Letter writers suggest those who live north of the U.S. border will benefit if provincial leaders support the re-opening the Blaine train station. (Bill Becht photo)

Letter writers suggest those who live north of the U.S. border will benefit if provincial leaders support the re-opening the Blaine train station. (Bill Becht photo)

LETTERS: Up to B.C. to get dream on track

Editor: Re: American train enthusiasts turn north, Nov. 7.

Editor:

Re: American train enthusiasts turn north, Nov. 7.

I was delighted to hear that passenger rail is once again at the forefront of both the state of Washington and the B.C. government’s discussions.

However, I wish the B.C. government was more steadfast in their approach to make rail travel in this region a priority. The increase in tourism alone would be fantastic for all involved, as the proposal would open many options for the residences of the Fraser Valley.

As White Rock/South Surrey residents are constantly looking for new and fun things to do, I see this as a practical and enjoyable way to open the U.S. Pacific Northwest for our families, while encouraging less driving in the process.

As someone who has always said I’m destined for a life on the railroad, I am now relying on the B.C. government to come through, help me achieve this. I hope to see the Blaine train station open and in service soon.

C.J. Saunders, Surrey

• • •

I very much believe that the B.C. government will support this. It will serve the million-plus folks south of the Fraser River and even way outside that area.

It’s much easier to cross the border at Blaine – then a three-minute walk to the depot – than to fight tunnels and traffic and pay $30 a day to park in East Van.

The Blaine stop would be the White Rock stop that will never occur; there will only be one depot for Amtrak in B.C. and that is in Downtown Vancouver.

Why not open the Blaine depot? It is a win-win for everyone, including Amtrak’s bottom line. I’ve talked with thousands and everyone is in favour. Be positive and proactive and speak up to the folks that you elect. This can happen, but it must be fought for. Washington State Department of Transportation is waiting, B.C., and so is everyone wanting to ride the train. It’s great for the environment and much more enjoyable and relaxing.

The economic department at Western Washington University did a feasibility study five years ago. Their findings suggest the Blaine depot would be one of the busiest stops in the state and compared it to the other Vancouver, near Portland, where the ridership is over 300,000 folks per year. Bellingham’s is only 65,000.

I’ve had customers from Princeton, Kelowna and Kamloops, and they all say they would love to come down and ride the train down to ballgames and shopping. A relaxing and scenic ride, without the hassles and stress of the I-5. The King Street Station in Seattle is a short walk to Century Link Field, Safeco Field and Pioneer Center. Write your MLAs!

Bill Becht, Blaine, Wash.

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