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Amtrak adds round trip from Seattle to Vancouver, BC

For the first time since 2020, travelers will have direct Amtrak service between Oregon and Canada.

SEATTLE — Amtrak restored its Cascades service between Portland and Vancouver, British Columbia on Monday marking the first time in three years that travelers will have direct service between Oregon and Canada.

Amtrak will also operate two daily round trips between Seattle and Vancouver, fully restoring that service to pre-pandemic levels.

The Cascades route serves 12 stations along the Interstate 5 corridor and was suspended in May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said the additional trips were possible by adding staffing and equipment to the region.

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Before the pandemic, more than 750,000 riders used the Cascades route annually, according to Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office.

Amtrak will operate a northbound route that leaves Portland at 3:05 p.m., Seattle at 7 p.m. and arrives in Vancouver at 11 p.m. A southbound route will leave Vancouver at 6:35 a.m., Seattle at 11 a.m. and arrive in Portland at 2:55 p.m.

This is in addition to the existing southbound Seattle-Vancouver route that leaves Vancouver at 5:45 p.m. and the northbound route that leaves Seattle at 7:50 a.m.

Amtrak previously restarted service between Seattle and Vancouver in September with one daily round trip. At the time, travelers riding from Oregon needed to spend the night in Seattle before continuing their journey to Vancouver.

The company plans to add two additional trips between Seattle and Portland this fall, according to Cantwell.

Washington and Oregon jointly sponsor and fund the Cascades service.

A 'beautiful ride'

“It’s a beautiful ride down,” said passenger Emily Smith. 

It’s a long-awaited reconnection for regulars like Smith and her wife. 

“We just love the train, it’s the best way to travel and we’re just really happy to be up an running again. The service is great, people are really friendly,” said Smith. 

The cars can carry 72 passengers. In the last four months, services along the Cascadia Corridor were about 80% full, according to Amtrak. Prior to the pandemic there were 870,000 riders yearly on this route. The Washington State Department of Transportation expects to exceed that number by early next year.

“We believe the demand is there and will continue to see new travelers come to take the train and the option we provide,” said Ray Lang, vice president of State Supported Services for Amtrak. 

The Cascades service is funded by Washington and Oregon. 

WSDOT told KING 5 that it, along with other states, secured funding for new trains. Those will come in 2025 and be in service by 2026.


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