Catch the Amtrak Cascades Train to Vancouver

The train travels along the scenic waterfront (Photo: Amtrak)

Hey Seattle! Portland! Looking for something to do? Looking for a short getaway?  Well, look no further! I have the answer, and the answer is Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada!

Visit your neighbours, just over the border and do it all in comfort by catching the Amtrak Cascades train. Amtrak Cascades offers a Pacific Northwest route between Eugene, Oregon and Vancouver, BC which stops at major cities along the way (Portland, Seattle) and some others in between (check out the Amtrak Cascades website for exact stops).

 

The seats on the train are wide and very comfortable, the service onboard is friendly and inviting and the view as you cruise along by the water is stunning. The view is what it’s all about – you can’t get this driving along the highway! Well, sorry, you do get a view on the highway – gas stations, buildings, truck stops, cars, cars and some more cars. On the train you are cruising alongside the water for the majority of the way, taking in such sights of beaches, sail boats in marinas, and seaside houses. Don’t worry about not having a car when you arrive – Vancouver is an extremely easy city to get around in without a car and was recently voted as Canada’s Most Walkable City by up! magazine.

 

Stunning view from the train (Photo: flickr.com/alex_dobson)

Feeling peckish? Head on down to the on-board Bistro Car where they are serving up breakfast items, sandwiches, hot dogs, tea, coffee and other tasty little snacks to keep you going throughout the trip. Need a little more stimulation? Feel free to bring along your laptop to watch a movie, play games, work on that assignment you need to hand in, the report your boss needs by the end of the weekend. There are power outlets at each seat for you to plug in your power cord, phone charger or ipod charger.

 

Coach carriage (Photo: flickr.com/alex_dobson)

I have been across the border in both cars and a bus before and there is no comparison! Sure, your initial thought might be to just drive as you think it’s easier, but just remember that you have to concentrate while driving (versus totally relaxing on the train), you can get stuck at the border for what sometimes seems like hours, especially on a weekend (versus a quick 10-15 minute stop on the train), if you get hungry you need to stop for food (versus the Bistro Car right on the train). You go through customs when you arrive in Vancouver and it is a very smooth, quick process. On the way to the States from Vancouver, you will go through US Customs before you board the train, and there will be a quick 10 minute stop as you cross the border for the Customs officials to jump on board and collect your papers.

So go on, ditch the car for the weekend and set off on a relaxing, view-filled train trip to Vancouver, BC.

Oh, and if you’re still not convinced, Amtrak is offering 25% off train fares to Vancouver, BC for the month of September! You can also pick up a great rate on a hotel room for your stay. Check out Tourism Vancouver for more details.

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6 Responses to Catch the Amtrak Cascades Train to Vancouver

  1. I want to take my girlfriend (soon Wife) on this train at some point….. looks absolutely stunning. I spent a number of years living in Squamish and various areas of BC. We definitely (on average) take our beautiful Province for granted. It’s fun to be a tourist in your own country sometimes! :-)

  2. Last week I returned to Vancouver by myself with my bike by using the Amtrack Cascades train. (It’s over 250 kms. one way if you want to bike from Seattle to Vancouver.)

    If you get to train station over an hr. in advance and also buy your ticket several days in advance, you can also have them look after your bike.

    You roll out with the lineup with the checked-in, tagged bike and Amtrak staff will hang your bike in bike train car.

    I got off in Vancouver train station, with bike and went through Customs.

    Customs lineup is less time-consuming than by bus at the the border checkpoints. Train is faster and more leg room. You can wander down to the dining car and look out the great coastal line since the train hugs the shore.

    https://insidevancouver.ca/2010/08/29/go-multi-modal-combine-cycling-with-other-transportation-options-part-ii-from-metro-vancouver-to-vancouver-island-gulf-islands-whistler-and-the-u-s/

  3. Beautiful Pictures!

    As what Adrian said, British Columbians do not realize how scenic our province is.

    For future visitors to Canada, it is always a good idea to look into Visitors to Canada Insurance before coming here.

    You’ll never regret it!

  4. MT

    You should definitely consider taking the train because Vancouver parking ticketers discriminate against cars with foreign plates and those outside the city/country have no option for appealing tickets except appearing in person, obviously not an option for tourists. It’s a biased system that extorts money from visitors.

  5. This Seattle Times newspaper article, Sept. 20, 2010 indicates that the 2nd Cascades train between Vancouver and Seattle, will not run after Oct. 31, 2010.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2012952064_amtrak21m.html

    Please check with Amtrak directly after Oct. 2010. Meanwhile take advantage of this 2nd train run while the scheduled train choice is still available.

  6. http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Federal+government+extends+Amtrak+train+another+year/3673679/story.html

    On Oct. 14, 2010, the Canadian federal government is extending the 2nd daily Cascades train services for another year.

    Please check with Amtrak for more details.