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Blaine train station makes ‘most endangered’ list

The century-old Blaine passenger train station has been added to a list of endangered heritage sites that deserve to be preserved  - File photo
The century-old Blaine passenger train station has been added to a list of endangered heritage sites that deserve to be preserved
— image credit: File photo

A cross-border campaign to resurrect the Blaine passenger train station got a boost when the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation added the century-old wooden building to its “most endangered” list of historic properties.

A statement issued by the trust last month (May 22) said the Blaine depot should be preserved because it has “played an important role in exporting the region’s resources and aiding in its economic growth.”

The trust, an  independent, non-profit agency, has been issuing its annual “Most Endangered Historic Properties List” since 1992 in a bid to promote “positive preservation solutions” for buildings and other structures it wants preserved.

A Blaine businessman who is pushing to have the train station reopened says the declaration by the influential trust will “definitely” help the campaign to have the depot refurbished to serve southbound Canadian passengers from the White Rock, South Surrey and Langley regions, as well as northbound visitors from Seattle and other U.S. destinations who don’t want to go all the way to downtown Vancouver.

“It’s just another feather in our cap,” Bill Becht told Peace Arch News Wednesday (June 6).

“I’m very hopeful.”

The proposal has the backing of the Blaine, White Rock and Surrey city councils.

Becht said the next step in the campaign will likely see the city of Blaine make a formal request to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for the return of a passenger train stop in Blaine.

Among other things, WSDOT oversees freight rail and the management of the Amtrak Cascades intercity passenger rail service along the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor that runs through Oregon, Washington and B.C.

The campaign to revive the Blaine terminal also has the support of the Cascadia Center, a Seattle-based transportation policy body.

Cascadia director Bruce Agnew has said the station should be considered part of a “Semiahmoo Gateway” that includes many Canadians just across the border.

For more information about the train station campaign, visit the  website, www.blainestation.com/

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