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Washington group pushes for Amtrak station in Blaine

Last Updated Jul 18, 2019 at 10:51 am PDT

(iStock Photo)
Summary

All Aboard Washington would like to see an Amtrak station in Blaine on the Vancouver to Eugene route

The group points out if you're living in Surrey or Langley, you have to backtrack to Vancouver to board the train

'It would certainly be handier, quicker, less expensive,' Lloyd Flem says of a Blaine station for people in Surrey

BLAINE (NEWS 1130) – With so many people now living south of the Fraser, there is a lot of potential for a train stop in Blaine, according to at least one group which is pushing for a new station.

All Aboard Washington would like to see an additional stop along the route between Downtown Vancouver and Eugene, Oregon.

Lloyd Flem, who’s been involved with the group for decades, points out if you’re living in Surrey or Langley, you have to backtrack to Vancouver to board the train.

“It would certainly be handier, quicker, less expensive, less of a hassle just to be able to pop across the 49th and get on at a station in Blaine,” he tells NEWS 1130. “The greatest distance between any two existing stops is the one between Bellingham, Washington and Vancouver. It’s around 60 miles.”

The group held a public meeting this past weekend to propose the idea, something Flem says will need support from Surrey and White Rock for it to potentially move forward.

Flem articulated some of the challenges that exist before any new station could be built at the meeting.

“Coming out of the meeting, though, was the fact that

“We’re still a ways away,” Flem admits. “The Washington State Department of Transportation … is rather conservative on adding more station stops, many times for good reasons. They have developed some rather rigorous criteria before a stop can be considered and developed, however, our organization and many of the citizens of Blaine feel that Blaine — probably more than any other potential station stop, everywhere between Vancouver and Eugene, Oregon — has the best potential, the best opportunity, and probably would yield the best results.”

He cites studies that have been done that have looked at the potential of a station in Blaine, and says it has been established as a good option.

-With files from Dean Recksiedler