New passenger trains coming to the I-5 corridor

Monday, December 19, 2022

New Amtrak trains will arrive in 2026
OLYMPIA – A new fleet of Northwest-themed Amtrak Cascades trains will transport passengers in style between Seattle, Vancouver, BC, Portland and other stations along the I-5 corridor when eight new trainsets and two new locomotives arrive in the Pacific Northwest in 2026.

Newly released renderings of the new trainsets show the traditional Amtrak Cascades evergreen and mocha color scheme incorporated in the state-of-the-art design, which also adds graphics of Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier on each car.

“Amtrak Cascades is eager to welcome new trains to our scenic 18-city route linking Washington, Oregon and British Columbia,” said Ron Pate, Director of WSDOT’s Rail, Freight and Ports Division. 
“The branding of our new trains is unique to the Amtrak Cascades corridor, distinguishing them from others in the Amtrak fleet. Their arrival will herald a new generation of train travel in the Pacific Northwest.”
New seating
The new trains are part of a larger transformation that will revolutionize the national Amtrak experience. 

Manufactured at Siemens in California, the new trains are funded as a part of the Federal Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act awarded to Amtrak for their procurement. 

The Amtrak Cascades trains will be the first delivered by Siemens, with equipment for routes in the eastern United States following. The new trains will arrive in Seattle over a period of several months, entering into service once they have been thoroughly inspected, tested and approved.

Redesigned café car
The new trains will elevate the Amtrak Cascades journey with a focus on comfort and efficiency:
  • Environmental improvements: The new trains are more fuel efficient and produce significantly less air pollution
  • Amenities: Individual outlets, USB ports, onboard Wi-Fi, enhanced lighting, digital customer information systems, automated steps and touchless restroom controls
  • Comfortable seating: Each train seats more than 300 passengers and prioritizes ergonomics, offering large and sturdy tray tables, cushioned headrests, a dedicated water bottle holder and a seatback tablet holder
  • Redesigned café car: Featuring local Northwest favorite foods including beer, wine and spirits along with some self-service food options
  • Elevated experience: With panoramic windows and additional table seating, customers can enjoy some of the best views and connect to the some of the most scenic landscapes in the world

Amtrak Cascades is a partnership between WSDOT and the Oregon Department of Transportation, who sponsor the service operated under contract by Amtrak. It serves 18 stations between Eugene, Oregon and Vancouver, British Columbia.

All photos courtesy WSDOT / Amtrak


Anonymous,  December 19, 2022 at 7:20 AM  

This has been a long time wish of mine. It can’t happen soon enough! We need it now.

Anonymous,  December 19, 2022 at 6:40 PM  

I cant wait for the cross country ones! Great ride but definitely could use some updates

Anonymous,  December 19, 2022 at 9:21 PM  

The interiors look fantastic! It's a huge improvement over the dreary 50s interiors that I was surrounded by only back in 2019. Now, if they can raise their service levels to match, that would be fabulous. One, have menus in each seatback. Two, tell people where the food is! Three, have the safety announcements when departing Seattle, too, not only Tacoma (going south). Fourth, improve wi-fi consistency. Fifth, when a train is late, don't shut down the station and leave passengers in the dark about when their train might arrive. Announce alternatives (I was stuck in Olympia on a Sunday night, the train was late due to a suspicious box on the track, station was shut down, no heat, announcements were limited and inconsistent, and staff went home...found out later that there was a local bus back to the Olympia Transit Center to connect with Sound Transit express buses to Tacoma and then to Seattle). Meanwhile, upgrade the tracks one segment at a time vs. going for the "home run" of 250 mph trains, which will take far longer. The present top speed of 80 isn't great in so far as trains go, but if it was consistent, which it's not (Marysville, Vancouver WA two notable exceptions), that would be huge.

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