after we pulled out of Seattle.
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  #33  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2009, 4:02 AM
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sounds cool - thanks for the info - always wondered
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  #34  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 5:25 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Cool! So have you got a trip report?

How long were you at the Blaine border crossing?
How many times did you have to stop to allow freight trains to pass?
Were there any highlights or sections of the trip that seemed slow?
When did they come round and check for tickets?
I've only ever taken the train from Seattle to Bellingham, as this was before the train went all the way through.

I've taken the Coast Starlight from Seattle to Sacramento though.

I'm surprised it was that full. Did anyone say it was unusual for it to be that full?
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  #35  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 7:22 PM
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I'm surprised it was that full. Did anyone say it was unusual for it to be that full?
my friend has got in numerous times over the years and he said its always been pretty full when he has used it
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  #36  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2009, 8:21 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Ottawa MPs To Observe Amtrak High-Speed Rail In Preparation For Linkage Of U.S. Railw

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Ottawa, Ontario (AHN) - Four federal Tory and opposition MPs will visit New York and Washington next week to observe the Amtrak high-speed rail system. The Canadian MPs want to be sure Ottawa is prepared for linkage with American rail systems to more Canadian destinations after U.S. President Barack Obama promised $13 billion to improve passenger rail service in a dozen American rail routes.

The rail routes are expected to spill over to some Canadian cities like Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Windsor.

The MPs will particularly try Amtrak's Acela Express, which runs the Boston-New York-Philadelphia-Washington route.

Among the aspects of the proposed U.S. rail link expansion the Canadian lawmakers are studying is the cost of the rail link to Canadian commuters.

The four MPs are Conservative Party members Mervin Tweed and Brian Jean, who belong to the House of Commons transport committee, Liberal Transport critic Joe Volpe and Bloc Quebecois Transport Critic Mario Laframboise.

Canadians had a foretaste of the expanded rail service after Amtrak's Cascades train started its second service between Seattle and Vancouver in British Columbia on Aug. 19. It is an extension of current service between Bellingham and Vancouver.

The service is on a pilot run until the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in a bid to boost cross-border tourism between the two North American neighbors. A southbound Cascade train which leaves Vancouver at 6:40 a.m. will arrive in Portland, Oregon at 2:45 p.m.

Read more: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/artic...#ixzz0S9SePENj
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Studying the Acela isn't the best model, imho.
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  #37  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2009, 12:34 AM
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I second your opinion, Acela is a model of how not to do high-speed rail. I would recommend they use some of their salaries and fly over to Europe and meet with the French on the TGVs and the new AGVs. The high-speed lines are profitable, they just need the initial capital investment. This might be another chance to push for Windsor-Quebec City, Vancouver-Seattle, and Montreal-New York.
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  #38  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2009, 5:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Political_R View Post
I second your opinion, Acela is a model of how not to do high-speed rail. I would recommend they use some of their salaries and fly over to Europe and meet with the French on the TGVs and the new AGVs. The high-speed lines are profitable, they just need the initial capital investment. This might be another chance to push for Windsor-Quebec City, Vancouver-Seattle, and Montreal-New York.
Nononono, you want them to fly over to Japan Or even China, which is adding high-speed track at an insane rate.
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  #39  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2009, 7:22 PM
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Nononono, you want them to fly over to Japan Or even China, which is adding high-speed track at an insane rate.
I don't think Quebec would be too happy with that. I do want them to fly over Japan but reality is, you need Quebec to get to Montreal and Quebec City, and they want French built trains most likely. If they went Shinkansen, I'd be happy.
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  #40  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2010, 2:01 AM
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Amtrak's second daily service will continue at least to September:
http://www.news1130.com/news/local/a...er-and-seattle

Why doesn't Gordo just commit to it permanently, using our carbon tax money he's collecting?
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