bdawe wrote: ↑Mon May 25, 2020 1:49 pm I can think of a few between hence and thence that might improve their location a bit - Vancouver of course is the ex CNoR station, which is at the very periphery of downtown. I suspect that they would have meaningfully better ridership if they could figure out how to terminate at the ex CP depot, which is at the very core of downtown, and is walking distance to a vastly larger number of destinations than the current station, which really requires a local transit connection to get anywhere.Wouldn't that make for even worse timing into Vancouver? I can't count how many times we sit waiting for the bridge and lose an hour or so, and we keep seeing Skytrains zip by overhead somewhere near Scott Road perhaps. I think they should either decide to make the CNOR station work and do it right, or give up and terminate in Surrey and let folks ride downtown on Skytrain.
bdawe wrote: ↑Mon May 25, 2020 1:49 pm Bellingham station is peripheral to the Fairhaven secondary downtown area, but If they were over at the old GN depot (currently a BNSF yard office) they'd be more centrally located as well. The current station site affords at best a connection to the Alaska Ferry and little else.I've made the Alaska ferry connection here (coming from Juneau to Bellingham, then Cascade to Seattle) and the idea is good on paper but does little in reality. First, the connection is not guaranteed. If the ship misses Amtrak, you're up a creek. There are only two trains per day to Seattle. The ship has much more erractic timing, too, due to weather and a much longer route. Second, it causes the train to skip downtown as we noted. Also, the ferry only runs like 2x/week. It usually shows up in the morning, and leaves in the afternoon.
Given those facts, I'd suggest a boat train that is entirely separate from the Talgo/Cascade program. Every Friday at 4am, the P32BW shops switcher grabs 2 coaches, perhaps even Sounder commuter cars, and a baggage, and deadheads north to Bellingham Ferry Docks. The ferry arrives 7-8am, people are transloaded, and the train heads south. Three stations only - Edmonds Amtrak/Ferry docks, King Street, and Tukwila (Seatac), arrival about noon. Change ends at Tukwila and load passengers for Alaska. Head back north through King and Edmonds and drop all at Bellingham Ferry Docks again.
Of course this leaves a big question - why would Washington State want to foot the bill for tourists/travelers to get to Alaska smoothly?
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