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   NEWS RELEASE   

For Immediate Release

2007TRAN0007-000200

March 1, 2007

Ministry of Transportation

 

RAILWAY INFRASTRUCTURE AGREEMENT REACHED

 


VANCOUVER – An agreement has been reached on a railway infrastructure project that will bring in a second daily Amtrak passenger train between Seattle and Vancouver, announced Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon today.

 

“Government is partnering with private industry and Washington State on a project that ultimately will benefit all British Columbians,” said Falcon. “This project will boost tourism dollars, reduce traffic congestion, and ease vehicle emissions on our major transportation corridors and at our border crossings.”

 

A railway siding, or “passing track,” will be built on the BNSF Railway in Delta near Colebrook road. The passing track is a second section of track running parallel to the existing track, and it allows one train to move to the side, so another train can pass. The passing track is required to accommodate the operation of a second daily Amtrak train.

 

The Province will contribute up to a maximum of $4.5 million dollars. The remainder of the project will be funded by BNSF and Amtrak. The work will start this spring, and the project is expected to be completed by summer of 2008.

 

“BNSF is pleased to work with the Province, Washington Department of Transportation, and Amtrak, to provide emissions friendly passenger capacity to British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest,” said Pete Rickershauser, vice-president of network development, BNSF Railway.

 

In its first full year of operation, the second Amtrak passenger train from Seattle to Vancouver is expected to bring approximately 50,000 travellers to Vancouver, injecting an estimated $13.9 million dollars into B.C.’s economy.

 

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Media

contact:

Mike Long

Communications Director

250 387-7787

 

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