Wet’suwet’en supporters block a rail line in Seattle on Sunday, Feb. 16. (esulakshana/Twitter)

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

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.

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.

READ MORE: Federal emergency group to meet on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

READ MORE: No quick fix to pipeline protests, Trudeau says, as rail links severed

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

– with files from The Canadian Press.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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