The Empire Builder began operation in June 1929 as the premier passenger train of the Great Northern Railway. The name was chosen to honor founder of the railroad, James J. Hill, who was known as the "Empire Builder". Although now operating on a slightly different route, the Empire Builder remains running today as the busiest long-distance train on the Amtrak system. Departing Chicago as the combined Train 7/27/807, the Empire Builder travels on the Canadian Pacific Railway via Milwaukee, WI to the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She then continues on the BNSF Railway (Great Northern’s modern form) as Train 7/27, passes through the northern plains and the beautiful Glacier National Park in Montana. The train is split into two at Spokane, WA where Train 7 continues on towards her final destination, Seattle’s King Street Station and Train 27 heads south to reach her destination, Union Station in Portland, OR.
The Empire Builder I was severely delayed and I missed the scenes of Glacier National Park. However I did not consider myself missing out on much. In return I got to experience the beautiful Washington State including the 7.8 mile Cascade Tunnel.
|The Amtrak Empire Builder|