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Need advice on train from Vancouver into US to then rent car

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My wife and I are pulling together a quick anniversary trip and want to get away from Orlando. We are looking at flying into Vancouver and then flying out of Seattle. The issue is where to pick up the rental car. After we leave Vancouver we want to drive over to the coast of Washington and not simply take a train straight to Seattle.

I am sure there are a lot of cost and issues with renting in Canada and returning in the US (if it can even be done)...so I'm trying to avoid that. My thought was to take a train out of Vancouver, over the Canada/US border and then get off to rent a car. There seem to be quite a few rental car agencies in Bellingham that would work well for the next leg of our journey (down to Burlington and then west on Hwy 20).

So...what is the best (and/or least expensive) way to get over the boarder on a train. Is Amtrak the only option? I do see they have a 6:40am train from Vancouver to Bellingham that takes 2 hours. The next train is 5:45 pm. I'd prefer something a bit later in the morning if possible...I am on vacation after all! :)

Thanks

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