Empire Builder - Late March

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Does anyone know what type of scenery we can expect traveling on the EB westbound in late March? More curious if we’ll miss a lot of special views due to lack of daylight....Will we miss the best of the trip?

PRR 60

Staff member
Feb 18, 2003
The scenic highlight of the Empire Builder is passing through the Rockies along the south edge of Glacier Park. If on-time, the westbound train gets to the park area just before 7:00pm and is west of the park at about 8:30pm. Sunset in late March is just before 8:00pm (Essex). The timing for an on-time westbound would be perfect with the train passing through the mountains and over the pass at what photographers call the "magic hour" - the time just before sunset when shadows are long and the colors vibrant. However, if the train is an hour or more late, it will be dark at Glacier. So, it's a depends.

Bob Dylan

May 31, 2009
I think the Scenery in the Cascades between Spokane and Seattle Westbound is really outstanding,( especially when #7 is running Late out of Spokane) as well as the View rolling down Puget Sound into Seattle.

The bad part is that the Sightseer Lounge goes with the Portland Section (#27) from Spokane( but you get the trip down the Columbia as the Sun comes up), but the Views from a Coach,the Diner or your Room are still good!


OBS Chief
Jan 17, 2019
The best time to go is probably in late June - early July when the daylight hours are the longest. If the train is on time then there will be daylight until Whitefish at least. March is questionable and if the train is late you may not see much or any of Glacier Park.

I was on the Empire Builder westbound a few years ago in early May when we were three hours late. It was almost completely dark when we reached Glacier Park station so we didn't see much of Glacier Park. I was able to make out one familiar mountain in the sunset. The next year I was on the train in early May when it was on time and it was daylight at least through West Glacier.

To the best of my recollection sunrise in the summer is around Libby for the eastbound Empire Builder so you get some nice scenery heading east (except for Flathead Tunnel where it is dark and there is no scenery).