Seattle Washington to Sandpoint Idaho by Train (Amtrak) – Sandpoint Train Station (Sandpoint Train Depot)
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Seattle Washington to Sandpoint Idaho by Train (Amtrak)

Seattle King Street Station exteriorThe train trip to Seattle was great as mentioned in my previous post and getting around the city via public transit or cab is a breeze. The King Street train station in Seattle is currently undergoing restoration and the parts that are completed are truly stunning. This year they plan to remove the drop ceiling from the waiting area to expose the magnificent egg and dart plaster tray ceiling. More information about the historic station and the restoration project can be found on this website.

Seattle King Street Station Interior

Seattle King Street Station Interior: Notice the drop ceiling (soon to be removed) in the upper left and the beautiful restored plaster ceiling on the upper right. (click image for a larger view)

In addition to the Empire Builder route, Amtrak Cascades and the Coast Starlight route also arrive and depart from the King Street station. At times the station is quite busy with arriving and departing passengers providing a hint of what it must have been like when more people traveled by train. Check out these historic photos of the station (PDF opens in new window).

Seattle King Street Station Interior Architectural Details

Seattle King Street Station interior architectural details. (click image for a larger view)

We had a little time before our departure and I was able to walk around and photograph many of the unique architectural features of the station’s interior. There is a billboard about the restoration project mounted to an old luggage trolley near the baggage area that made for some interesting reading. Download a PDF of the billboard. It was also nice to be able to kick back and people watch while we waited for our train to arrive.

Amtrak sleeping car at Seattle King Street Station

Amtrak sleeping car at Seattle King Street Station. (click image for a larger view)

We arrived in Seattle at 10:00 A.M. and headed out on time the same day at 4:40 P.M., but this time our Roomette was on the second level and on the opposite side of the train providing a spectacular view of Puget Sound with the sun setting as we wound our way towards Edmonds and Everett. Dinner was great and was served while going through the west side of the Cascades. We ate in our Roomette instead of the dining car, which is not a problem. Just be sure to ask your sleeping car attendant and tip appropriately.

After dinner, knowing that we would be arriving in Sandpoint around 2:30 A.M., I asked the attendant to convert our Roomette for sleeping and we were able to settle into bed and close the curtains just as darkness approached. One thing that I noticed about being on the second level of a Superliner is that the views are a little better but at the cost of some additional sway when trying to sleep. Of course this varies from car to car, but I found I prefer the lower level, and this option can be requested if available, by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL instead of booking you tickets online.

Amtrak Superliner upper and lower floorplans

Amtrak Superliner upper and lower floorplans. (click image for a larger view)

A couple of announcements woke me from slumber, but everything settled down pretty well by about 8:30 or 9:00 P.M. Next thing I remember, we had arrived in Spokane where the train stops for about an hour and connects with the Portland cars before continuing east toward Chicago. This is a great time to get some additional sleep as Sandpoint sneaks up rather quickly after the train starts moving again.

Returning to Sandpoint from Seattle (click image for larger view)

The conductor will come knock on your door when you are getting close to your destination to be sure you are awake and ready to disembark. We arrived in Sandpoint ten minutes ahead of schedule at 2:22 A.M. fairly well rested and walked home in less than 15 minutes.

The ease of which anyone can get to Sandpoint from Seattle by train is amazing. I think that with a little effort Sandpoint could see many people choosing this low stress way of travel to visit our wonderful town by the lake.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my previous post about traveling from Sandpoint to Seattle by train.


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