Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak Cascades’

Cascades Schedules to Change Dec. 18

December 14, 2017

Some schedules for Amtrak’s Cascades Service will change on Dec. 18, when two additional roundtrips will be launched between Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

The new service is being underwritten by the Washington State Department of Transportation. The corridor will now have 12 daily between Seattle and Portland.

Another change effective Dec. 18 will be opening of the Tacoma Dome station and a reroute of Amtrak trains to the Point Defiance Bypass.

The new trains will carry train numbers 511, 512, 514 and 519. Some existing train numbers will also have changed. For details, visit http://www.AmtrakCascades.com.

In a service advisory, Amtrak provided a summary of the revised Cascades Service.

  • Trains 501, 503, 507, and 509 will operate between Seattle and Portland daily.
  • Train 505 will operate between Seattle and Eugene, Oregon, departing at 2:15 p.m. daily.
  • Train 511 will operate between Portland and Eugene departing at 9:45 a.m. Monday-Friday
  • Train 513 will operate between Portland and Eugene departing at 12:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays only.
  • Train 517 will operate between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Portland departing at 6:35 a.m. daily.
  • Train 519 will operate between Vancouver and Seattle departing at 5:45 p.m. daily.
  • Trains 500, 502, 504, and 506 will operate between Seattle and Portland daily.
  • Train 508 will operate between Eugene and Seattle departing at 4:30 p.m. daily.
  • Train 512 will operate between Eugene and Portland departing at 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Train 514 will operate between Eugene and Portland departing at 9:00 a.m. weekends and holidays only.
  • Train 516 will operate between Seattle and Vancouver, departing at 7:45 a.m. daily.
  • Train 518 will operate between Portland and Vancouver, departing at 3:20 p.m. daily.
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New Tacoma Station to Open Dec. 18

November 30, 2017

The new Tacoma Dome Station in Tacoma, Washington, will open on Dec. 18, the same day that additional Cascades Service begins.

Amtrak is adding two more daily roundtrips between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, thereby increasing the level of service between the two cities to six roundtrips a day.

The new service will coincide with a route change whereby Amtrak trains begin using the inland bypass between Tacoma and Olympia.

The Tacoma Dome Station is located in Freighthouse Square at 422 East 25th Street, about a half-mile west of the existing station on Puyallup Avenue.

Trains will stop at Puyallup Avenue station for the final time on Dec. 17

Passengers leaving motor vehicles at the Puyallup Avenue station on or before Dec. 17 and who return on or after Dec. 18 will be provided a courtesy shuttle to retrieve their vehicle during the first week after the move.

Effective Dec. 26, passengers will need to make their own arrangements to travel from the new station to the Puyallup Avenue station to retrieve their vehicle.

Amtrak said in a service advisory that once the station change occurs there will be no security at the old station parking lot.

All vehicles must be moved from the Puyallup Avenue station by Dec. 30, 2017,  or be subject to being towed at the owner’s expense.

A limited number of free short-term parking spaces are available across the street from the station at the Pierce Transit parking garage.

Passengers needing overnight parking are being directed to a pay lot at the corner of D Street and East 25th Street.

To reserve a space, visit www.calltopark.com for more information on other nearby parking options.

Amtrak passenger/guest parking is not permitted in the short-term parking stalls in front of Freighthouse Square Marketplace.

After Amtrak begins serving the Tacoma Dome station, Northwestern Trailways buses will not directly serve the new Amtrak station.

Passengers will instead board and disembark from buses at the Tacoma Greyhound station, located at 510 Puyallup Avenue, one block from the new Tacoma Dome Amtrak station.

Charges Assigned to Cascades Corridor

November 27, 2017

Eight Siemens Charger locomotives have been assigned to the Cascades corridor between Eugene, Oregon, and Vancouver, British Columbia, via Seattle and Portland.

Amtrak expects to assign the 4,400-horsepower engines to all Cascades routes over the next few weeks.

The locomotives are jointly owned by the Washington and Oregon departments of transportation.

The engines are said to be lighter and quieter than the motive power currently assigned to the corridor.

Changes Coming to I-5 Rail Corridor

November 10, 2017

Amtrak will begin using a new station in Tacoma, Washington, that is located in a former Milwaukee Road freight house.

It is one of many changes in the Interstate 5 corridor between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, including the $181.2 million dollar Point Defiance Bypass Route south of Tacoma.

The latter includes 14.5 miles of upgraded tracks between Tacoma and Nisqually, Washington, where the bypass will rejoin the mainline to Portland.

A portion of the upgraded route has its original alignment on former Northern Pacific rails south of the Tacoma Amtrak depot where the tracks climb a 2.85-percent grade to South Tacoma.

