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Amtrak cascades route sale!

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Thanks for posting this. The sale is only good for travel in May though.

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I got an email today from Amtrak, there is a sale on the cascades route fare through 4/18. You can buy now and travel later.

 

I did a quick look & it didn't look this had already been posted - apologies in advance if it has.

 

http://cl.exct.net/?qs=06c4a9a5fa9a44c0942af57772137dd5be113cae317009cf29417b3491285b18a2a017b9d30b5001

 

Thanks for posting this. The sale is only good for travel in May though.

 

I was about to get upset because I just booked my reservations at the beginning of this month. Thanks to 2112 though, I don't have to fret since we won't be on the train until July!

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FYI, just took a look at sale and it's Seattle to Vancouver WA, not Canada. Still, our tickets from Seattle to Vancouver CA were pretty reasonable.

Lib

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FYI, just took a look at sale and it's Seattle to Vancouver WA, not Canada. Still, our tickets from Seattle to Vancouver CA were pretty reasonable.

Lib

 

There is Vancouver WA, and lower it says Vancouver BC / Seattle.

Valid for travel on the Amtrak Cascades between the following select city pairs only:

- Seattle, WA and Vancouver, WA

- Seattle, WA and Portland, OR

- Tukwila, WA and Portland, OR

- Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA

- Vancouver, BC and Bellingham, WA

 

I did a mock booking, was able to find a fare of $19 from Seattle to VAC. Maybe it's selling out? Maybe you are right - I didn't call to check. But I thought $19 would be a sale price.

 

 

 

 

$19.00

516 Amtrak Cascades

 

icon_servicealert.gif

Departs: 6:50 PM

Wed May 22 2013

Seattle, WA - King Street Station (SEA)

 

Arrives: 10:50 PM

Wed May 22 2013

Vancouver, BC (VAC)

 

Duration: 4 hr, 0 min

 

Amenities

amenities_baggage.gifamenities_lounge.gifamenities_wifi.gifamenities_wcramp.gif

 

1 Reserved Coach Seat

1 Business Class Seat

(add $21.00)

btn_addbike.gif

Edited by CanWeGoYet?

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This is a good wake up, since every year, someone books, Vancouver WASHINGTON. Be certain to get the RIGHT city. :)

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Amtrak has had a reputation for "Late Arrivals". Does anyone know if this has this been an issue on this particular route (SEA to VAN)?

Edited by Gotta Go Cruisin

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Amtrak has had a reputation for "Late Arrivals". Does anyone know if this has this been an issue on this particular route (SEA to VAN)?

 

This is a limited run, with the train STARTING in Seattle. It's a whole different story with the Coast Starlight starting in Los Angeles. (which I have taken, a beautiful ride that was hours late. :) ) Although, I've been late getting into Vancouver, it isn't significant. IF there were an issue, like a few years ago with washed out track, they would just bus you.

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I booked us on the Cascades from Everett to Vancouver, the early train on Thursday, May 16th, which is now sold out.

I see the route begins in Seattle, by the time it reaches Everett, what do you think the chances are of us sitting together? :confused:

Thanks for your help!

Barbara

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Amtrak has had a reputation for "Late Arrivals". Does anyone know if this has this been an issue on this particular route (SEA to VAN)?

 

There can be the occasional problem during the winter with washouts and alike but there is seldom a problem during the summer cruise season.

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Amtrak has had a reputation for "Late Arrivals". Does anyone know if this has this been an issue on this particular route (SEA to VAN)?

 

No. It is a short distance corridor train that origintes in Seattle, and BNSF dispatches it well. Of years of riding it frequently, the latest I have ever arrived in Vancouver, BC was about 1:15 pm. Most of the time it is on time or close to it.

 

PS-VAN is Amtrak's station code for Vancouver, WASHINGTON, USA. If you book to VAN, you are going to a suburb of Portland, OR. VAC is Vancouver, BC.

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I booked us on the Cascades from Everett to Vancouver, the early train on Thursday, May 16th, which is now sold out.

I see the route begins in Seattle, by the time it reaches Everett, what do you think the chances are of us sitting together? :confused:

Thanks for your help!

Barbara

 

Fairly good. If the train is full, they assign singles to sit together and try to keep seat pairs open for couples. However, I have been on that train in high season, and it has been known to be oversold, and I get on in Everett, too. They wound up seating some of the Everett people in the diner.

Edited by zephyr17

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Thank you zephyr17.

We are visiting our son and his wife in Marysville. Son is stationed at Everett Naval Base. They have been there for a year. However, they are not familiar with the station in Everett. Can you give me some info, is it a large station? Anything I should be aware of? I guess since the Alaska cruise season will have begun, May 16th is considered high season?

Will I be able to check in my flight check in bag as well as my flight carry on? Since the train is sold out I am thinking, if it is anything like flying, the overheads will be packed.

Would appreciate any input you can give me.

Thanks....Barbara

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The station is good sized and is fairly new (around 10 years old or a little less). It is right off I-5 and easy to get to.

