The Train Travels Continue

WHIDBEY ISLAND, WA — Amtrak‘s Cascades left Portland yesterday morning right on time. It’s a very pretty ride up to Seattle, capped by a spectacular view of Mount Rainier off to the right of the train about a half hour before arriving.

The train itself is Talgo equipment, manufactured in Spain. The cars are shorter than the usual standard and the trainset is articulated, so there’s no pulling open doors and walking through the usual vestibule when moving from one car to another.

There is also a “tilt” capability, meaning the cars can tip slightly when going around corners to mitigate centrifugal force and give passengers a more comfortable ride,. In reality, these trains don’t travel fast enough to make this a significant feature.

Nevertheless, the trains are clean, comfortable and well-designed … all in all, a very nice, very enjoyable ride.

Today I’m on Whidbey Island, about an hour’s drive north of Seattle, visiting my sister and her husband. Back to Seattle tomorrow and on the southbound Coast Starlight the next day for the overnight trip back to Los Angeles. Then — ta-DAH! — back home to Maui.