Home Latest News Amtrak Cascades train from Vancouver to US to return in September

Amtrak Cascades train from Vancouver to US to return in September

A popular rail line connecting Vancouver, BC, to US destinations such as Seattle and Portland will return in September after a long hiatus.

On Friday, July 1, Amtrak Cascades announced it would reconnect with Canada.

“WSDOT & ODOT are pleased to share that train service to all cities north of Seattle, including Vancouver, BC, will now resume in September 2022,” they announced in a Tweet.

“Previous plans called for a return to Canada in December, but Amtrak was able to move the schedule forward,” they wrote.

Earlier this year, Amtrak said it was carrying out requalification trains needed to resume service north of Seattle, with the goal of restarting scheduled passenger trains to Vancouver this spring.

Then Amtrak said it wouldn’t be able to operate train service north of Seattle until “late 2022 due to staff shortages at Amtrak.” The company said it would have to take on various positions, including conductors, technicians and onboard service personnel, and complete their training to reopen the entire route.

Until train service is restored, daily bus service between Vancouver and Seattle will be provided through Amtrak’s ticketing system.

For more information on using the Amtrak Cascades route to cross the border, please refer to their Rider’s Guide

amtrak cascades train

The entire Amtrak Cascades corridor from Vancouver, BC to Eugene, Oregon. (Amtrak)

The entire Cascades rail corridor runs for 752 km (467 miles) from Pacific Central Station and terminates in Eugene, Oregon, with a total of 18 stops, including Bellingham, downtown Seattle, and downtown Portland.

The entire train journey from Vancouver to Eugene takes approximately 10 hours and 30 minutes.

Each one-way trip between Vancouver and Seattle takes just over three hours in optimal conditions, with this portion of the route running Cascades trains twice a day prior to the pandemic. Train service usually takes longer than driving due to slow speeds on long sections, indirect route and prioritization for freight trains. Fares were approximately US$40 each way from Vancouver to Seattle.

Based on statistics from WSDOT, passenger numbers on the entire Cascades route from Vancouver to Eugene have steadily increased in recent years, with total annual passenger numbers increasing from 672,000 in 2015 to 753,000 in 2019.

pacific central station vancouver

Pacific Central Station in downtown Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Beehive)

To attract more passengers through an enhanced passenger experience, Amtrak plans to replace its existing fleet of three-decade-old Cascades passenger cars with a new fleet of 48 passenger cars with a modern design and ample comfort amenities. The new trains are expected to be commissioned between 2025 and 2026.

In the longer term, the governments of British Columbia, Washington State and Oregon are proposing to build a high-speed passenger train connecting Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and other communities in between. In March 2022, the Washington state legislature approved the spending of $150 million to proceed with advanced planning work for the high-speed rail project, and this could potentially be accompanied by $700 million in matching funds from the US President’s National Infrastructure Plan. Joe Biden.

With files from Kenneth Chan.

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