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Passenger Trains > Empire Builder Adventure - #7(4) - Part 2


Date: 01/08/17 21:14
Empire Builder Adventure - #7(4) - Part 2
Author: gsnyder

The adventure continues.  The Builder did not really lose too much more time after leaving Minot 10 hours late the previous evening (Jan. 5).  The morning first call to breakfast on Jan. 6 found us outside of Belton, MT heading towards Columbia City and Whitefish.  Just as I finished breakfast we rolled into Whitefish and I hopped off for a breath of fresh air - it was much warmer than Minot at 6 above.  From my experience of a couple years ago, I knew we were in for some scenic running along the Kootenai River and a daytime run through the Flathead Tunnel - I was not let down.  The only bummer was that the falls were blocked by a grain train that had taken the siding to let us go by.  Since there was nothing I could do about being late, I just sat back and enjoyed the view that not a whole lot of people see.

Sometime after the stop at Sandpoint, ID, the conductor made the announcement I kind of figured was coming - we would be taking a luxury motor coach from Spokane to our final destination.  We ended up arriving into Spokane 11 hours late, quickly loaded onto the buses, and made our way West.  The bus ride was a short 4 1/2 hours and by the time we did arrive in Seattle, were 7 hours late from the advertised arrival time.  

All in all, the 3 day trip from Philly to Seattle was enjoyable and relaxing.  The crews on all of the overnight trains - 29(3) and 7(4) - were very good, especially the sleeper attendants.  I always plan a trip like this with plenty of time to spare at the end point, plenty of books, videos, and movies (Silver Streak and North by Northwest for this trip) to keep me occupied, and the understanding that I will eventually get to where I want to go.

Jan. 6 Pictures:

#1 - Whitefish depot at daybreak.  Plenty of snow for the ski area this year
#2 - Along the Kootenai River
#3 - More Kootenai River








Date: 01/08/17 21:16
Re: Empire Builder Adventure - #7(4) - Part 2
Author: gsnyder

More Jan. 6 pictures:

#4 - DPU on a freight in the hole for us.
#5 - More Kootenai River
#6 - Our head end along the river.
 








Date: 01/08/17 21:52
Re: Empire Builder Adventure - #7(4) - Part 2
Author: The_Chief_Way

Thanks for sharing. Looks like 3 units for the winter as usual.



Date: 01/09/17 04:48
Re: Empire Builder Adventure - #7(4) - Part 2
Author: 86235

Thanks for the narrative



Date: 01/09/17 06:59
Re: Empire Builder Adventure - #7(4) - Part 2
Author: dan

late trains give you a glimpse of what you normally don't see



Date: 01/09/17 07:11
Re: Empire Builder Adventure - #7(4) - Part 2
Author: jonjonjonjon

God thing we stosked you up on munchies! Too bad you were robbed of a daylight Cascades crossing.



Date: 01/09/17 10:26
Re: Empire Builder Adventure - #7(4) - Part 2
Author: viatrainrider

Thanks for your story and pics.  After detraining many times at Whitefish, I have at times driven to Libby therefore seeing the river but not the tunnel area.  Beautiful scenery!  So your late train was to your advantage!

Because I do VIA 1-2 at least once per year, am well aware of major late/delayed trips.  However, like you, there was some advantage as I got to see all the scenery from Kamloops to Vancouver which is normally traversed by night.  And Fraser River canyon is great!  And it didn't really matter what time I got to Vancouver.  More time on the train enjoying t he Park Car dome and additional meals for no additional cost.  Late trains:  at times, a great deal!



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