AMTRAK® PRESENTS

Great American Stations

Helping communities discover and develop the
economic power of America's train stations.

Start Your Station Project

Vancouver, WA (VAN)


Station Facts

Vancouver, WA Station Photo

Vancouver, Washington

1301 West 11th Street Vancouver, WA 98660

Station Hours

Annual Station Revenue (2013)
$4,790,521
Annual Station Ridership (2013)
98,473

Ownerships

Facility Ownership City of Vancouver
Parking Lot Ownership City of Vancouver
Platform Ownership City of Vancouver, BNSF Railway
Track Ownership BNSF Railway

Features

Accessible Platform Accessible Restrooms Accessible Ticket Office
Accessible Waiting Room Baggage Storage Checked Baggage
Dedicated Parking Enclosed Waiting Area Help With Luggage
Pay Phones Quik Trak Kiosk Restrooms
Shipping Boxes Ski Bags Ticket Office
Wheelchair Wheelchair Lift

Routes Served

  • Amtrak Cascades
  • Coast Starlight
  • Empire Builder

Contact

Rob Eaton
Regional Contact
governmentaffairsoak@amtrak.com
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Local Community Links:

Station History

The wood frame Vancouver depot was constructed in 1907-1908 for the Northern Pacific Railroad. It is rather unique in that passengers board north-south bound and east-west bound trains on different sides of the building. Passengers board the Empire Builder on the southeast side of the depot while the Coast Starlight and Amtrak Cascades trains are boarded on the northwest side of the facility.

Partial renovations of this facility were completed in 1988. Work resumed in 2008 when the Vancouver City Council contracted with Skyward Construction of Ridgefield, Wash., for an interior makeover, including electrical and mechanical upgrades and new finishes. The 2008 restorations matched up the existing wall plaster, refinished the original maple wood flooring, and provided custom-manufactured solid Douglas fir doors. The project also replicated the building’s interior wainscoting, bead board and trim patterns in the style of the early 1900s, down to mortise and tendon joints. The renovation opened up the interior of the station by demolishing an interior wall and adding stem walls. The waiting room and ticket counters were streamlined and restrooms expanded to make the facility wheelchair accessible. This latest remodel cost $650,000 with funding provided by a Federal Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Grant, and took six months; the station reopened on January 13, 2009.

When Lewis and Clark arrived in 1806 in what would become Clark County, the Chinook and Klickitat nations occupied the land in permanent settlements, where Vancouver is located on the Columbia River. The Europeans returned to create their first permanent settlement, in 1824. Sadly, the native population was largely decimated soon thereafter by diseases such as measles, malaria, and influenza that swept through the area beginning in 1830.

The first permanent European settlement in the area arrived when the Hudson Bay Company established the Fort Vancouver fur-trading post on the north bank of the Columbia River in 1825. From that time, the British and U.S. jointly occupied the territory, until the Oregon boundary dispute was settled, with the U.S. taking full control of the Oregon Territory by treaty in 1846. The city of Vancouver was incorporated on January 23, 1857. It is the oldest continuous settlement in the Pacific Northwest.

U.S. Army Captain (and future President) Ulysses S. Grant was stationed at the Columbia Barracks in 1852, for a 15-month tour. The Columbia Barracks, which had been set up in 1849, lay above the Fort Vancouver trading post, fronting 1,200 yards on the river, with the buildings set back 2,000 yards from the water. When, in 1860, the Hudson Bay Company finally vacated their trading post, the U.S. Army first named their installation Fort Vancouver. This fort was in continual use until 1946; two years later it was designated a National Historic Site. It is still possible to tour the fort. It is also the site of a yearly Fourth of July fireworks display said to be the largest west of the Mississippi. The Army still uses portions of Fort Vancouver for reserve unit training.

In the 1800s,Vancouver’s economic base consisted of wood and paper mills, ship-building, food canning, aluminum manufacturing and grain shipment. Subsistence agriculture in the region gave way to export crops such as apples, strawberries, and prunes. In 1879 the Northern Pacific connected Vancouver to Puget Sound, and in the 1880s, railroad ferry service crossed the Columbia River to link to Portland and California by rail. In 1908, a railroad swing bridge across the river allowed even greater development. With World War I, the world’s largest spruce mill came to supply the wood for the new warplanes, and with World War II, ship-building. Today, high-tech and service industries make up a good portion of the economy as well, with many people commuting to Portland across the arms of the Columbia River.

The Vancouver station has a waiting room and is staffed by an Amtrak employee. Amtrak provides both ticketing and baggage services at this facility. Vancouver is served by 12 daily trains. The Amtrak Cascades are primarily financed through funds made available by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

This is one of two cities named Vancouver that is served by the Amtrak Cascades trains: the other is in British Columbia.