• All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by ExCon90
Since the CS is more of an "experiential" tourist train rather than a corridor train aimed at the business market, I think it would be better for the CS to stick to the traditional route for the sake of the scenery, or would that cause a problem at Tacoma -- or is Nisqually north of Tacoma? (I don't have the layout quite clear in my mind.)
  by Vincent
I haven't been on the Starlight since the Bypass re-opened but I'm pretty sure all Amtrak trains are using the inland route.

The track layout doesn't allow Amtrak to serve the old, scenic coastal route from the new Freighthouse Square Station without a long backup move.
  by ExCon90
Just what I was afraid of -- that kills any chance of routing the CS via Tacoma, which is too important for the CS to skip.
  by Vincent
The Bypass route offers views of industrial south Tacoma, which isn't much of a recommendation unless you like graffiti. You do get to see the site of the infamous Dupont derailment. The train always tiptoes through the curve and you can still see some of the scars from the accident.

If you want to see spectacular Puget Sound scenery, the Empire Builder still has great views between Seattle and Everett and Sound Transit offers 2 daily roundtrips between Seattle and Everett. The Cascades trains are supposed to start running again in September, but I haven't seen a schedule announcement yet.
  by lpetrich
I checked on Google Maps, and it still shows the old Amtrak station at Puyallup Ave. and J St. The new one, the Tacoma Dome one, is at 25th and D Sts.

The tracks to the two stations diverge a little over a mile to the east, and that is why a backup move would be necessary.
  by ST Saint
WASHINGTON – Amtrak, in conjunction with WSDOT, ODOT, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail), and other federal agencies, will resume Amtrak Cascades service to Vancouver, British Columbia, on September 26. Customers can purchase tickets at Amtrak.com, AmtrakCascades.com, the Amtrak app, Amtrak ticket desks and kiosks, and by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL. Travelers departing from Canada can also book their tickets at ViaRail.ca, and through 1-888-VIA-RAIL.

The first Cascades train to Vancouver will depart Seattle at 7:45 a.m. on Monday, September 26, stop at five cities along the way and arrive in Vancouver at 11:45 a.m. Traveling southbound, Amtrak Cascades will depart Vancouver at 5:45 p.m. and arrive in Seattle at 10:10 p.m. This single roundtrip will be offered daily, with a second daily trip added in the future as Amtrak staffing and equipment allow. In addition to resuming service to Canada, the route also offers three daily round trips between Portland and Seattle, two daily round trips between Eugene and Portland, two daily buses between Seattle and Bellingham and four daily buses between Seattle and Vancouver, BC.
https://media.amtrak.com/2022/08/amtrak ... couver-bc/
  by hi55us
Looking to book a PDX-SEA trip in November on a Sunday, I'm pretty flexible on the time but want to catch one of the Talgo sets. Does the 504 train usually run with Talgos?
  by Vincent
It's impossible to tell whether it will be Talgo or Horizon. I usually ride 503/508 and some days they are Talgos and some days they are Horizons. Train 504 uses the trainset that arrives the previous night as 507 from SEA, so you could do some trainspotting the night before and change your reservation if you see a Horizon pulling into the station.

SEA<>VAC is resuming later this month and that may change the train rotation a bit, too.
  by WhartonAndNorthern
lpetrich wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 12:15 pm Is the Coast Starlight also using the bypass? I recall from some years back that it would be using the old route, the coastal one, because the bypass's grades were too much for it. But what I've found more recently says that the CS will be using the bypass, mostly sources about the reopening of the bypass.

Anything more recent?
Yes, it has to. The entire Tacoma station was relocated to tracks on the bypass. TransitDocs location history confirms.
  by Vincent
Service to Vancouver, BC starts again on Monday, September 26. Amtrak's booking engine currently shows the first northbound train is 70% full with Business Class sold-out. The first southbound train is showing 40% full. Tuesday's trains are running 50% and 30% full. Not too bad considering the schedules were only announced less than a month ago.

On Monday, there may be some local media coverage of the first train since 2020. I'll be interested to see what equipment they are using on the route.
  by Vincent
Coverage of the first train back to Vancouver, BC.

Horizon trainset with about 270 passengers aboard. Tuesday's train will be carrying about the same number of passengers.

Canada plans to drop mask and proof of vaccination requirements for border crossings starting October 1. That should boost ridership even more.
  by ST Saint
We already covered the new trainsets in the main thread, but Amtrak will be bringing back the second round trip between Seattle and Vancouver BC on March 7th, 2023.
They also announced plans to increase daily trains between Portland and Seattle from four to six in Fall of 2023.

https://komonews.com/news/local/amtrak- ... and-oregon
  by Vincent
It's great to see the 2nd train to BC coming back so soon. Loads have been very good on the first train and Amtrak must be past its staffing issues, so expansion is possible again.

The 6 daily trains PDX<>SEA will be a return to the service level that was briefly attempted from December 18, 2017 --when the Pt. Defiance Bypass was first opened. The Cascades service has been allocated 8 trainsets from the Siemens order, so even more expansion may be possible when all the new trainsets have arrived.
  by Vincent
The 2nd train between Seattle and Vancouver BC is now operating and both sections of the train are extended to serve Portland. There are now 2 daily trips between Seattle and Vancouver and 4 daily Cascades trips between Seattle and Portland.

Southbound service (Train 517) leaves Vancouver at 635am, arrives in Seattle at 1100am, departs for Portland at 1130am, arrives in Portland at 255pm.

Northbound service (Train 518) leaves Portland at 305pm, arrives in Seattle at 630pm, leaves Seattle at 700pm, arrives in Vancouver at 1100pm.

If anyone is wondering about the 10 minutes between 517's arrival and 518's departure, I'm sure that 2 different trainsets will cover the trips. The next Cascades expansion will have a NB departure from Portland at about 530pm and another SB departure from Seattle at about 600pm.
  by ST Saint
Amtrak Rolls Out First Electric Bus
WASHINGTON – The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Amtrak are replacing a diesel-powered bus with an electric vehicle (EV) on the Amtrak Cascades route. Daily mid-day buses provide additional connectivity beyond the morning and evening train service between Seattle and Bellingham. The Cascades Thruway buses also stop in Everett and Mount Vernon and connect with trains heading to and from stations south of Seattle. As the first-ever EV in the Amtrak National Network, the bus — owned and operated by MTRWestern — can make the nearly 200-mile roundtrip on one single charge.
https://media.amtrak.com/2023/08/amtrak ... ctric-bus/

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