State DOTs Help Amtrak Resume British Columbia Service

The Washington State Department of Transportation and Oregon Department of Transportation are helping Amtrak prepare to resume passenger rail service to Vancouver in British Columbia, along with the aid of VIA Rail Canada.

[Above photo by WSDOT]

The national passenger rail provider noted in a statement that it plans to offer only one daily roundtrip Amtrak Cascades train to Vancouver initially, stopping at five cities along that route – adding a second daily trip in the future depending on staffing and equipment availability.

Photo by WSDOT

The timing of that restart is also in doubt. Though Amtrak planned to restart its Cascades service on September 26, subsequent comments by current Amtrak Chairman Tony Coscia before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on September 7 cast doubt on that restart date, making it more likely by the end of the year.

In addition to resuming service to Canada, Amtrak said its Cascades route also offers three daily round trips between Portland and Seattle, two daily round trips between Eugene and Portland, two daily buses between Seattle and Bellingham, and four daily buses between Seattle and Vancouver.

Amtrak suspended service between Vancouver and Seattle in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Resumption of Vancouver service represents the restart of the second of its three Canada-bound trains, after Amtrak restarted service to Toronto earlier this year.

In addition to the standard entry documentation requirements, several additional requirements for travel into Canada and the United States are in place. Those failing to meet those criteria cannot cross the U.S./Canada, Amtrak warned.

  • Travel into United States: All non-U.S. citizen passengers must be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine. See details on the United States Department of Homeland Security
  • Travel into Canada: All passengers must use the ArriveCAN app before travel and wear a mask in Canadian stations and on board trains while traveling through Canada. Non-Canadian citizens must be fully vaccinated and carry the vaccination record that was uploaded into ArriveCAN.
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