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SEA or PDX?


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#1 Medic981

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 07:31 PM

I am making plans for a trip westbound on EB this January. I am trying to decide between ending in SEA or PDX. With only $1 difference in the destination, I am curious what the forum thinks about the differences in the trip between SPK and the respective destinations. I have visited Seattle and Portland previously, so I am more curious as to the differences on the respective trains.



#2 FrensicPic

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 08:44 PM

The westbound EB is "split" at Spokane. Each of the two routes has its own features. If you go to Portland, you'll be running along the Columbia River from Pasco to Vancouver, WA. The Seattle route has some nice scenery through the Cascades and the nearly 8 mile long Cascade Tunnel. When you get to Everett, you'll travel along the shoreline towards Seattle. Your final destination will probably be more of a determining factor.

 

Either way, should be a great trip.


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#3 Bob Dylan

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 11:48 PM

The Portland Stub Train will have the SSL and you receive a Boxed Breakfast that, at best, is edible.

The Diner goes with the Seattle Section and you will have a real Breakfast available.
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#4 fairviewroad

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 11:52 AM

The Portland Stub Train will have the SSL and you receive a Boxed Breakfast that, at best, is edible.

The Diner goes with the Seattle Section and you will have a real Breakfast available.

 

The OP doesn't say whether he is in sleeper or coach, so the boxed breakfast may not be a factor. But just be aware that if running on time, the Seattle Section breakfast is served at 5:30 a.m., which -- in January -- will be accompanied by utter darkness. So not really an optimal diner setting, IYAM. In my opinion, the presence of the SSL on the PDX is the tie-breaker.

 

Another factor the OP may want to consider is the relative cost of visiting each city. PDX generally wins out in terms of lodging expenses.



#5 niemi24s

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 12:06 PM

The OP could also eliminate the anxiety of deciding whether to go to SEA or PDX (which he's visited previously) by ending the trip in SPK.



#6 fairviewroad

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 12:24 PM

The OP could also eliminate the anxiety of deciding whether to go to SEA or PDX (which he's visited previously) by ending the trip in SPK.

 

 

:P Heh heh, no better way to kick off a vacation than to stumble off the train in Spokane at 2 o'clock in the morning.

 

In all seriousness, Spokane is actually a pretty cool city, if you've never had the chance to visit. But yeah, Amtrak isn't really the best way to get there.



#7 Medic981

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 07:06 PM

I will be traveling in a roomette. The purpose of the trip is to ride the EB. The origin city and destination city is just a bonus. As I want to ride the length of the route, I have never given a thought to getting off at SPK. Detraining at 0200 just does not appeal to me if I can avoid it.



#8 fairviewroad

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 11:45 AM

I will be traveling in a roomette. The purpose of the trip is to ride the EB. The origin city and destination city is just a bonus. As I want to ride the length of the route, I have never given a thought to getting off at SPK. Detraining at 0200 just does not appeal to me if I can avoid it.

 

Is this a one-way trip only? If round-trip, it's easy to have your cake and eat it too, given that there is frequent Amtrak service between PDX and SEA. You can easily arrive into PDX and depart out of SEA (or vice-versa).

 

But if it's one-way, then you'll need to decide. As I said, I'm on the "PDX" side of things. But there's "no wrong answer" as they say.



#9 niemi24s

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 12:48 PM

If you really want to see what the scenery is like (and not rely on someone else's written description) on these or any other route, just follow along the tracks using Google Earth for a birds-eye view.  Pictures are worth thousands of words.


Edited by niemi24s, 06 October 2017 - 12:49 PM.


#10 Dakota 400

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 03:24 PM

I have traveled the EB route to Portland once and a few times to Seattle.  Both routes were scenic and I would have no problem in doing the EB to/from Portland again.  

 

It has been quite some time since traveling on the EB to Portland, but their Station was memorable, I recall.  Might still be worth a visit.

 

Now, since the refurbishment of Seattle's King Street Station, it surely is worth a visit.

 

As another poster mentioned, there really isn't a downside to this decision.  Both routes are enjoyable and both cities are tourist friendly.  The difference in equipment used on the trains may be the primary difference.  My cold breakfast box on the Portland segment provided more food than I cared to eat and I was pleased with what was offered.



#11 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 04:59 PM

I think the portland section is more unique scenery wise. The Seattle section is scenic, but the Columbia River Gorge is one of a kind.

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#12 Medic981

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:52 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. I will post a travel log and let you know which route I decide.






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