FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEATTLE, Wash. The Cascadia Center for Regional Development applauded the announcement from British Columbia Transport Minister Kevin Falcon to provide $4.5 million in provincial funding for an infrastructure project that will bring a second daily Amtrak passenger train between Seattle and Vancouver (see attached release).
Since 1994, when former Congressman Al Swift’s leadership helped renew passenger rail service, Seattle-based Cascadia Center has supported ongoing negotiations with Canadian leaders for a financial partnership to expand service.
“The leadership of Premier Gordon Campbell and Governor Gregoire in forging strong cross-border bonds in advance of the 2010 Olympic Games was the clincher,” said Bruce Agnew, policy director of the Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Center.
“Another key event was saving the second Amtrak train to Bellingham when some wanted to shift it to the Seattle-Portland corridor. Senator Mary Margaret Haugen insisted on keeping funding for the second train and in 2006 added $5 million to the state transportation budget for a new station in Stanwood,” said Agnew.
Discovery’s Cascadia Center continues to push for more trains – up to four roundtrips by 2012-2020 – based on the belief that more service will help make it easier for people to shift from driving and flying. Cascadia officials said the Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., tourism and convention bureau’s decision to review the potential for a joint bid for soccer’s World Cup or even the 2028 Summer Olympics is “a positive step.” Agnew said the “two-nation vacation” initiative will “increase the opportunity for a Canadian partnership for additional train service.”
“It would be great to see a company like the Rocky Mountaineer, which operates the new Whistler Mountaineer, inaugurate a Cascadia Mountaineer train to serve the burgeoning cruise ship market in Vancouver and Seattle,” said Agnew.
Adding a second train will make it possible to do a round trip from Vancouver in one day. British Columbia officials said they expect another 50,000 visitors to visit Vancouver in first year of the additional train.
Contact: Bruce Agnew
+1 (206) 228-4011
About Discovery Institute
Discovery Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, public-policy, think tank which promotes ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market and individual liberty. Current projects include: technology, the economy, science and culture, regional transportation, and the bi-national region of “Cascadia.” https://www.discovery.org/.