 

There are luggage racks at some car ends in addition to the overhead rack. Bear in mind it is a rack, not a bin like the airlines have. If the train is sold out, especially with cruisers, that space will still be getting tight, though. I'd check what I could.

 

Everett has checked baggage service, and you can check up to three items per person for free. There is 30 minute cut off for baggage check and they are tight about it in Everett. At Everett that means actually checked, not standing in the line to get it checked at the 30 minute mark.

Edited by zephyr17

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Zephyr17, do they have free parking at Everett? I thought it was an option to leave my car there for the cruise - but I can't remember for sure now.

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Zephyr17, do they have free parking at Everett? I thought it was an option to leave my car there for the cruise - but I can't remember for sure now.

Yes, there is long term free parking in Everett. The long-term parking spaces are in the parking lot north of the station and are marked with signs saying "Amtrak/Greyhound Parking". If you use any of the other spaces, you'll get towed. If you are going to leave the car for more than 72 hours (which you will, going on a cruise) tell the Amtrak agent and he'll give you a form to fill out with your make/model/license, location, and the day you'll be back. They give that to their security guards so they know your car belongs there. If you don't fill this out, you may get towed after 72 hours.

 

If for some reason all the Amtrak/Greyhound spots are taken, tell the agent. He'll probably tell you to park in the commuter lot across the street (that's what he told me one time) and to put that on the "location" on the form. The same security service patrols the Amtrak lot and the commuter lots.

 

I've parked long term at Everett many times with no problems (as long as you follow the rules).

 

PS-if you are ever going south on Amtrak, the Tacoma station has long term free parking, too, and they don't care about forms there. There is a break-in/car theft problem at Tacoma, though (for awhile they even had a warning posted in the window, don't know if they still do). I thought no one would be interested in my beater 1986 truck, but it was broken into there a couple of years ago and the ignition broken. Why they stopped without stealing it entirely I don't know.

 

Everett Amtrak is patrolled and I've never had a problem there, and haven't heard of one.

Edited by zephyr17

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Zephyr17, thank you so much for your information. We will be prepared to check in 2 bags each and not plan to use any overhead racks at all.

 

If I can trouble you further...you said bags will be needed to be checked 30 minutes prior to boarding. Are you familiar with how far Marysville is from Everett? If the train leaves at 8:30 am, what time should we leave, to arrive comfortably, not a last minute rush deal? Is there a rush hour at that time? At this point not sure if son/daughter will be dropping us off or a cab (I am presuming an arranged cab).

 

And, is it a very long train. Would you suggest eating on the train, if possible or bringing something ?

 

As for the 2 bottles of liquor, I can have them in a large purse that will be with me in the train? Am I correct?

 

I am so grateful for this site and trip advisor, everyone has been so generous with their time. I like to be as prepared as I can, just makes me feel comfortable and prior research is part of the whole vacation experience for me. Husband is certainly lucky to have me!

 

Thanks!

Barbara ;)

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Marysville is across the Snohomish River from Everett, although with a large swath of wetlands in between. Without traffic it should be about 10 minutes from "downtown" Marysville to the Everett Amtrak station. However, if you are going on a weekday morning, you are going with the main commute flow south out of Marysville on I-5 and it could take as much as 20-30 minutes if it gets backed up (Boeing's wide-body plant is in Everett). So if you are going on a weekday, I would leave by 7:15, aiming to arrive at the station by 7:45. Allow somewhat more if you are on the far north side of Marysville or far off the freeway.

 

A warning about cabs. Marysville is very much the 'burbs without a lot of cabs. Make a reservation and reconfirm it in the morning if you have to use a cab. Set the pick up time assuming the cabbie will be late, so if he doesn't show up on time you have leeway to react, call the cab company and get him there.

 

The train has a cafe car, but no longer has sit-down dining service. The menu is somewhat better than the standard Amtrak "national" cafe menu with some regional specialties. They have plate meals that are fairly good that they heat up in a convection oven. It's decent but not wonderful. They also have items like pastries and fruit. They might even have cold cereal, but I am not sure about that.

 

As to liquor, Amtrak has no rule against carrying liquor on but does have a rule against consuming your own. While I understand that in some parts of the country Amtrak can be lax about enforcing that rule, on the Cascades the crews do enforce it. So keep the liquor put away. If you want to imbibe they have alcoholic beverages in the cafe that they are happy to sell you and you can take anything you buy in the cafe back to your seat (much like the cruise lines). At least one of cafe attendants on that run makes a pretty mean spicy Bloody Mary.

Edited by zephyr17

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Hello again Zephyr17.....no, we don't plan on drinking on the train, although I may need to check out that spicy Bloody Mary, one of my favorite drinks.

The liquor is for the cruise and I dont want it to be tossed about in a check in bag. I may see if liquor at the px on the naval base is a possibility, have to check with son.

