Amtrak has turned around multiple trains after Wet’suwet’en supporters blocked rail tracks in Seattle and Vancouver.
The company said Cascades Train 516, 517, 518 and 519 were either returning or being cancelled due to protests over the long weekend.
“This situation has the potential to affect service into Canada until it is resolved,” Amtrak said in a tweet.
Amtrak Cascades Trains 516, 519 are canceled. Alternate bus transportation will be provided between Seattle (SEA) and Vancouver, BC (VAC).
— Amtrak Alerts (@AmtrakAlerts) February 16, 2020
The BNSF Railway Company, which operates the rail line along which Amtrak trains, and freight, run from Seattle to Vancouver, said there was a protest in Seattle Sunday on its mainline.
In a statement, the company said it “ended peacefully.”
“We respect people exercising their Constitutional rights safely. Trespassing on railroad property is very dangerous,” public affairs director Courtney Wallace told Black Press Media.
Activists have been blocking rail lines for days across Canada as part of a series of mounting protests against Coastal GasLink building a natural gas pipeline through Wet’suwet’en lands in northern B.C.
Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils through which the proposed 670-kilometre pipeline will pass through. However, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs oppose the pipeline and say elected councils have no authority off-reserve, including large swathes of traditional territory.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to meet with a federal emergency response group Monday as political pressure mounts for the government to do something about the blockades.
Yesterday, rail blocks in Vancouver stopped after an injunction was served. Today, Seattle is out blocking rails in solidarity with #Wetsuweten hereditary chiefs.
— Atiya Jaffar (@atiyeahthoughts) February 16, 2020
No coal or oil is moving north on these rails today 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/SRvBCrT4H0
— Sulakshana (@esulakshana) February 16, 2020
– with files from The Canadian Press.