Train travel Vancouver to Seattle

Nov 16th, 2014, 11:50 AM
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Train travel Vancouver to Seattle

We will be visiting Canada and US from Australia and intend to travel from Vancouver to Seattle on Amtrak. Could some one tell me how and when do we pass through US Customs and Immigration?
marg is offline  
Nov 16th, 2014, 03:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Hi, marg. Most of your processing will be done at the Vancouver Amtrak station - so the earlier you get there, the better. We are U.S. citizens and so cannot speak for non-Canadians/U.S. citizens requirements precisely. However, the recommended 1 hour arrival to the station for U.S. citizens is cutting it close for us as far as preferred seating, and I would probably want to be at least 2 hours or more for you.

At the actual border to the U.S., the train stops and U.S. Customs boards briefly. That's where you will have your declaration card examined - it is very quick.

A hint - as you pass through B.C. south of Vancouver, you'll spend some time along the coast. Keep a watch, as you will view lots of eagles fishing right along with the seagulls.

The Seattle station has been recently renovated and is very nice now. This is a pleasant way to cross the border, enjoy.
sludick is offline  
Nov 17th, 2014, 03:47 PM
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Hi sludick

Thanks for that information - most helpful. I didn't realise we would need to allow so much time before boarding the train.
marg is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 09:52 AM
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Be aware that Amtrak runs several buses from the Vancouver station. Last time I made the southbound trip was on an Amtrak bus which stopped for US Customs just after crossing into US. We had to put our own luggage on a conveyor belt from the bus and then got quizzed and had the passport checked. You pick up your bags and load it back to the luggage compartment of the bus. The bus is checked before it is allowed forward to pick up the passengers and luggage. This usually goes smoothly unless someone has a bad passport or contraband in their luggage.
Whether you take the train or bus, Amtrak gives the authorities a list of everyone on the bus and their passport numbers before you even leave the station.
tomfuller is online now  
Nov 19th, 2014, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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marg, we didn't wait in line all that time at the station, nor did we spend an undue delay for processing. The idea is to get there early enough to get assigned a good seat (right side, southbound, so you can view the coast). Also, the line does back up and you have some paperwork to fill out, so if you get through early, get a good seat, you can relax until time to board.

I've taken both the morning and the evening train, it's relaxing and scenic, with food/beverages available for purchase. By bus, it's pretty dull travel, with traffic and a longer delay at the border likely as a result. Still, either way works.
sludick is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 06:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Do you need special papers for crossing into the US from elsewhere than you originated?? Worth checking..Train would be my choice..Don't push your luck as far as timimg goes..
amer_can is offline  
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