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The Empire Builder is Amtrak’s long-distance passenger rail service that connects Chicago with the Pacific Northwest. Empire Builder trains run daily in either direction, stopping at 45 cities along the way, including Milwaukee, the Twin Cities, and Spokane. West of Spokane, the service is split between two separate routes – one to/from Seattle and one to/from Portland. With over 1,200 daily passengers, this is one of Amtrak’s most popular services. A full trip from Chicago to Seattle/Portland takes about 45-46 hours and covers over 2,200 miles.
The Empire Builder passenger train service was first introduced in 1929 by the Great Northern Railway that operated the route until 1970 when it was transformed into Burlington Northern. In 1971, Amtrak took over the route and has been its main passenger rail service operator ever since.
No, unfortunately Amtrak Empire Builder does not offer WiFi aboard its trains at this time. However, we find that a good book makes the time fly by and streaming services like Netflix allow you download TV shows and movies that you can then watch during your trip. Plan ahead and you will stay entertained during the entire train ride.
Yes, there are power points onboard Amtrak Empire Builder trains. You can generally find one or two sockets per row of seats, so be a good traveller and check if your seat neighbour might want to charge up their devices as well. With the onboard power points, you can charge both a computer and USB devices with a power point USB converter that typically comes with most phones and tablets.
Since Amtrak Empire Builder might sometimes use replacement train vehicles, not all trips are guaranteed to have power points. We recommend to bring a power bank to charge your phone for all trips over 2 hours, just in case.
On a typical day, Amtrak Empire Builder has 205 scheduled train trips in total. However, the exact departure and arrival times vary depending on the day and route. The best way to find the exact schedule for your trip is to use the search tool on this page.
No, Amtrak Empire Builder does not offer will call tickets. You should purchase your tickets online and make sure you have everything you need to board before you arrive at the station.
Yes, Amtrak Empire Builder requires you to present an ID to an agent to be allowed to board the train. Make sure you have identification issued by a government agency that meets the carrier’s requirements. Alternative IDs, such as a college ID, won’t work.
Yes, there are bathrooms on Amtrak Empire Builder trains. The bathrooms are pretty basic and include a toilet, toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Most bathrooms don’t have running water. As you will be using a bathroom on a moving vehicle, please use caution and hold on to a rail at all times.
Amtrak Empire Builder provides snacks to satisfy your hunger during your travels. Be sure to pack a credit card and some cash in case you get hungry.
Amtrak Empire Builder does not require a printed ticket to board the train. Instead, an eTicket is sent to you by email when you make your reservation. You can use your smartphone to show this eTicket to the ticketing agent as you board.
Amtrak Empire Builder goes the extra distance to deliver premium features to its customers.
Do you find yourself squished in a regular seat or just love having extra room to sprawl out? Well you’re in luck as Amtrak Empire Builder offers extra legroom seating. Since there is no standard of what extra legroom is, the extra space you get may vary between train lines, but getting extra is always good.
With 205 Amtrak Empire Builder trips per day, there are a lot of great deals to uncover for the bargain hunter and Amtrak Empire Builder tickets start at just €5.99. Check out some of the latest and greatest deals snatched up by Wanderu users.
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