The Surrey Board of Trade has passed a resolution of support for a minimum stop, by the Amtrak Cascades at Blaine, in order to serve customers from the south Fraser and Fraser Valley regions of southwest British Columbia, avoiding the need to travel to or from the Vancouver terminal on Main Street in downtown Vancouver.
The requirement to use the downtown terminal is a major impediment for travelers from the Fraser Valley, and the South Fraser region in particular, adding many additional hours to the trip.
There have been a number of suggestions to service this region including stopping at the old BNSF station in White Rock or adjacent to the Scott Road SkyTrain station, however any further stops in Canada would require additional customs clearance, which is cost prohibitive.
The solution supported by the Surrey Board of Trade is to establish a minimum stop at Blaine, Washington, immediately south of the border, where travelers from the Fraser Valley region can cross the border and use a facility there, eliminating the need for further customs interaction with the train.
Currently there is an effort by a group in Blaine who wish to refurbish the disused BNSF station at Blaine (which is located immediately south of the Canadian border) and use it for the depot to accommodate the out-bound and returning passengers. There is plenty of parking in the area, which could be made secure, and it is easily accessible by passengers arriving by car, bus, and even on foot.
This proposition has attracted the approval of the Surrey Mayor and council who voted unanimously to support a train stop in Blaine (at their February 20 meeting). Councillor Marvin Hunt said a train stop in Blaine could serve the approximately 750,000 Canadians who live in Surrey, Delta, Langley and Abbotsford. Almost all of these residents would much rather cross the border into Blaine to take a train south than double back and take a train from Vancouver, he said.