New trains added to Seattle, schedules altered

Travel time between Portland and Seattle cut by 10 minutes

Washington's new Charger locomotives will pull new daily train runs between Portland and Seattle. (WSDOT via Portland Tribune)

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — The Washington Department of Transportation is adding two new morning and evening trains between Seattle and Portland.

The extra runs begin Monday, Dec. 18. Amtrak Cascades will have 12 trains each day between Seattle and Portland. That means some changes to schedules for trains that run between Portland and Eugene.

Changes to Amtrak Cascades’s schedule include a morning southbound Amtrak Cascades train (Train 503) that departs southbound from Portland at 9:45 a.m., Monday through Friday. The train will arrive in Eugene at 12:20 p.m.

A weekend and holiday southbound morning train (Train 505) will leave Portland at 12:30 p.m. and arrive in Eugene at 3:05 p.m. An evening daily northbound train from Eugene (Train 508) will leave at 4:30 p.m. after the schedule change.

Amtrak Cascades will continue daily trips to Vancouver, British Columbia, and Eugene, serving 18 cities on the corridor.

The changes mean the Amtrak Cascades will cut travel time between Portland and Seattle by 10 minutes to three hours and 20 minutes, thanks to rerouting between Tacoma and Olympia and improvement to tracks and signal systems.

The new route takes trains on an inland corridor parallel to Interstate 5 through Tacoma, Lakewood, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and DuPont. It eliminates a chokepoint for passenger trains near Point Defiance in Tacoma, and separates them from freight trains that will use the old waterfront route.

The new train runs, which will leave Portland and Seattle every two to three hours, will be pulled by Washington State Department of Transportation’s Charger locomotives.

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