BNSF Railway informed Amtrak this morning (December 22) it will not be able to accept Amtrak Cascades trains for their route between Eugene, Ore., and Vancouver, B.C., due to infrastructure issues related to the winter storm. Other Amtrak trains in the Pacific Northwest are operating subject to lengthy delays.

Amtrak Cascades

All trains canceled. No alternate transportation at this time.

Empire Builder

Trains 8 & 28 are planned to originate in Portland on December 22, with alternate transportation planned from Seattle for Train 8 passengers ticketed from Seattle and intermediate points to Spokane, Wash.

Coast Starlight

Trains 11 & 14 are expected to operate over their full Seattle-Los Angeles route on December 22, subject to significant delay in the Pacific Northwest.

Amtrak regrets any inconvenience. This information is correct as of the above time and date. Information is subject to change as conditions warrant. Passengers are encouraged to call 800-USA-RAIL or visit for schedule information and train status updates.


My recommendations – If you need to get to Eugene, call Amtrak and see if there are any seats available on Amtrak #11; The train is slated to depart at 11am. If there are, this may be your only option. Snow is expected through Tuesday now with Rain/Snow mix through New Years.

If you are coming in on the Empire Builder, will be coming into Portland, Oregon and transferring to a train for the trip to Seattle. Stevens Pass is effectively snowed in and hundreds of down trees along the route, along with massive snow drifts.

It is expected to be “business as usual” tomorrow, depending on how much new snow falls today and if the maintainers can get the switches working.

Remember – Sounder is on a Holiday Schedule the rest of this week and will not be running on December 25th. It would be very smart to continuously check for your train status. If you do take todays Coast Starlight, expect significant delays on the route with many down trees, frozen switches, etc.

Anybody using rail transportation needs to exercise extreme patience, let it be Streetcar, Light-Rail, Amtrak, or Commuter Rail…

4 Replies to “PNW Amtrak Update”

  1. Thanks Brian!

    This is all unfortunate to put things mildly – at this point, something needs to work well.

    As far as Metro and Sound Transit are concerned, I hate to be cynical as I am sure everyone is trying really hard to get the network running again, but a part of me thinks that having ‘reduced’ service, cancelling in the case of some ST routes, and having a ‘holiday schedule’ for Sounder is just an excuse to reclaim some of the budget shortfall.

    A key component of a good transit system is predictability and right now, we do not have one. I don’t think it is in ST’s interests to cancel routes if they don’t need to or to run holiday schedules when people expect a full one. They don’t have to be on time in these conditions but let’s not give up as we seem to be doing.


  2. I’m on the Coast Starlight #11 train right now, stopped in sumner for some reason. This train was supposed to depart at 9:45am, and ended up departing around 2:30, what a day!

    Everyone’s in good spirits though. KING and KOMO were at King Street Station interviewing people for quite a while, so expect something on the news tonight.

    1. I was on that train early this morning. We arrived at 6 am. 10 hours late.
      All trains going north and south have been canceled. We were told in Corvallis, OR that the only way to get home in Seattle, due to all trains canceled except the Starlight was to get a sleeper car. $400 extra. Thank god we did, in car 13 there was a death after Salem, OR then from the same car before Portland, OR. A male passenger opened the door and climbed the fence and departed the train. He was arrested. The 100 year old bridge south of the Portland station was frozen on the upright position.

      So a 5 hour delay is nothing. The previous train 11 did not depart until 8 PM yesterday.

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