Empire Builder consist?

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rms492

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
209
Anyone have the most up to date consist of the Empire Builder?
Trying to decide if I should do the Seattle section or the Portland section, from Chicago.
Having an idea of the consist will help me in the decision.
Thanks!
 

WWW

No real RR Job
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
475
Location
MSP
The observations of recent have a mixed bag of consist -

Normal
L
L
B
T
S/C
D
S/C
L
S/C
S/C
S/C

The last 4 cars are the Portland consist breaking away at Spokane

But as of recent
A third Locomotive - facing forward but not always
There have been S C cars in front of the Baggage Car
Baggage car at end of train
T dorm cars at the Portland end of train

And train operating 5 days a week Thursday Friday no-op

At night is is hard to define the difference between Sleeper and Coach
except for lighting - the Lounge is a dead give-away with its huge windows
The T Dorm car has that square window in front of the car and lower level
entry/exit to a Baggage car
The diner has no windows center of car

AND a REAL Radical On Time operation -
Some EB # 7 & especially # 8 being over 5-6-7 8 more hours late
With trains that late it is a wonder that the Chicago yard can put together
a consist on time for the next day.
It didn't help to have that Montana accident taking a train set permanently (?)
out of service.

Que Sera Sera
 

WWW

No real RR Job
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
475
Location
MSP
Well this was unusual -
EB # 7 3/6/2022

Consist
4 locomotives and a strange combo baggage coach car -
all locomotives facing forward

E ??? NEW with side lighted engine interior
E 301 NEW ditto
E 150
E 25
B/C that combo baggage coach
B
T DORM
S
D
C
Lounge
C?
S
T DORM
 

Acela150

Super Buff
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
9,052
Location
Somewhere between here and there
A third Locomotive - facing forward but not always

It's a BN requirement when temps get below a certain point.
Well this was unusual -
EB # 7 3/6/2022

Consist
4 locomotives and a strange combo baggage coach car -
all locomotives facing forward

E ??? NEW with side lighted engine interior
E 301 NEW ditto
E 150
E 25
B/C that combo baggage coach
B
T DORM
S
D
C
Lounge
C?
S
T DORM

300 is leading 7 (6)

They put a VL Bag/Dorm on the front for the Siemens staff when an issue occurs.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Messages
2
How can we find out when a new Amtrak engine will be working on the Empire Builder so we can take our grandson who is special needs, to see that train!? Thank you
 

TraneMan

Conductor
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
1,131
Location
Rochester, MN
Where are you going to from Chicago? Coach or sleeper?
Anyone have the most up to date consist of the Empire Builder?
Trying to decide if I should do the Seattle section or the Portland section, from Chicago.
Having an idea of the consist will help me in the decision.
Thanks!
 

JP1822

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
103
Recent Consist has restored the Builder to where it was last Fall when operating daily - thank God!

Locomotive
Locomotive
Locomotive (as required by BNSF or new LD locomotive added)
SEA - Viewliner Baggage
SEA - Superliner Trans-Dorm Sleeper (with revenue space being sold)
SEA - Superliner Sleeper
SEA - Superliner Diner
SEA - Superliner Coach
SEA - Superliner Coach
PDX - Superliner Sightseer Lounge
PDX - Superliner Coach
PDX - Superliner Coach
PDX - Superliner Sleeper

Peak period consist and consist before COVID had this train with a second Seattle Sleeper nearly 10 months out of the year.

Pre-COVID this has long been Amtrak’s busiest LD train (most passengers and revenue). It’s long been suggested to put a second Portland (PDX) sleeper in the consist, in addition to the second Seattle Sleeper. Anderson actually tried it one summer peak season - of all people. Bookings were good and sleepers still were at a good sell out rate. But the original plan also called for a Superliner Cross Country Cafe or additional food car to help offset the burden the Superliner Diner would go through on the second day. That burden was quickly realized. Lasted only one season.

Hopefully the current consist being operated will get its second Seattle sleeper by July. Was supposed to be May last year and this year. Bookings are heavy and booked pretty solid in sleeper class. Empire Builder serves a pretty diverse demographic, but with people doing more recreational traveling this year - Whitefish and the Glacier National Park stops are likely getting some heavy traffic.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,012
Location
Washington State
I rode that second Portland sleeper in August 2019. It a joyride EVR-PDX-WFH-EVR. Was able to get it at low bucket, too, though I only booked it about a month out.
 

CCC1007

Customer Service Agent
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
1,846
How can we find out when a new Amtrak engine will be working on the Empire Builder so we can take our grandson who is special needs, to see that train!? Thank you
Best chance is to follow the Empire Builder group on Facebook, as there are some posters in the Chicago and Seattle areas that check the trains regularly before departure or shortly after they leave... Usually they report if there are any strange consists or "special" locomotives like new chargers.
 

Siegmund

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
372
Location
northwestern Montana
How can we find out when a new Amtrak engine will be working on the Empire Builder so we can take our grandson who is special needs, to see that train!? Thank you

At least for the Seattle section, the folks who run the Skykomish webcam generally maintain a Google Doc listing all the trains that go past. Usually at least the engine numbers and the length of the consist are recorded for the Builder.

90% of the time, the westbound that arrives in Seattle on a given morning returns eastbound led by the same locos the same afternoon. [Edit: only true when the Builder is running daily -- during the 5x/week time, two sets lay over in Seattle for two days and aren't guaranteed to come back out in the same order they went in.]
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Messages
2
At least for the Seattle section, the folks who run the Skykomish webcam generally maintain a Google Doc listing all the trains that go past. Usually at least the engine numbers and the length of the consist are recorded for the Builder.

90% of the time, the westbound that arrives in Seattle on a given morning returns eastbound led by the same locos the same afternoon.
Thank you
Best chance is to follow the Empire Builder group on Facebook, as there are some posters in the Chicago and Seattle areas that check the trains regularly before departure or shortly after they leave... Usually they report if there are any strange consists or "special" locomotives like new chargers.
thank you
 
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