 

However, re the train I have an idea that I am not sure is worthwhile to pursue and would appreciate your input. I would have to contact Amtrak about the possibility of switching our boarding station to Seattle. Then we could possibly get seats on the left side of the train to enjoy the view. How many seats across, 3 like most planes or 2? This would mean staying in Seattle the night before and getting ourselves to the station.

 

Does this make any sense? Husband doesn't seem to think so (but I think he is just thinking of another hotel bill in this already pricey vacation).

 

Oh, and my innocent liquor question on the other thread has certainly stirred the pot!

 

Thanks

Barbara

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No Amtrak train has 3 across seating, so you never have to worry about the dreaded middle seat on Amtrak!

 

The seating configuration on the Cascades depends on whether you are in Business Class or Coach. Business Class is 2+1 seating with more legroom, and Coach is 2+2 with less legroom than Business Class, but still quite a bit more than you get on a plane.

 

If it were me, I wouldn't go down to Seattle just for the "water" side seats, although it would improve your chances. Another option that would probably work just as well is if you aren't in Business Class is to upgrade. The "2" side in Business Class is always on the "water" side (left going north, right coming back), so the chances of a couple getting the "water" are reasonably good even in Everett. If you want to do that, decide now, call Amtrak and do it. Business Class tends to sell out consistently in cruise season.

 

Also, remember on a train you don't have to stay in your seats all the time, just until the conductor scans your ticket after you board and puts a "seat check" above your seats marking them as taken. The cafe car has a table section that is first come first serve. Go up to the cafe and grab a table for awhile. If you want to be really wiley, if a couple on the side you want to be on gets off in Mt. Vernon, grab their seats (take your seat check with you and put it above your "new" seats). You'll know in advance they are getting off because before any stop the conductor walks through and takes the seat check down for anyone who is going to get off. The crew won't mind, they don't assign seats at intermediate stops, just direct boarding passengers to a car. As long as the car still has the number of open seats they think it does, they're good.

 

The "good" part running beside the Sound north of Everett is between Mt. Vernon and Bellingham.

Edited by zephyr17

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PS - if you still want to switch to Seattle, you can do that, too. Typically Amtrak will just sell you another ticket between Seattle and Everett on the same reservation, so it doesn't screw up the pricing if the price has changed. Of course if the train is sold out, that wouldn't be an option.

 

Also, I checked Amtrak.com, and you can ignore what I said about Business Class. Business Class already sold out on May 16.

 

There is something else you should be aware off. Right now they are running diffferent equipment to Vancouver on the morning train, not the normal "Talgo" because they are refurbishing it. I would have expected they'd be running the Talgo again by May 16, but since all the dates I checked in the first part of May show "Business Class" sold out, they may still be running the replacement double-deck "Superliner" equipment, which doesn't have Business Class. It is still 2+2 seating and it has even more legroom than even Business Class since this is the type of equipment they use for really long distance trains like between Seattle and Chicago.

Edited by zephyr17

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Thank you so much Zephyr. I pretty much figured if the train was sold out that a Business Class upgrade would not be possible.

 

I did not know that there is a replacement train doing the route. I don't think we will switch to Seattle boarding , will bring up the subject again with husband . Guess we will just have to take our chances.

 

Is boarding the train organized? I have really only been on chaotic boardings. And, our eboarding pass is one ticket with both our names. Should I print another in case we are separated?

 

Again, thank you for your time and help. Much appreciated!

 

Barbara

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Don't know for sure about the substitute equipment. It is running right now, but it is supposed to be back to the regular Talgo by summer. I am kind of inferring that it may still be running in May because Business Class is showing sold out on all days for most of the month, which may indicate Business Class has been blocked because of the replacement set.

 

The boarding process in Everett is a few minutes before the train arrives, they will announce that train 510 to Vancouver will be arriving shortly and the agent or a security guard will open the gate to the platform. They'll direct you different locations on the platform for Business Class and coach to wait for the train. Typically Business Class will be to your left as you go through the gate, coach to your right. Once the train arrives, the train crew may open mulitple doors and direct you to one based on your destination. Once at the door, they typically board families and couples before singles. They may ask for your border crossing id (passport/passport card/enhanced driver's license/NEXUS card) before letting you on, if they don't they'll ask when they scan the tickets. Once onboard, choose any open seat pair that doesn't have a seat check above it. Don't get too picky, if the train is sold out, it may be oversold, so grab your seats. If you don't you may end up camping out at a cafe car table.

 

They won't scan your tickets until the train is underway, then the conductor will walk through scanning tickets. You don't need a second copy, but it isn't a bad idea to have one. If you can't find/don't have your eTicket, don't panic, the conductor can look you up by name on his scanning device and check you in that way.

 

It can get a little bit chaotic, with people crowding around the open doors, but not bad.

Edited by zephyr17

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Thank you so much Zephyr17, I do appreciate all your information. I have a better sense of what to expect...that is helpful to me.

 

I guess we will just keep our fingers crossed for a good experience. I will print out a second ticket, just in case.

 

Again, thanks for your time!

 

Barbara

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