Spokane, Washington to Portland, Oregon
Amtrak Train Numbers 27 (westbound) and 28 (eastbound)
The Empire Builder begins its westbound journey in Chicago as a single train. Some of the cars are bound for Seattle, WA and some for Portland, OR. The Portland bound coach and sleeper cars are generally attached to the end of the train so that they may be uncoupled from the rest of the train in Spokane for the final leg of their journey to Portland. The rest of the train continues on to Seattle. Similarly, on the eastbound trip, the Empire Builder begins as two trains, one in Seattle and one in Portland. The two trains meet up in Spokane where they become one train for the trip on to Chicago. This route atlas covers that portion of the Empire Builder route that travels between Spokane and Portland.
During the times of the year when twilight on the eastbound trip and the early morning sun on the westbound trip provide sufficient light, you’ll be treated to some fantastic views of the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, Bonneville and Dulles Dams and the many other scenic attractions between Pasco and Portland. Hopefully, the train will have rocked you to sleep by the time you reach Spokane. While you’re sleeping there you’ll hook up with the Chicago bound Empire Builder if eastbound, or leave the Seattle bound train if westbound.
The rail travel distance between Chicago and Portland on the Empire Builder is 2,255 miles and the rail travel time is about 47 hours. The rail travel time on the 380 mile “Portland Leg” from Spokane to Portland is 7 hours and 40 minutes.