Extra Seattle to Vancouver train chugs on
A second Amtrak train between Seattle and Vancouver will run for another year after the federal government announced Thursday it would extend the pilot project.
The second train was instituted during the 2010 Olympic Games and was due to terminate its run at the end of October.
But negotiations between the U.S. rail company Amtrak and the Canada Border Services Agency stalled after the CBSA announced it would charge the train service $1,500 a day to cover its costs.
The train arrives in the evening, requiring the CBSA to keep the customs post staffed.
But the agency has found the money within its budget to cover another year, federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said in Vancouver.
"I have worked closely with CBSA to encourage them to dig deep and find that money without an impact on the services they provide," said Toews. "I can certainly assure you this does not impact security. If that was the case, I would side with security."
Toews said the CBSA would pay out $800,000 to cover the costs of extra staff to screen passengers on the second train for the next year.
The train is estimated to generate $12 million in economic benefits to B.C., and Toews said Amtrak and tourism officials will have a year to prove its continuing viability without the Olympics.
With files from the CBC's Priya Ramu and The Canadian Press