Passenger trains are being moved away from the more scenic route along Puget Sound due to freight congestion, tight curvature and a single-track tunnel under Point Defiance. The track was also subject to mudslides.

The new route is also expected to be 10 minutes faster or Amtrak.

Once an additional daily Cascades round-trip in the morning and the evening between Seattle and Portland is launched, Amtrak will have 14 trains in the corridor, including the Seattle-Los Angeles Coast Starlight.

There will be 16 Sounder commuter trains north of Lakewood, Washington, is 16 daily trains which will result in 30 daily passenger trains on the new single track line. The new route is slated to reduce Amtrak passenger times by 10 minutes.

HSR Could Draw 1.8M to Seattle Route, Consultant Says

November 7, 2017

A study has determined that high-speed rail service between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, could draw 1.8 million passengers in a few years.

Trains traveling between the two cities at 250 mph could make the trip in less than an hour.

Amtrak’s Cascades between those cities have a four-hour travel time.

The cost of implementing high-speed rail service is expected to be contained within the final final report when it is issued in December.

Washington state has budgeted $350,000 to study potential alignment, ridership, technology, costs and economic benefits of a high-speed rail line.

UP Track Work to Disrupt Coast Starlight in Oregon, California; Will Also Affect Select Corridor Trains

October 24, 2017

Union Pacific track work is affecting Amtrak’s Coast Starlight and other western corridor trains in late October and early November.

In California, track work being performed from 10:30 p.m. on Oct.  25 through 10:30 a.m. on Oct.  27 will affect Pacific Surfliner service and the Coast Starlight as follows.

On Oct.  25 Train 785 will operate between San Diego and Oxnard. Bus service will be provided from Oxnard to Santa Barbara and Goleta. Bus service will not be provided at Ventura and Carpinteria.

On 26, Pacific Surfliner trains will operate on the following schedules. These trains will not stop at Ventura and Carpinteria, and bus service will not be provided.

Northbound Nos. 761, 769 and 785 will operate between San Diego and Oxnard. Bus service will be provided from Oxnard to Santa Barbara and Goleta.

Northbound Nos. 763 and 777 will operate between San Diego and Oxnard only. Bus service will be provided between Oxnard and Santa Barbara. Bus service will also be provided to Goleta for Train 777 passengers only.

Northbound Nos. 2763 and 2777 will operate between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

Southbound Nos. 768, 782 and 792 will originate at Oxnard. Passengers boarding in Goleta and Santa Barbara will be provided bus service to Oxnard, where they will board their respective trains.

Southbound Nos. 2774 and 2796 will operate between San Louis Obispo and Santa Barbara. Bus service will be provided between Santa Barbara and Oxnard.

Southbound Nos. 774 and 796 will operate between Oxnard and San Diego only.

The Coast Starlight will detour between Oakland and Los Angeles and will not make stops at San Jose, Salinas, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Van Nuys and Burbank. Passengers traveling to those destinations are directed to use local travel services.

In Oregon, track work between Klamath Falls and Portland will affect Cascades Service Nos. 503, 505, 506, 508 and Coast Starlight No. 14 as follows:

Train 503 on Nov. 1 through Nov. 8 is canceled between Portland and Eugene. Bus service will be provided at all stations on the route.

Train 508 on Nov. 1 through Nov. 3 will operate between Portland and Seattle only. Bus service will be provided to and from Eugene, Albany, Salem and Oregon City and will connect to Train 508 at Portland.

Train No. 508 will operate as normal on Nov.  4 and 5.

Trains 505 and 506 are canceled between Portland and Eugene will be cancelled. Bus service will be provided at all stations on the route.

Train  will operate between Portland and Seattle only. Bus service will be provided to and from Eugene, Albany, Salem and Oregon City to connect to Train 506 at Portland.

On Nov. 1 through Nov. 8 the northbound Coast Starlight will wait at Eugene up to two hours and 15 minutes.

Passengers connecting from Train 14 to Empire Builder No. 28 at Portland, you will get off the train at Eugene, where bus service will be provided to Portland to board No. 28.

WSDOT Adding Cascade Service

October 6, 2017

The Washington Department of Transportation is adding two additional Amtrak Cascades Service round-trips between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, effective Dec. 18.

The increased service bring service in the corridor to 12 trains every day.

“People can get where they’re going sooner, with more schedule choices and better reliability,” said Ron Pate, WSDOT Rail, Freight and Ports Division director.

WSDOT also said the travel time of Cascades service will be cut by 10 minutes to 3 hours and 20 minutes due to the rerouting of trains between Tacoma and Olympia, Washington, and the upgrading of tracks and signal systems.

