Author Topic: Empire Builder trip eastbound  (Read 608 times)

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Upstate Gator

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Empire Builder trip eastbound
« on: April 21, 2016, 01:18:26 PM »
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I'm taking the Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago (in coach) this afternoon. Any recommendations?
Ben

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Re: Empire Builder trip eastbound
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2016, 02:23:43 PM »
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Well, my first recommendation would have been to book a sleeper. :facepalm:

We did a round trip on the EB last summer. We enjoyed it, but for some reason it seemed to us to be an awful lot of time on the train, versus, say, the Cal Zephyr or the SW Chief, which in actuality have roughly the same schedule end-to-end. As far as the train ride itself, it's an Amtrak long-distance train, aside from the passing scenery they're pretty similar.

Make it a point to get off the train at the crew changes and stretch your legs (these are announced as "smoke stops"). Havre is fun. It's a refueling stop so there's more time on the ground, giving you a chance to check out the GN S-2 (4-8-4). Another lengthy stop is Whitefish, where they have a GN NW5 on display. Be prepared for the view from the train at Essex (east side of tracks, so will be on the left of direction of travel), to catch a glimpse of the Isaak Walton Inn and their GN F45 that has been converted into a cabin. Essex is a flag stop, so if the train stops there, it will be for just a few seconds.

Enjoy the trip!
...mike

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nkalanaga

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Re: Empire Builder trip eastbound
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2016, 02:03:37 AM »
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One note:  That "GN F45" looks good, but I have read that it's NOT an ex-GN unit.  Santa Fe, I believe, but they did a good job of recreating a GN unit.
N Kalanaga
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nscaler711

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Re: Empire Builder trip eastbound
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2016, 02:57:26 AM »
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I took the EB from Chicago to Spokane, when we went through Montana it was night, so I wasn't so lucky.... I hope you get to go through during the day as I've heard the Marias Pass is beautiful...

North Dakota on the other hand.... Is underwhelming.... Probably didn't help that it was May, and still snow on the ground...
Going through Milwaukee was cool though... Lots of Rail yards...  Lotta BNSF motive power...  :D
Seats in coach aren't terrible, just bring a blanket and pillow as the ones they hand out aren't the best, think airline. Lol
And be sure to visit the lounge car often!! Best car ever!
Science isn't about why, it's about why not. Why is so much of our science dangerous? Why not marry safe science if you love it so much? In fact, why not invent a special safety door that won't hit you in the butt on the way out, because you are fired! Not you, test subject, you're doing fine.

nkalanaga

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Re: Empire Builder trip eastbound
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2016, 01:22:55 AM »
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nscaler711:  I haven't ridden long distance passenger trains often, but did ride the Empire Builder three times:  Pasco to Chicago in 1973 (in a Santa Fe coach), and Chicago-Pasco-Chicago round trip in 1989 (Superliner coach).  I agree, the coach seats aren't that bad, and one can always get up and walk around.  We didn't regret not paying extra for a bed.

The rest of the trips?  In 1973, Broadway Limited to Washington DC (unknown coach, bus/plane/car return to Pasco), and in 1989, the Cardinal Huntington-Chicago-Huntington (Amfleet coach).
N Kalanaga
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Ike the BN Freak

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Re: Empire Builder trip eastbound
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2016, 02:45:07 AM »
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Another lengthy stop is Whitefish, where they have a GN NW5 on display.

The loco on display is an NW3, not a 5. From what I've seen, only GN NW5 left was recently scrapped in Portland after it had lots of theft done to it.

wcfn100

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Re: Empire Builder trip eastbound
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2016, 03:11:44 AM »
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The loco on display is an NW3, not a 5. From what I've seen, only GN NW5 left was recently scrapped in Portland after it had lots of theft done to it.

 :?



There's another NW5 around too in FL, just not an ex-GN unit.


Jason

Ike the BN Freak

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Re: Empire Builder trip eastbound
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2016, 07:27:46 PM »
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There was an NW5 in Portland, not too sure where exactly it was, but last I heard it was scrapped.  Was GN 187, scrapped in 2013.

However the loco on display at Whitefish is an NW3. Unless they recently added an NW5.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 07:31:18 PM by Ike the BN Freak »

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Empire Builder trip eastbound
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2016, 03:09:58 PM »
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There's an operating one in Morrisville: