All West Coast Express service Thursday afternoon cancelled due to protests

Feb 13 2020, 3:32 pm

TransLink announced shortly after 3 pm today that it has been forced to cancel all West Coast Express commuter rail service for the remainder of the day.

All five scheduled eastbound departures from Waterfront Station — 3:50 pm, 4:20 pm, 4:50 pm, 5:30 pm, and 6:20 pm — to Mission will not run, as protesters have blocked the Pitt River’s railway bridge.

The public transit authority has indicated this decision was made by the Canadian Pacific Railway Police.

Transit riders who normally use the West Coast Express are being asked to use SkyTrain and buses instead. TransLink is also examining options for additional bus service.

For those who normally use the West Coast Express east of Coquitlam, TransLink is recommending the following:

  • Take SkyTrain to Coquitlam Central Station.
  • Take either the 701 or the R3 RapidBus from Coquitlam Central Station
  • There is limited 701 service from Haney Place to Mission City, but capacity and frequency are not high. Use TransLink’s trip planner to find the schedule for 701 trips to Mission City

TransLink said it will provide further updates once they know “if or how this will impact West Coast Express tomorrow morning.”

This commuter rail service leases track time on Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), which has been the target of Wet’suwet’en supporters, who are against the construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline between Dawson Creek in northern BC to the LNG Canada facility on the coast.

Protests across Canada in recent days after shutdown critical railway corridors operated by CPR and Canadian National (CN) for both freight and long-haul passenger traffic.

Earlier this afternoon, VIA Rail announced its decision to cease all of its operation across the country until further notice. It uses tracks largely owned by CN.

Within Vancouver, protest action over the last few days blocked arterial roads and bridges. Protesters have targeted Hastings Street, the intersection of Cambie Street and West Broadway, and the Granville Street Bridge. This morning, they blocked the intersection of Wesbrook Mall and University Boulevard on the UBC campus.