Amtrak Cascades train services linking Vancouver, Seattle and Portland fully restored to pre-pandemic levels

Mar 6 2023, 10:10 pm

Regular pre-pandemic service levels on the Amtrak Cascades passenger rail service linking Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland have officially returned as of today.

“With more people now traveling, we are thrilled to double the daily roundtrips between Seattle and Vancouver, BC. By adding staffing and equipment to the region, we can once again offer customers a direct connection between Portland and Canada,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner in a statement.

This is the first time direct service is operating between all three major cities since the pandemic began.

For the northernmost segment between Vancouver and Seattle, the second daily roundtrip train has also been restored

This second daily train southbound will leave Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station at about 6:45 am, and arrive in Seattle’s King Station at about 11 am, before continuing on to Portland’s Union Station, arriving at 3 pm.

For the return trip, northbound trains will leave Portland at about 3 pm, arrive in Seattle at about 6:30 pm, and be in Vancouver at about 11 pm.

The restoration of normal services also relates to amenities, with the cafe car also now fully operational.

Amtrak Cascades’ operations are financially subsidized by the state governments of Washington and Oregon.

“WSDOT is pleased to be restoring trains between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, BC. The resumption of this additional roundtrip marks the first time since the pandemic that passengers can travel on the same train to all stops between these major cities,” said Ron Pate, director of WSDOT’s Rail, Freight and Ports Division. “We’re looking forward to adding even more Amtrak Cascades trains later this year between Seattle and Portland.”

Amtrak delayed the restart of regular services on the corridor due to labour shortages. The initial restart of the segment between Vancouver and Seattle occurred in September 2022 with one daily train.

Starting in 2026, Amtrak Cascades will use a completely new fleet of modern trains to provide passengers with significantly improved amenities and comfort.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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