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Show ALL Forums  > Oregon  > Riding the Train in Oregon      Home login  
Joined: 11/26/2008
Msg: 2
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Riding the Train in OregonPage 1 of 1    
I love taking the train to Seattle! I have done this a number of times and it is an excellent means of getting there!

The ride up the river is great because it gives you an opportunity to see portion of the river that you don't normally see from I-5. Also, because I am usually the driver , I get to actually just sit back and enjoy the view.

The one caution that I would offer would be to tell you to pack a picnic lunch or dinner to take on the train with you (which is a wonderful advantage of riding the train - unlike flying you can carry on your on food and beverages). I have found the food in the 'dining car' to be extremely expensive and really not that great!

Trip to Seattle, watch the game, and return the same day is very doable! If you are planning on staying overnight I would really recommend the "Inn at Virginia Mason" if you are into old, quaint refurbished hotels. It is right next door to the Virginia Mason Hospital and is a terrific place to stay! They frequently offer really terrific weekend rates.

Also, should you have a desire to go further north than Seattle, it may require a short layover in Seattle, but the train stops in Everett and Bellingham, both really terrific places to do some great sightseeing! (You can also catch a ferry from either.)

Have a great trip!
Joined: 10/2/2007
Msg: 3
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Riding the Train in Oregon
Posted: 5/31/2009 9:40:47 PM
Taking the train to seattle should be doable and easy.
The cascades is a more or less long distance commuter train that is geared for people who have to go to seattle and back to oregon frequently.
The cascades is set up so most of the trips to seattle are in the morning and the trips from seattle in the evenings.
If ya do a day trip it will be a rushed and stressful trip as amtrak does not own the rails (they have to rent access form union pacific, and they naturally give their own trains priority).
That means there is a good chance the train will be delayed in getting there. plus it is a long drive even in a car, and a car is faster.
If you leave yourself plenty of time, like staying overnite there then it is very easy and you get lots of time to sightsee. If you try a day trip you might get lucky enough to see one nice thing before ya have to head back to catch the last train back to oregon.

I have rode the train fairly often but not ever to seattle though.
My trips have been to/from california and to/from eugene.

DO bring your own snacks/food/lunch/dinner.
Anything you get on the train will be overpriced.
Think of 7-11 in prices and quality, but much much less selection from their snack car.
The dining car has nice chain restaurant prices (think of black angus, red lobster, outback steakhouse or applebees) maybe slightly cheaper.
In which you get denny's/Ihop quality food with slightly more generous portions than you would get at ritzy 5 star place.
You would be better off hitting the grocery store for snacks and a fast food or place like denny's for take out before you get on the train.

It however is a mostly relaxing ride with lots of scenery and one where you can get up and walk around if your bored.

If you take cascades there is plenty of electrical outlets so you can bring along a laptop or a portable dvd player for entertainment for when there isnt anything interesting to look at (like a boring stretch or after dark)

IF you want to bring eletronic toys do not take the coast starlight. It only has 2 single plug outlets for the whole car. One upstairs in the very middle on the left hand side, the other downstairs on the right side of the car near the last seat.
There is an outlet in each bathroom, but it would be kinda rude to bogart a whole bathroom for sake of an outlet.
Joined: 4/16/2009
Msg: 5
Riding the Train in Oregon
Posted: 6/10/2009 2:25:41 PM
Oh yes, i took the train from Portland to Wisconsin, and oh man.. I will never take the bus ever again if I don't have too. It's so peaceful, the people are generally more laid back and clean.. It's 100% more comfortable, and the areas the train goes through are just breathe taking.. Mountains, forest, rivers.. *sighs* Now I wanna go again :P
Joined: 11/26/2008
Msg: 6
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Riding the Train in Oregon
Posted: 6/25/2009 8:28:06 PM
Just curious! Did you take your trip? Did you enjoy it?
Joined: 11/29/2009
Msg: 8
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Riding the Train in Oregon
Posted: 12/9/2009 8:16:00 PM
I sometimes take the train between Eugene and Portland. It's really comfortable and much more relaxing than driving. But, and this is a huge but, it's almost always late. So don't bother if you have any time commitments or have to be anywhere on a schedule

One time I was stuck in Tigard, unmoving, for almost 4 hours. The reason for this, I am told, is that Amtrak doesn't own it's own lines. They have to use the Union Pacific lines and the Union Pacific does not keep to any schedule or alert anyone to when they intend to use them. So any time the two trains are about to use the tracks, Amtrak has to pull off on a side rout and wait for the owner train to finish going by, loading, etc. Like I said, one time the wait was almost 4 hours. Had I known how long we'd be sitting there, I could have taken a bus from Tigard to get the rest of the way home.
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