Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Dec. 6, 2022

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Amtrak’s Cascade service is running again. Here’s what you need to know


BELLINGHAM — After two and a half years, Amtrak’s Cascades passenger service from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C., through Bellingham, restarted Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.

The service was suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

“Took a while to get back. The company is about 90% back right now from pre-COVID travel, with still a few more trains suspended,” said Ray Lang, Amtrak vice president of state-supported services.

Amtrak offers one roundtrip service on the route per day, with a second daily roundtrip expected to be added in the winter, according to Lang.

“The plan is to get back to full service as we bring aboard more employees — engineers, conductors and mechanical employees,” Lang said.

The train leaves Seattle at 7:45 a.m. and reaches Vancouver around 11:45 a.m., depending on delays.

It stops at five cities in Washington along the way, including Edmonds, Everett, Stanwood, Mt. Vernon and Bellingham.

The only daily return train leaves Vancouver B.C. at 5:45 p.m. and arrives in Seattle around 10:10 p.m.

Though, passengers did see major delays on the first return trip Monday. The train was late to leave the station and experienced further delays on the track, mainly due to freight scheduling.

According to Amtrak, the goal is to reduce delays for future rides but officials recommend avoiding same-day connections when riding the train.

According to Amtrak, riders who plan on taking the train into Canada need to be prepared to cross the border like any other crossing.

To ensure a seat, Amtrak recommends purchasing a ticket ahead of time.

Riders must use the ArriveCAN app or website before their trip to provide Canada with proof of vaccination and travel information. A mask is also still required in the Vancouver station.

Though, those requirements won’t be here for long.

The Canadian Federal Government announced Monday that proof of vaccination and masking will no longer be required to cross into the country as of Oct. 1.

After Oct. 1, riders will still need their passports or Enhanced ID cards to enter Vancouver via the train.

Before passing through customs in Vancouver, passengers must also fill out a declaration card, which is provided by Amtrak on the train.

Passengers can track their Amtrak train using the WSDOT App. It provides updated arrival and departure times for all 18 Amtrak Cascades stations from Oregon to Canada.