Empire Builder Consist

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Suzanne

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I know when leaving Chicago the Portland section is in the rear. But when leaving Portland to connect in Spokane, will it be in the rear there too?
 

Eric308

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I know when leaving Chicago the Portland section is in the rear. But when leaving Portland to connect in Spokane, will it be in the rear there too?
I'm almost positive NO, but I've only taken that PDX section to SPK once. Have you considered hopping on the Cascades from PDX to SEA and then east to SPK? I do it all the time and it's great to get a change of scenery....you get great views of the Columbia Gorge coming into PDX and then terrific looks of Puget Sound and crossing the Cascades as you leave SEA. The Cascades is a nominal amount to SEA and it also leaves earlier in the day out of PDX (noonish). Just a thought. I'm doing that itinerary two weeks from today.
 

the_traveler

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The PDX sleeper is always the last car on both 27/7 and 28/8. The SEA sleepers are always upfront and the PDX sleeper is always on the back.
 

greatcats

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Among possible other reasons, that would be so the Sightseer lounge car is adjacent to the dining car.
 
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Guest idiot-forgot to sign

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Ok, ( stupid comment ) so I take it the diner and lounge are also towards the front ?

Power units / Sea sleeper / diner / lounge / passenger cars / sleeper - me looking our rear window
 

zephyr17

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Portland cars always on the rear, both directions. Amtrak does as little switching as possible when combining trains, which means they just cut/add cars to the rear.

This train is about the only train I know of that the Sightseer and the Diner do not run adjacent to each other. The Sightseer is the first car on the Portland section

The normal consist of the Builder east of Spokane (and west of Minneapolis/St. Paul) is:

Baggage car

Trans Dorm

2 sleepers (Seattle)

Diner (Seattle)

2 coaches (Seattle)

Sightseer Lounge (Portland)

Coach/Bag(Portland)

Coach (Portland-may only run seasonally)

Sleeper (Portland)
 
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jimhudson

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Don't forget that Seasonally a Coach may be added to the Back of the Train between Chicago and the Twin Cities (Train 807/808)

so that Coach Passengers have to walk through the Portland Sleeper to Reach the Rest of the Train! If there are any PVs being hauled on #7/#27 or #8/#28, they too will be on the Back of the Train between SEA or PDX and wherever!
 

MrFSS

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The PDX sleeper is always the last car on both 27/7 and 28/8. The SEA sleepers are always upfront and the PDX sleeper is always on the back.
Except when the MSP coach is on the back during the months they run it.
 

roadman3313

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On 28 now and the car attendant said our train will be placed on the end of the Seattle half. Consist will match the description listed above. Box dinner is from Outtakes Quick Cusine with a choice of Chicken, Beef, or Shrimp salads (cold) boxed with a dinner roll, sliced fruit, and small piece of cake or pie depending on the box. Shrimp looks to be a Shrimp Louie. Chicken is a Fiesta Chicken with fire roasted sweet corn and peppers. Beef looked to be a sliced tri-tip... All over lettuce or greens.
 

OlympianHiawatha

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On 28 now and the car attendant said our train will be placed on the end of the Seattle half. Consist will match the description listed above. Box dinner is from Outtakes Quick Cusine with a choice of Chicken, Beef, or Shrimp salads (cold) boxed with a dinner roll, sliced fruit, and small piece of cake or pie depending on the box. Shrimp looks to be a Shrimp Louie. Chicken is a Fiesta Chicken with fire roasted sweet corn and peppers. Beef looked to be a sliced tri-tip... All over lettuce or greens.
I just ate Supper and now you made me hungry again :lol:
 

the_traveler

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The boxed dinner out of PDX on 28 is probably the BEST meal served on Amtrak. (It's prepared by a PDX gourmet restaurant.) the breakfast boxed meal out of SPK on 27 is probably the worst meal.
 
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jimhudson

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The boxed dinner out of PDX on 28 is probably the BEST meal served on Amtrak. (It's prepared by a PDX gourmet restaurant.) the breakfast boxed meal out of SPK on 27 is probably the worst meal.
True that! :wub:
 

roadman3313

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I now know what you all have been talking about all this time! It was yummy :)

Now... Once they hook on the dining car is there anything I should know in terms of food on this route vs. others. I'm mainly an Amtrak California guy so my only LD experience has been on the California Zephyr and Coast Starlight. I recall seeing that they have additional staff in the diner and that the service was not fully downgraded but is anything prepared fresh and/or differently? Anything worth trying out? First time on the Empire Builder (27/28). Water view is beautiful :)
 

PaulM

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the breakfast boxed meal out of SPK on 27 is probably the worst meal.
I'm going to dispute this bit of conventional wisdom. I did #27 back in January and I remember thinking nothing special, but not bad. Beside, I didn't refuse a second when Henry, the SCA, offered me one.

The normal consist of the Builder east of Spokane (and west of Minneapolis/St. Paul) is:
Baggage car

Trans Dorm

2 sleepers (Seattle)

Diner (Seattle)

2 coaches (Seattle)

Sightseer Lounge (Portland)

Coach/Bag(Portland)

Coach (Portland-may only run seasonally)

Sleeper (Portland)
In the middle of January (2013), 27 had 2 coaches.
 

the_traveler

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I too have always seen 27/28 have 2 coaches, 1 sleeper and the Sightseer Lounge. The only part "seasonal" is when they add an 807/808 coach between CHI and MSP.

this coach is always added in back of the 27 sleeper at the rear of the train. This is the only Amtrak train that has coach passengers walking through a sleeping car.
 

PRR 60

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The boxed dinner out of PDX on 28 is probably the BEST meal served on Amtrak. (It's prepared by a PDX gourmet restaurant.) the breakfast boxed meal out of SPK on 27 is probably the worst meal.
The eastbound PDX section box dinner is provided by a catering firm (Outtakes Quick Cuisine) that specializes in supplying food items to hospitals, nursing homes, and retail outlets. By all accounts it's a very good meal, but it is not from a restaurant.
 
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the_traveler

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Well, I stand (or sit on a train :giggle: )corrected. All I've got to say is I've never had that good food in a hospital! :eek:
 

Ryan

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Apr 14, 2008
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the breakfast boxed meal out of SPK on 27 is probably the worst meal.
I'm going to dispute this bit of conventional wisdom. I did #27 back in January and I remember thinking nothing special, but not bad. Beside, I didn't refuse a second when Henry, the SCA, offered me one.
Concur - I remember it being pretty darn tasty.
 

CHamilton

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I agree. The boxed breakfast I had on 27 last year was good. The picture doesn't really do it justice.

 

JayPea

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I've had the boxed breakfast on 27 and didn't find it to be all that bad. Even better was the fact that all the prime seats in the SSL were reserved during breakfast for sleeper passengers (on the left side, for prime viewing of the Columbia Gorge), while coach passengers were stuck with seats on the right side, affording them spectacular views of rocks and dirt. That didn't make some of the coach passengers too happy. ;)
 
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Ispolkom

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The boxed dinner out of PDX on 28 is probably the BEST meal served on Amtrak. (It's prepared by a PDX gourmet restaurant.) the breakfast boxed meal out of SPK on 27 is probably the worst meal.
True that! :wub:
This summer we're traveling from Seattle to Essex, Mont., via Portland. Sure, it's on AGR points, but one reason was the dinner on the Portland sleeper.

The breakfast on #27 isn't terrible, but it's much worse than breakfast in the diner, I think. It is better than the scary French toast thing I got on the Cardinal once.
 
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