‘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

Metro floats proposal for river bus service on the Fraser

Electric vessels would serve Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and other river cities

Being Young: Lost in translation

Learning a second language will always be useful.

Burned out renters can’t find housing in Maple Ridge

Tight rental market, high rent costs create desperate situation

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Paul Bissonnette joins Vancouver Warriors after tweeting he could walk on to an NLL club

Bissonnette will join the Warriors for their final week of training camp at Rogers Arena

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Body found after SUV found fully engulfed in flames in Abbotsford field

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team have been called in

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read