At the last minute, a deal was made to continue the Amtrak train for another year. Canadian Border Services (CBSA) wanted to charge Amtrak $1500 per day ($550,000 per year) for border inspections. Amtrak refused to pay and was going to cancel the second daily Vancouver-Seattle train at the end of October if a deal wasn’t going to be made by October 15th. Transport Action has learned that the CBSA has agreed to a one year extension,
- Amtrak deal reached CKNW Radio, Vancouver.
Thanks to everyone who spoke out on this issue including Transport Action members who contacted politicians, publicised the story on blogs, and talked to friends and colleagues. A special thanks go to Ian Burkheimer at PNWER who organised a group of tourism officials, government people, and public transport advocates. Ian brought together everyone with conference calls and emails to try to get the government to listen to common sense.
This issue isn’t dead yet, only delayed for another year. The fact that the CBSA made another extension instead of dropping the idea of cost recovery means that we haven’t heard the end of this story. At least it will give Amtrak Cascades another year to grow and improve the service over the next year.
- Second Vancouver-Washington Amtrak train gets a reprieve The Globe and Mail
- B.C. must innovate to pay the freight The Globe and Mail – Gary Mason.
- Extra Seattle to Vancouver train chugs on CBC British Columbia