The new route takes trains on an inland corridor parallel to Interstate 5 through Tacoma, Lakewood, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and DuPont. It eliminates a major chokepoint for passenger trains near Point Defiance in Tacoma and separates them from freight trains that will continue to use the old – but scenic – waterfront route.

WSDOT said it has invested nearly $800 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants to offer these new schedules.

“WSDOT worked closely with many partners over the last six years to prepare for these new schedules. Dec. 18 marks a major milestone for passenger rail service in the Pacific Northwest,” Pate said. “While the scenic beauty of the Point Defiance route can’t be denied, we know passengers will appreciate the ability to make easier, and more reliable, day trips between Seattle and Portland. Spectacular water views are still available for passengers between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.”

The new schedule will see trains, pulled by WSDOT’s new Siemens SC-44 Charger locomotives, leaving both Portland and Seattle every two to three hours. The first trains will depart Seattle at 6 a.m. and Portland at 6:20 a.m. The latest trains between the two cities will leave at 7:25 p.m. from Portland and 7:45 p.m. from Seattle. Station stops between the two cities include Tukwila, Tacoma, Olympia/Lacey, Centralia, Kelso, and Vancouver, Washington.

Amtrak Cascades also will continue to run daily trips to Vancouver and Eugene, Oregon, serving 18 cities in the corridor.

December’s schedule changes will find later departures for some trains between Portland to Eugene to better connect with trains coming from Seattle, and to better meet passenger needs in Oregon.

Milwaukee Talgo Plant to Rebuild Transit Cars

July 18, 2017

A factory in Milwaukee built to manufacture Talgo trains has been converted into a shop to overhaul public transit cars.

The Spanish company Talgo created the facility to assemble its passive-tilt equipment that was to be used in high-speed service.

The high-speed rail program was killed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker shortly after he was elected in November 2010.

The state had been granted $810 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for two Talgo trainsets and infrastructure development.

Walker pledged during his campaign to end the project, raising objections to the state’s obligation to cover ongoing maintenance and operating costs.

The Milwaukee Talgo plant built four trainsets before it closed. Two of them are in service on Amtrak’s Cascades Service route while two others are being stored in Amtrak’s Beech Grove shops near Indianapolis.

The stored Talgos were intended to be used in Wisconsin, but never turned a wheel there in revenue service.

The former Wisconsin Talgo trainsets might be sent to California for use between Los Angeles and San Diego if a service plan by the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency is implemented.

In the wake of Wisconsin’s refusal to accept the two Talgo trainsets, the manufacturer sued the state. That litigation was eventually settled out of court with Talgo receiving a $10 million settlement and the right to sell the completed trainsets.

Talgo’s Milwaukee plant is now being used to rebuild transit cars used on the Los Angeles Metro Red Line and built between 1992 and 2000 by Breda Costruzioni Ferroviasrie of Italy.

The car will receive updates to their propulsion equipment, braking, signaling, and other components under a contract worth nearly $73 million.
The Talgo plant is located on the city’s north side in a former A.O. Smith factory, which built automobile frames.

The Los Angeles rebuilding project is expected to create 18 to 20 new jobs.

Amtrak to Build New Engine Facility in Seattle

June 15, 2017

Amtrak will build a $28 million locomotive service facility in Seattle to serve two long-distance trains and the state-funded Cascades service.

Construction is expected to begin this month and be completed in two years. The first step will be demolition of the site’s existing buildings, utilities, tracks and other structures.

Workers will then construct a new 31,000-square-foot locomotive shop that will have a new 125-ton drop table being funded by the Washington State Department of Transportation and a 55-ton overhead bridge crane.

Seattle is the western terminus of the Empire Builder from Chicago and the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles. The Cascades trains operate to Portland and Eugene, Oregon; and to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Amtrak Back on Track in the Northwest

February 11, 2017

Amtrak is expecting to restore service today in Washington State that was disrupted by landslides.

Amtrak logoBNSF, which hosts Amtrak trains serving Seattle and Portland, Oregon, had declared a 48-hour moratorium on rail traffic after the landslides occurred on Thursday.

Affected with the Cascades trains, the Empire Builder and the Coast Starlight.

The Cascades were canceled between Seattle and Portland, but operated north of Everett, Washington, and south of Portland.

Amtrak was providing alternative transportation between Seattle and Everett, but not between Seattle and Portland.

In a related development, BNSF has reopened its Hi Line used by the Empire Builder through Glacier National Park in Montana. That route was closed by avalanches twice this past week.

The line was initially closed on Sunday at Marias Pass, but reopened on Tuesday. Two days later the route was closed again due to avalanches blocking the tracks near Essex, Montana.