Monday, February 26, 2018

Amtrak Bellingham to Vancouver BC

A favored way of taking the 55 mile trip from Bellingham to the big city of Vancouver is via the Amtrak rail. The train terminates very near downtown Vancouver. A modest walk or a short sky train ride takes one into the center of the city. Taking the train avoids high parking charges, sometimes very long border waits, slow traffic, and the stress of driving congested and unfamiliar city streets. 

There is also the percs. Open beer or wine, reading, or taking in scenery that is otherwise missed via driving. 

The main limitation is timing of the trains. But if the timing works, a far better way than driving. 

A few notes and images from the ride up and back  

Good views of the Cornwall Avenue Landfill in Bellingham

The end of Cornwall Avenue was used as a municipal garbage dump into the early 1970s. The garbage added to fill on the tidelands at this location from past saw mill and warehouse use that was on piers and fill. Most recently dredged sediments from a port waterway were added to the landfill and covered with a white plastic liner. Eventually this tract of landfill will be converted into a park.

Former GP paper mill site 

The former paper mill is mostly gone. Ongoing construction prep and cleanup work has been taking place. And recently mush of the mill site and port yard area has been covered with piles of logs for shipping.

Former paper mill site
Some of the old tanks from the facility are to be left as historic/legacy features

Past the transitioning blight waterfront the views do become scenic.

Old cement pier and Bellingham Bay 
Lummi Island is the main feature across the bay

Tenant Lake southeast of Ferndale
The view from the rail line is the best view of this swampy lake 

Blaine Harbor just south of the border

A favorite part of the train ride is passing through White Rock, BC. People are almost always out on the beach and always seem happy to see the passenger train. 

White Rock itself was a bit camouflaged in the snow.
The rock is painted white and is a large glacial erratic on the shoreline

White Rock pier

Another nice stretch is the estuary on the shores of Semiahmoo Bay. Lots of ducks, eagles and hawks

The rail line parallels the main highway (99) for a stretch. Felt smug seeing the cars backed up behind the snow plows while we relaxed in the observation car.

Fraser River at New Westminster

The return trip is a sunset trip depending on the time of year.

1 comment:

Hollis said...

I love traveling by train! but Amtrak hasn't run through Wyoming for 20+ years now :(