A Trip on Amtrak’s ‘Empire Builder’

(Scroll down for images)

Routes shown:

The Maple Leaf (Aldershot, ON – Buffalo, NY) -1st leg of trip
The Lakeshore Limited (Buffalo, NY – Chicago, IL) -2nd leg of trip
The Empire Builder (Chicago, IL – Seattle, WA) -3rd leg of trip
Note: Amtrak also provides service from Seattle, WA to Vancouver, BC.

The Maple Leaf (Aldershot, ON – Buffalo, NY):

The ‘Maple Leaf‘ is Amtrak’s train connecting Aldershot, ON with Buffalo (Depew), NY. The train actually runs all the way from Toronto to New York City via Aldershot, Niagara Falls, Buffalo & Albany.

Equipment consists of Amfleet coaches & snack cars. Motive power consists of General Electric 4,250 horsepower P42DC diesel locomotives.

One of the highlights of the trip is the spectacular crossing of the Niagara Gorge.

Great views, spacious & comfortable seats, and cafeteria style food service with tasty meals & snacks are sure to delight on Amtrak’s Maple Leaf.

The Lakeshore Limited (Buffalo, NY – Chicago, IL):

The ‘Lakeshore Limited‘ is Amtrak’s overnight train connecting Buffalo (Depew), NY with Chicago, IL. The train actually runs all the way from New York City to Chicago via Buffalo & Cleveland. The train is Amtrak’s modern-day replacement for the famous all-pullman ‘Twentieth Century Limited’ inaugurated by the New York Central on June 15, 1902.

Modern equipment consists of Amfleet coaches & lounges and Viewliner diners & sleepers with bedrooms & roomette accommodations. Motive power consists of General Electric 4,250 horsepower P42DC diesel locomotives.

Highlights of the trip include the beautiful shores of Lake Erie, the vast industrial steel making complexes near Gary, IN, and splendid views of the Chicago skyline.

If you enjoy fine dining & comfortable accommodations on memorable a trip to or from the Windy City, then you’ll enjoy a ride on Amtrak’s Lakeshore Limited.

The Empire Builder (Chicago, IL – Seattle, WA):

The ‘Empire Builder‘ is a Chicago to Seattle & Portland passenger train initially operated by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (CB&Q), Great Northern (GN) & Spokane, Portland & Seattle (SP&S) railways & inaugurated with streamlined equipment on February 23, 1947. The train has been operated by Amtrak since 1971 and for the most part runs on the original route except for the eastern portion which now runs on former Milwaukee Road trackage through Wisconsin & Minnesota instead of on the CB&Q. The train splits into 2 sections enroute from Chicago, with one section running to Seattle & the other to Portland.

Modern equipment on Amtrak’s Empire Builder now consists of Superliner sleeping cars with bedroom & roomette accommodations, dining cars, the Sightseer lounge car with large panoramic windows, and coach cars. Motive power consists of General Electric 4,250 horsepower P42DC diesel locomotives.

The route of the Empire Builder is full of scenic delights, running from the sprawling metropolis of Chicago, through Milwaukee, past the red sandstone canyon of the Wisconsin Dells, crossing the mighty Mississippi River at LaCrosse, past Sugar Loaf Mountain at Winona, through St. Paul-Minneapolis, through the Badlands of North Dakota, over the spectacular Cut Bank trestle, into the front range of the Rockies & over Marias Pass at Glacier Park, MT, past the famous Izaak Walton Inn at Essex, to the pretty mountain-locked resort town of Whitefish, on to Spokane, WA, where the train is split into sections, crossing the Columbia River at Wenatchee, through the Cascade Mountains & into the 7.8 mile long Cascade Tunnel, past the Sunset Falls at Skykomish & along the coast of Puget sound to the Pacific port of Seattle, WA.

If you enjoy spectacular scenery, fantastic dining, superb accommodations & impeccable service, then you’ll enjoy a ride on Amtrak’s Empire Builder.

Also, for passengers wishing to continue their journey, Amtrak provides service from Seattle, WA to Vancouver, BC. Hertz Rental cars are available in Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station for passengers wishing to continue by car and BC Ferry to Vancouver Island. Accommodations are available at the Best Western Toffino on Vancouver Island.

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