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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Washington DOT, Amtrak advance plans for second ‘Cascades’ train


The Canadian government recently announced plans to extend border clearance service to accommodate a second daily Amtrak Cascades train between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

The second train, which would operate as a pilot project, might start as soon as August and run until the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games conclude in Vancouver next year, said WSDOT, which is working with Amtrak to launch the additional train. The pilot project will be evaluated to determine if traffic levels justify ongoing customs services.

The second train originally was scheduled to begin in August 2008, but the Canadian Border Services Agency determined it needed to charge a cost-recovery fee of $1,500 per day for border services, WSDOT said. The additional service was delayed until the issue was resolved.

Operated by Amtrak in partnership with WSDOT and the Oregon Departments of Transportation, Amtrak Cascades currently offers four daily round-trip trains between Portland and Seattle.

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More News from 7/10/2009