Amtrak will add trains to route between Seattle and Portland, starting in December


Amtrak will add two more trains daily to its Amtrak Cascades route between Seattle and Portland, with stops in between.

The Washington State Department of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Transportation announced the expanded service Wednesday, which will bring the total number of daily roundtrips to seven.

In June, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell secured a commitment from the chair of the Amtrak Board of Directors to meet the company's deadline to increase service for the Cascades in the fall.

In the period between October 2022 and September 2023, the Amtrak Cascades saw a 71% increase in passengers compared to the same stretch of time last year.

"This significantly increases capacity for riders traveling between the two busiest stops on the Amtrak Cascades Route every morning and evening. These cities along the I-5 corridor are interconnected, and growing fast — together, Portland and Seattle added nearly a million residents and 700,000 new jobs over the last decade," Cantwell said in a statement.

Beginning on Monday, Dec. 11, Amtrak will add one additional train in both the northbound and southbound directions in the morning and the evening departing from both Portland and Seattle. The routes will be earliest and latest provided. The morning routes will leave Seattle at 5:52 a.m. and Portland at 6:45 a.m. The evening routes will leave Seattle at 7:50 p.m. and Portland at 7:25 p.m.

Currently there are four daily Amtrak Cascades round trips and one Coast Starlight round trip that serves stops between the two cities including Tukwila, Tacoma, Olympia/Lacey, Centralia, Kelso/Longview, and Vancouver, Washington. Other routes serve stations south from Portland into Oregon and north of Seattle into Canada.

The two new roundtrips will be Cascades trains operated by WSDOT and ODOT.

Cantwell, who serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, has long advocated for increasing Amtrak service along the Cascades route. She pressed Amtrak to fully restore routes connecting Washington state to British Columbia — routes that had been suspended since May 2020. Amtrak has since resumed two daily trains between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.