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Amtrak Beech Grove Empire Builder

Amtrak Beech Grove Ride on the Empire Builder

Seattle to Edmonds, Washington

May 15, 2008

Story and photographs by Richard Elgenson
RailNews Network writer

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 Anniversary Empire 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 topics.










The train made its first stop at Edmonds and picked up more passengers, and dropped only one off, which was me.

Page 2 Edmonds to Everett

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.

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