Amtrak Cascades to increase train service between Vancouver and Seattle

Jan 16 2023, 9:48 pm

Normal pre-pandemic service levels on Amtrak Cascades’ passenger rail service between Vancouver and Seattle will return starting late this winter.

Operators of the service have just announced that the second daily roundtrip train between both cities will resume on March 7, 2023.

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.

Passengers will be able to book the second daily train starting in February, when the exact schedules are finalized.

This adds to the initial pandemic restart of the Amtrak Cascades segment between Vancouver and Seattle in late September 2022. The existing sole daily train leaves Vancouver at 5:45 pm and arrives in Seattle at 10:10 pm, while the return train from Seattle is at 7:45 am for arrival in Vancouver at 11:45 am.

The entire Amtrak Cascades train journey between Vancouver and Eugene, Oregon, is about 10 hours and 30 minutes, including just over three hours in optimal conditions for the segment between Vancouver and Seattle.

It should be noted that these departure and arrival times are only scheduled, and may be subject to delays, usually due to the prioritization of freight train movements.

amtrak cascades september 26 2022 restart

First passengers on Amtrak Cascades in more than two years on September 26, 2022. (Amtrak Cascades)

amtrak cascades train

The entire Amtrak Cascades corridor from Vancouver, BC to Eugene, Oregon. (Amtrak)

Amtrak Cascades relaunched its busier segment between Seattle and Portland first, before restarting the segment between Seattle and Vancouver. Labour shortages due to the pandemic’s impact delayed the initial restart of service and the return to pre-pandemic service levels.

Starting in 2026, Amtrak Cascades will trade its old fleet of trains for an entirely new modern fleet, complete with improved features for added passenger comfort.

According to Amtrak’s 15-year strategy released in May 2021, it is aligned with the state governments of Washington and Oregon’s plans to significantly boost frequencies on the Amtrak Cascades route. The segment between Vancouver and Seattle will eventually see a doubling of frequencies, growing from two to four roundtrips daily.

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