Saturday Open Thread
I’m in Vancouver, British Columbia this weekend for a personal trip, and regular posts will resume on Monday. So feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss anything HSR related.
I took the Amtrak Cascades up here, which was a great way to get to Vancouver. Unfortunately, aside from SkyTrain, BC’s passenger rail infrastructure leaves much to be desired. It takes over an hour to make the short trip from the border to Pacific Central Station, largely due to slow orders through older sections of track. I believe that the twice-daily Cascades trips from Seattle to Vancouver are the only passenger trains that use those particular tracks in the Lower Mainland, though some of the final miles of track are used by VIA’s intercity trains headed westward. Traveling by train was still worth it, as the 5-minute wait to clear customs at Pacific Central Station was much faster than it would take to get through the border station when entering by car or bus at the Peace Arch.
As part of the development of a North American high speed rail network, it would be great to see the US and Canadian federal governments collaborate on the upgrading of major cross-border routes to serve high speed trains, such as Seattle-Vancouver, Twin Cities-Winnipeg, Detroit-Windsor, NYC-Buffalo-Toronto, and NYC-Montreal. But that will probably require different parties to have a majority in the House of Representatives and the House of Commons.