12 Facts About Amtrak Cascades


Amtrak Cascades is a passenger train corridor in the Pacific Northwest, operated by Amtrak in partnership with the U S states of Washington and Oregon.

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Passenger train service between Seattle and Portland–the core of what became the Amtrak Cascades corridor–was operated as a joint partnership by the Northern Pacific, Great Northern, and Union Pacific from 1925 to 1970, with the three railroads cross-honoring tickets on their Seattle-Portland routes.

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Amtrak Cascades took over intercity passenger rail operations from the private railroads on May 1, 1971.

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In 1994, Amtrak Cascades began a six-month trial run of modern Talgo equipment over the Seattle–Portland corridor.

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Amtrak Cascades named this service Northwest Talgo, and announced that it would institute a second, conventional train on the corridor once the trial concluded.

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In preparation for the Vancouver route receiving Talgo equipment as well, Amtrak Cascades introduced the temporary Pacific Northwest brand for all four trains, dropping individual names, effective with the spring 1998 timetable.

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The full Amtrak Cascades brand was rolled out on January 12, 1999, following a six-week delay due to an issue with the seat designs on the Talgo trainsets.

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Amtrak Cascades crews ran practice trips between Seattle and Vancouver, BC, in February 2022, and service between those two cities resumed on September 26, 2022.

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Service on the Amtrak Cascades route is currently provided using two articulated trainsets manufactured by Talgo, a Spanish company.

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In 1998, Amtrak Cascades purchased an additional Series VI trainset as a demonstrator for potential service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

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Amtrak Cascades equipment is painted in a special paint scheme consisting of colors the agency calls evergreen, cappuccino (brown), and cream.

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PTC was activated on the Bypass in March 2019 and the NTSB report was released in May that year; Amtrak Cascades service resumed on the bypass on November 18, 2021, almost four years after the derailment.

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