Just prior to arriving in Seattle on
May 15, 2008 aboard the Amtrak Cascades train #500, I caught a glimpse
of an old friend. That old friend turned out to be the Amtrak
Beech Grove car and it was at the end of a Superliner trainset.
My first inclination was that the train was the Empire Builder. I
had been an invited guest of Amtrak in 2004 for the 75th
Builder. At King Street Station, I asked an agent about this
car. All she knew was that it came in the prior day and brought
in Amtrak Board members. I asked what time the Empire Builder was
slated to leave Seattle and then made my way to my room and then
stopped in a local national chain brewery somewhere on 5th Street. When
I was done with my two imperial pints, I hightailed down to 3rd Street
bus tunnel. I caught the first bus and exited at International
stop by Union Station and King Street Station. The Empire Builder
was already boarding. Making my way down the platform, I found
the Beech Grove car with 5 or 6 Amtrak people around the open end of
the car. Having been on this car before, I was interested in at
least seeing and photographing it again. One of the Amtrak
people told me that the Cascades train #516 had not arrived yet.
The Empire Builder was held for passengers connecting from 516.
At the last moment, I decided to ask an Amtrak Vice President of
Marketing & Product Management if I could ride with them for
one stop. The answer was yes. I was boarded and entered the
car and chatted with the two most senior executives about a variety of
The train made its first stop at
Edmonds and picked up more passengers,
and dropped only one off, which was me.
Portland 2008 Vacation Main
Page where I took the Coast Starlight to Portland, Seattle
and return to Los Angeles. Also, a visit to the Brooklyn
Roundhouse and Oregon Zoo Washington Park & Zoo Railroad.