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Empire Builder - Eastbound or westbound?


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#1 Guest_Faraz_*

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 10:32 PM

Which direction is better for scenery or is there not much difference? I would prefer to take from Chicago. Alaska airlines has affordable 1-way fares return from Seattle for $150. Also which months is the park ranger on board?

#2 EmpireBuilderFan1976

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 11:06 PM

Which direction is better for scenery or is there not much difference? I would prefer to take from Chicago. Alaska airlines has affordable 1-way fares return from Seattle for $150. Also which months is the park ranger on board?

The park rangers are on board during the summer months. Really, the east and west bound Empire Builder, scenery wise is about the same. Although the eastbound Builder gives you a better view of the Rocky Mountains through Montana. This time of year especially, with it getting darker earlier, you will miss out on much of the Rocky Mountain Scenery in Montana if you take the Empire Builder Westbound.

#3 AlanB

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 11:10 PM

At this time of the year, you'll miss the best scenery going west bound as it will be dark when the train reaches Glacier National Park. During the summer months if the train is on time you'll get to see most of the park, but if it runs late by even an hour you'll miss plenty.

The timetable doesn't specify months, but does indicate that the ranger is only onboard during the spring and the summer. Oddly enough I don't recall it being an actual ranger that I saw this past June, I think it was private organization that did the presentation, but I could be wrong. Maybe he just wasn't wearing his uniform.
Alan,

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#4 yarrow

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 11:34 PM

best views of the mississippi headed eastbound this time of year too. best views of the cascades headed westbound.

amtrak miles-114,506
great northern miles-876
northern pacific miles-28
via rail canada kilometers-8,848


#5 Guest_Faraz_*

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 11:18 AM

Ill probably take the trip in spring . I am mainly interested in the mountain scenery, so sounds like westbound is better? Or are the days not long enough in the spring ?

#6 yarrow

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 02:41 PM

we went last year in early march. it was just getting dark as we went into the rockies westbound. i would think after the spring equinox it would stay light through most of the mountains(given good weather). the eb gets to west glacier(the end of the big mountains)about 8:30pm heading west. next morning the cascades will be in daytime. to assure yourself of the rockies in light you have to do it eastbound though. tough call.

amtrak miles-114,506
great northern miles-876
northern pacific miles-28
via rail canada kilometers-8,848


#7 Bill

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 08:42 PM

This is not exactly keeping with the thread topic but did not want to start a new one.I was just watching my own video I made of the EB and was wondering what is the max speed limit for this train.It is hard to judge while just cruising along and enjoying the trip.

#8 PRR 60

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 09:17 PM

This is not exactly keeping with the thread topic but did not want to start a new one.I was just watching my own video I made of the EB and was wondering what is the max speed limit for this train.It is hard to judge while just cruising along and enjoying the trip.

79mph.

#9 Chi_Train_Fan

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 09:41 PM

Which direction is better for scenery or is there not much difference? I would prefer to take from Chicago. Alaska airlines has affordable 1-way fares return from Seattle for $150. Also which months is the park ranger on board?


Mr. Faraz,

I recommend the eastbound, Seattle to Chicago, direction for your first experience aboard the Empire Builder. No matter the time of year you'll be able to see the beautiful scenery of Glacier National Park during daylight hours.

Seattle to Chiago pictures and trip report.

Cheers,
David Z
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Read my blog: North America by Rail

#10 GG-1

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 01:06 AM

Seattle to Chiago pictures and
Cheers,
David Z

Aloha David

Interesting we took similar pictures. Mine are Here

Eric aka GG-1, Aloha, Mahalo = Thanks

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#11 Chi_Train_Fan

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:12 AM

Interesting we took similar pictures.


Yes, lots of the same subjects. Great minds think alike!

David
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