Amtrak to restore daily service for Pacific Northwest routes in May as travel bounces back

In another hopeful sign that the travel industry is bouncing back in Washington after pandemic-induced lows last year, Amtrak announced that it will restore daily service on 12 long distance routes across the country, including two that run through Seattle.

Starting May 24, both the Empire Builder (Chicago to Seattle/Portland) and Coast Starlight (Seattle to Los Angeles) routes will resume daily service, giving passengers on the West Coast more travel options. The routes had previously only been operating three times a week due to low ridership during the pandemic.

The Amtrak Cascades route will also add a second round trip between Seattle and Eugene starting on May 24, and a third round trip on the Seattle to Portland segment will also be added.

Service to stations north of Seattle — Everett, Mount Vernon, and Bellingham — remains suspended, and trips to British Columbia on the Cascade line have also not been restored due to the ongoing border closure. Following COVID-19 health protocols set by the state as part of its reopening plan, capacity for train cars has been set to 50%.

The service restoration will also bring back 1,200 furloughed employees.

Amtrak passenger traffic at King Street Station is expected to grow in the next 5 to 10 years, say state transportation officials. Nearly 650,000 people rode Amtrak's statewide Cascade trains and long-distance Empire Builder and Coast Starlight cars last year.

Amtrak passenger traffic at King Street Station is expected to grow in the next 5 to 10 years, say state transportation officials. Nearly 650,000 people rode Amtrak's statewide Cascade trains and long-distance Empire Builder and Coast Starlight cars last year.

Washington state Department of Transportation

"Offering daily long distance service represents a vital step in our road to recovery," said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn in a news release. "Recognizing the immense value of our employees, we’d like to thank Congress for enabling service restoration and helping us recall furloughed employees."

Earlier in January, the Washington State Department on Transportation, Sound Transit and Amtrak began testing trains on the Point Defiance Bypass, the first locomotives to run on the tracks since the derailment in 2017 that killed three people on its inaugural trip. The testing is the first step for the eventual resumption of the Amtrak Cascade service to the Point Defiance Bypass, which is expected to occur later this year.

MORE SEATTLE NEWS:

Historic Fairmont Olympic Hotel to open new speakeasy bar

Seattle ranks among metro areas with fewest 币圈app都有哪些homes for sale

While WA lawmakers debate, cities re-criminalize drug possession

5 new, extraordinary ice cream spots in Seattle

Crystal Mountain to open luxurious tent retreat this summer

Here's how much Seattle 币圈app都有哪些home prices have risen over past decade