For the first time in almost three years, Amtrak has restored its Cascades service from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver, British Columbia.
This scenic train route allows travelers to journey through the Pacific Northwest, stopping at 12 stations between Portland and Vancouver, including Seattle, Washington.
For nearly three years, this popular Amtrak route was not running across the United States and Canada border, but service has finally been restored as of March 6, 2023.
Why Did The Cascades Service Stop?
On March 18, 2020, the governments of the United States and Canada announced that the border would be closed to all “non-essential” travel indefinitely.
At this time, Amtrak stopped running its Cascades service between the two countries completely.
Although Canada reopened to vaccinated travelers in August 2021, and the United States reopened to vaccinated travelers in November 2021, the Cascades service was not partially restored until September 2022, when the route from Seattle to Vancouver reopened.
This came right as Canada dropped the requirement to be vaccinated to enter the country on October 1, 2022.
Unfortunately, the United States still has not dropped the requirement for foreign visitors to be vaccinated, meaning that unvaccinated Canadians are still not welcome in the U.S.
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What Is The Cascades Service Schedule?
As of March 6, 2023, the full Cascades service has been restored, taking travelers all the way from Portland to Vancouver.
The Cascades service runs every day of the week, departing Portland at 3:05 p.m., stopping in Seattle at 7 p.m., and arriving in Vancouver at 11 p.m.
The southbound route departs Vancouver at 6:35 a.m., stops in Seattle at 11 a.m., and arrives in Portland at 2:55 p.m.
In total, the journey takes eight hours. This is about 2.5 hours longer than driving from Portland to Vancouver if there’s no traffic (but there usually is!)
It’s an incredibly scenic route and allows travelers to relax and enjoy the journey without having to worry about traffic and staying focused on the road.
What To Expect On The Amtrak Cascades Train
The Amtrak Cascades route is considered to be one of the most beautiful and scenic train routes in the country, traveling along the water and treating passengers to sweeping views of the mountains in Oregon and Washington before crossing into Canada.
The trains themselves include spacious coach class and business class seats. There are no sleeper cars since this is not an overnight train route.
Passengers will enjoy ample space on the trains, free checked luggage, and free Wi-Fi onboard.
There’s also a cafe car on the Cascades trains where you can purchase snacks, meals, and beverages to enjoy on your journey.
How Much Do Tickets Cost?
If you would like to take the Amtrak Cascades train all the way from Portland to Vancouver or vice versa, one-way tickets start at around $50 in coach class and $90 in business class.
This fare includes free checked and carry-on luggage, and you can pay an additional fee to take your bicycle or a pet onboard.
You can get the best deals on Amtrak by booking as far in advance as possible. Typically, prices increase sharply in the week before a departure.
What This Means For Travelers
According to Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon, “Restoring passenger rail in the Pacific Northwest brings economic and recreational benefits to the region by providing additional ways for people to travel from Portland to Vancouver, BC for business or pleasure.”
The restoration of the Portland to Vancouver Cascades route is great news for travelers in the Pacific Northwest who now have the ability to take this scenic train journey once again.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Monday 13th of March 2023
C'mon guys, I love your content and read it daily even if it overflows my email in box, but using the Picture Lake / Mt. Shuksan picture to illustrate this article is a bit off. To see that view you have to drive a couple hours off the train route, up to Mt. Baker. You could have used other photos of Mountains in Washington that are visible from the train route! This makes me worry a little about how you illustrate other stories.
I'm so glad this train service is restored -- I live along the route and want to use it to visit Vancouver BC!
Monday 13th of March 2023
@Erik, This is indicative of media nowadays. It's manipulative and dishonest.