‘All Aboard Washington’ officials to discuss possibility of Amtrak stop in Blaine

‘All Aboard Washington’ officials to discuss possibility of Amtrak stop in Blaine

Canadian representatives invited to meet with mayor, city manager of Blaine

A passenger rail advocacy group intends to bring officials together from both sides of the border to discuss the possibility of an Amtrak Cascades stop in Blaine, Wash.

All Aboard Washington government affairs director Luis Moscoso, who is a former Washington State Legislature representative, contacted Peace Arch News this week to raise awareness of the public meeting and presentation, which is to be held at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, July 13 at 1:15 p.m.

The discussion will be focused on how Amtrak Cascades could better serve Blaine, Whatcom County, White Rock and Surrey.

While British Columbia has contributed a total of $600,000 for a Vancouver-Seattle-Portland ultra-highspeed rail service study since 2018, Moscoso says that more can be done – in the meantime – with the Cascadia corridor.

“We’re already running a train system that’s woefully underachieving because of the failure it took to look at what more it should do.

“Even when our studies said it could do these things, we never asked it to, we never funded it.”

Moscoso said he’s heard from Canadians that an Amtrak stop in Blaine would be more convenient for Surrey and White Rock residents, as the nearest Amtrak stops are currently in Bellingham and Vancouver.

The meeting is to include the mayor and city manager of Blaine, staff for U.S. congresswoman Suzan Delbene, Washington State representative Luanne Van Werven, the director of the Western Washington University border policy research institute, the principal planner at Whatcom Council of Governments and a representative from the Cascadia Institute and Pacific Northwest Economic Region.

Moscoso said that officials from White Rock, Surrey and local MLAs have been invited to the meeting, but have yet to confirm their attendance.

“Rail plans on our side of the border, which I have read at the legislature, have talked for decades about how this service could be so great and how someday we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that,” Moscoso said.

“Well, when is that ‘someday’ going to come? After 20 years now of Amtrak Cascades operating, why haven’t there been more improvements?”

“If it’s just money? Can we find money to do that? And where would it come from?”

Moscoso says as the population increases – he specifically noted that Surrey’s population is to surpass Vancouver’s within the next decade – the problem with transportation only gets worse.

“I can’t say that this meeting on the 13th will have all of the answers, but it’s a reset to tell people: You’re the ones, you’re the people living around here who have to somehow raise the visibility on this growing problem,” Moscoso said.

“The effect is on you, how are you going to insist that your local and federal governments address this problem, because it’s just getting worse.”

The campaign for a passenger rail stop in Blaine has been ongoing for several years, and gained a little steam in 2012, when councillors from Surrey and White Rock crossed the border to back a plan that would revive the Blaine station as a stop on the Vancouver-to-Seattle Amtrak service.

Just Posted

Items seized by RCMP during a May 13 raid on Butchart Street. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP seize guns and drugs during raid on Butchart Street property

Police executed a search warrant on a home May 13, arresting one man at the scene

Transit Future Action Plan for Chilliwack and FVRD aimed at increasing services over five years and restoring ridership to pre-COVID levels. (BC Transit)
Future planning for Chilliwack transit aims to restore ridership lost to pandemic

Transit future plan envisions adding peak buses and service hours over next five years

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Looking out over the Fraser Valley from Chipmunk Ridge from the proposed Bridal Veil Mountain Resort. (BVMR)
Chance to ask questions about gondola resort proposal near Chilliwack

Project team for Bridal Veil Mountain Resort is holding another virtual info session

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from "F9." (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

Most Read