Amtrak Empire Builder back to normal schedule – Sandpoint Train Station (Sandpoint Train Depot)
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Amtrak Empire Builder back to normal schedule

Amtrak Empire BuilderAmtrak Empire Builder back to normal schedule; More popular times for WA/OR/ID/MT; Detours to end in ND

December 23, 2014

CHICAGO – Amtrak will resume operating the Empire Builder (Trains 7/27 & 8/28) on its regular schedule and route in both directions, effective with the departures of Jan. 12, 2015.

The return of the previous timetables from Seattle and Portland will offer more attractive arrival and departure times for the balance of the winter recreation season in the Flathead Valley of Montana, near Glacier National Park. Additionally, Leavenworth and Spokane, Wash., and Sandpoint, Idaho, passengers will again enjoy same-day round trips to Portland or Seattle.

Three additional hours eastbound and 90 minutes westbound were added to the schedules in April west of St. Paul, Minn. This was done to accommodate $1 billion in BNSF construction projects to add capacity and to help improve service for all traffic on its route.

Amtrak and BNSF continue to work cooperatively on the operational and maintenance issues that affect Amtrak trains on this line. BNSF is committed to work to improve the performance of the Empire Builder going forward.

“Local community and business leaders depend on the Empire Builder and see Amtrak service as an important public transportation link,” said DJ Stadtler, Amtrak Executive Vice

President/Chief Operations Officer. “We will work closely with BNSF to fulfill a commitment to Amtrak passengers and our communities to operate this train on schedules our customers expect.”

Sandpoint Train Depot - Empire Builder Day Time Stop“BNSF has a long history of hosting passenger service on our freight network. The investments we are continuing to make will help improve reliability for all our customers, including Amtrak,” said DJ Mitchell, AVP Passenger Operations, BNSF Railway.

Also effective with the schedule restoration, the Empire Builder will resume operating on its normal route in both directions in North Dakota. Amtrak will then discontinue the use of chartered buses to cover missed station stops in Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Rugby, N.D., which has been routine since May.

Amtrak President & CEO Joe Boardman visited North Dakota earlier this year to engage community leaders and stressed the importance of reliable service.

Current on-time performance data are available on, including responsibility for each element of delay. This information is also presented to passengers when booking travel on the website and is available elsewhere from Amtrak.

Source: Amtrak

Posted in Amtrak, BNSF, In the News.

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