Amtrak announced last week that it will resume operating the Empire Builder (Trains 7/27 & 8/28) on its regular schedule and route in both directions, effective with the departures on January 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
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.