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  1. Chris I

    Can the Coast Starlight route be extended?

    I just wish they would run the early morning train up to Vancouver. Before Covid, the only option was a 2pm train that gets to Vancouver very late, and then a 6am train on the way back. I don't think it makes sense to run the Starlight over the border, though. Amtrak has very few options up...
  2. Chris I

    One adult beverage “per trip”?

    What's the BYOB policy on the long distance trains? I'm not a huge fan of that Barefoot stuff.
  3. Chris I

    Catching the train in Seattle

    Without a smart phone, I would recommend picking up ORCA cards when you arrive at King Street. You will be able to just tap on and off on all busses, light rail, and ferries. Load them up with $20 and hit the city.
  4. Chris I

    Catching the train in Seattle

    You shouldn't have any problems. Even if your 40 bus doesn't show up, you can always take the streetcar down to Westlake and then grab one of many buses, or even Link light rail to get down to King Street station. The busses can get a bit delayed with traffic, but they tend to keep a pretty...
  5. Chris I

    Help with layover in Los Angeles. What to do in 12 hours?

    I think so. We have taken most of the rail lines in LA with our little kids. Never had an issue.
  6. Chris I

    Brightline takes over XPress West!

    This is all moot. The safety mitigation regardless of fault line type is the same: earthquake sensors that automatically stop trains when the ground starts shaking. P-waves can be detected and will provide a few critical seconds to stop trains...
  7. Chris I

    Help with layover in Los Angeles. What to do in 12 hours?

    You can take transit to Disney, but it does require a bus transfer. If the Sunset is on time, that would give you enough time to take the Orange County line down to Anaheim, and transfer before Disney opens. I'm not sure when the earliest OC line train leaves Union Station though...
  8. Chris I

    Help with layover in Los Angeles. What to do in 12 hours?

    A few things we've done down there and enjoyed: - California Science Center. Pretty good museum that includes a Space Shuttle. Convenient walk from the Expo Line. Note: you can stay on the Expo line and get all the way to Santa Monica now. - Hiking in Griffith Park. Not quite as easy to get...
  9. Chris I

    Empire Builder Chicago to Seattle in mid-winter

    We took the builder back in mid-March a few years ago, and it was 10 hours late going westbound, due to a blizzard and damage to the plow on the lead engine in North Dakota. It can definitely happen, but odds are you will be on time. Silver lining was that we got to see the Kootenay River...
  10. Chris I

    Derailment of Cascades #501, DuPont WA, 2017-12-18

    To change topics a bit, where are they at with the Point Defiance Bypass these days? Are they expecting to start using the route at some point this year?
  11. Chris I

    Amtrak Dining

    I think it's a great idea. Most airlines now have "economy plus" on international flights that is more akin to what business class was a few decades ago. Amtrak could benefit from having a step between coach and the bedrooms. Big, comfy seats, more exclusive section of the train, and...
  12. Chris I

    BNSF Seattle to Portland Check out the Chehalis Railcam.
  13. Chris I

    What Amtrak can learn from the Russians

    Thanks for this info. I took a look at the e-ticket, and it is on there. Rooms 005 and 006, so I think are good to go.
  14. Chris I

    What Amtrak can learn from the Russians

    We're about 5 months out. Is it too early to attempt a room reservation request? We just want to ensure we have roomettes across the hall from each other.
  15. Chris I

    What Amtrak can learn from the Russians

    I emailed Amtrak a week ago about Roomette assignments for an upcoming trip and still haven't received a response. The fact that I couldn't select the rooms we wanted when booking is incredibly frustrating.
  16. Chris I

    Canadian border reopening; how soon will international railrestored?

    Any updates on this from people who have contacts at WSDOT? The border is open for vaccinated travelers, and I haven't heard anything? We are considering a trip up to Vancouver at the end of the year, but the booking system only shows options with a bus transfer in Seattle.
  17. Chris I

    Empire Builder: Chicago => Portland

    This isn't a bad idea. Consider modifying the trip to go to Seattle instead. You could spend a few hours in Seattle, see the waterfront, and catch Cascades down to Eugene in the afternoon, and pick up a car down there.
  18. Chris I

    Mandatory COVID vaccination for all Amtrak Employees

    This is great to hear. Makes me more likely to travel on Amtrak in the future.
  19. Chris I

    Is Reno a smoke stop?

    Reno is definitely a smoke stop these days. AQI has been over 100 for weeks.
  20. Chris I

    Sleepers at the consist rear are preferable

    If you want a great rear-car sleeper experience, take the Empire Builder to Portland. There is only one Superliner sleeper, and it's on the very back of the train for the entire trip. You get to enjoy the "railfan window" for the journey.