As first published in Seattle Refined on January 19, 2023
It’s a misty morning in the PNW as the Amtrak Cascades train rolls into the station. The sound of its whistle is heard first, moments before the outline of the big engine is seen coming down the tracks to a full stop.
We’re gathered with fellow travelers on the platform, our breath forming small cloud puffs as we exhale, rising to mix with the foggy air. There are no snaking security lines. Strangers greet each other with nods and smiles. A little chatter breaks up the calm. In fact, it seems the only thing missing (if you can call it that) is the stress so often linked to traveling.
We approach the waiting passenger cars, pulling up the e-tickets on our phones, as the assistant conductor greets us with, “Welcome aboard!”
“All Aboard” Made Easy
We used the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) app loaded onto our smartphones from start to finish on this trip. It’s a great format to make your reservations, purchase tickets, plus check arrival and departure times. The WSDOT app is free and easy to navigate.
Pro tip: Remember there are two Vancouvers that will pop up when scheduling your destination. Amtrak Cascades also services Vancouver, Washington. For this excursion, we selected the Canadian stop.
Our Amtrak Cascades train is headed north from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. with stops in Edmonds, Everett, Stanwood, Mount Vernon, and Bellingham. Amtrak Cascades has resumed daily routes to Canada after two years of absence due to the pandemic.
On board, we quickly find two seats along the left side of the train for the best viewing, aware that this scenic, northbound ride follows rail lines along the Salish Sea