Amtrak Portland to Seattle
As I have covered already I have spent a few days in Portland before I wanted to go up to Seattle.
Someone recommend that instead of flying from Portland to Seattle I take the train. The price I paid was $60 but if I had booked it early enough it would have just been $30 and for a four-hour train ride.
As in mentioned in my previous article the prior two days I had spent with a friend of mine, but as I got to the station early even after I been to the bar I still had just less than an hour to wait.
The first thing which was different, I had to check my bags in like you do at an airport, which I thought was good as I had a large suitcase and didn’t fancy carrying it up the stairs.
Where all the fun began
When I spoke to a lovely woman who worked there that explained I had to join a queue to get my ticket checked. Fine I thought, bit different to the UK but if they want to check the tickets before boarding, The queue was the length of the building about 25 minutes before boarding and I was at the back as I joined, as I joined my friend joined me and quickly the line snaked to up and down so was glad I joined the queue when we did.
The bad news then was announced the train was delayed by 30 minutes, normally I wouldn’t be too fussed – but we’re planning on meeting another friend of ours and his pregnant wife for the first time.
While we were waiting, my friend looked on Amtrak website and realised there was a “viewing car” but was limited to first come first served.
When it was our turn to have our tickets checked he asked if it would be possible to get a seat in this cart and to our amazement, there were some spare seats.
We was given a paper handwritten ticket to tell us where we could sit, yes a handwritten ticket. I always thought America was a technological advance but paper tickets – not seen them in the UK for years.
We then had to join another a queue and had to wait for the train to arrive before we could board.
The bad news it was running even further behind schedule – I think it arrives about 1 and half hours later than planned.
Once we got on – I was so glad we got into this special carriage. Instead of sitting in the traditional format of seats facing forwards our seats faced the window meaning we got a much better view without having to sit uncomfortably.
Another thing which was different to the UK was the train was on two levels with a restaurant/bar below us. These are more common in Europe I have been on one in Holland, they just don’t exist in the UK.
We also had two state Rangers in our carriage (they had microphones to every carriage) explaining landmarks and the history as we travelled between Portland and Seattle.
I have been to America 4 times now, but always to either cities or holiday destinations and never really get to see America. During this train ride, I got to see rural America.
For the first couple of hours, the views are great and you get to see some beautiful sights including some of the largest mountains in the area.
I and my friend are enjoying a nice beer or two and just chilling and catching up, watching America pass by.
About two hours into the journey and the scene changes completely you start seeing the Pacific ocean.
It was beautiful before – but then now its just breath taking beautiful. The most amazing scenery I have ever seen out of a train window and it’s like this for the rest of the journey until the last few miles pulling into Seattle.
Wow – the recommendation didn’t do it justice – it’s the most amazing science train ride I have ever done.
I would highly recommend anyone to take this journey and you can book it here. Just make sure you book the train. On my journey from Seattle to Vancouver, I thought I had bought a train ticket but turns out it was a bus ticket, but that for another day.
The good news the train was able to make up some of the lost time and I was able to meet my friend’s wife before she went to bed. Now onto Seattle for the conference.