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Empire Builder


Chicago - Minneapolis/St. Paul - Seattle/Portland

The Empire Builder service by Amtrak offers a captivating cross-country journey between Chicago, Illinois, and Seattle, Washington or Portland, Oregon. Experience the breathtaking beauty of the American West as the train traverses the majestic landscapes of the Rocky Mountains, the vast expanse of the Great Plains, and the stunning vistas of the Pacific Northwest.

Relax in comfortable seating or private sleeping accommodations and indulge in amenities like a dining car serving delectable meals and a lounge where you can socialize and take in the panoramic views. Explore iconic destinations such as Glacier National Park, the Columbia River Gorge, and the vibrant cities of Chicago, Minneapolis/St Paul, Seattle, and Portland. With the Empire Builder service, Amtrak provides an unforgettable travel experience that combines the grandeur of nature with the comfort and convenience of train travel.

46 hours

Trip Time

2,206 mi (3,550 km)

Trip Length



Route Highlights

Chicago, Illinois: The starting point of the Empire Builder, Chicago is a vibrant city with a rich architectural heritage. Passengers can explore famous landmarks like the Willis Tower, Millennium Park, and the Navy Pier before embarking on their cross-country journey.

Mississippi River: As the train ventures westward, it crosses the mighty Mississippi River, the longest river in North America. Passengers can witness the majestic waters and take in the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscapes as they traverse this iconic waterway.

Minneapolis/ St Paul, Minnesota: The Empire Builder makes a stop in Minneapolis, allowing passengers to explore this vibrant city. Highlights include the picturesque Chain of Lakes, the iconic Stone Arch Bridge, and the vibrant art scene in the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Rocky Mountains: The Empire Builder winds through the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, providing passengers with awe-inspiring vistas of towering peaks, deep valleys, and rugged wilderness. Highlights include the spectacular scenery of the Glacier National Park and the magnificent views along the Marias Pass.

Glacier National Park, Montana: The train passes through Glacier National Park, a pristine wilderness area known for its stunning landscapes, including glaciers, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes. Passengers can witness the beauty of places like Two Medicine Lake, Logan Pass, and the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Spokane, Wahington: The Empire Builder makes a stop in Spokane, Washington's second-largest city. Passengers can discover the city's vibrant downtown, explore Riverfront Park with its stunning Spokane Falls, and visit the historic Davenport Hotel. Spokane also offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and boating along the Spokane River. West from Spokane the Empire Builder splits into two, with one segment continuing to Seattle and one continuing to Portland.

Cascade Range: The train journeys through the majestic Cascade Range, offering passengers breathtaking views of volcanic peaks, dense forests, and beautiful waterfalls. Notable highlights include the iconic Mount Rainier and the Columbia River Gorge.

Puget Sound: As the train nears its final destination in Seattle, passengers can enjoy the scenic beauty of Puget Sound. The sound is dotted with lush islands, picturesque waterfront communities, and stunning views of the Olympic Mountains.

Seattle, Washington: The final destination of the Empire Builder is the vibrant city of Seattle. Passengers can explore the iconic Space Needle, visit Pike Place Market, and enjoy the beautiful waterfront views. The city is also known for its thriving music scene and diverse culinary offerings.

Columbia River Gorge: Passengers goiAs the train passes through the Columbia River Gorge, passengers can witness the dramatic beauty of this scenic area. Highlights include Multnomah Falls, the historic Bonneville Dam, and the stunning views of the Columbia River.

Portland, Oregon: The other final destination of the Empire Builder is Portland, Oregon's largest city known for its rich culture and picturesque landscapes. Passengers can explore the hip neighborhoods of the Pearl District and Hawthorne, visit the renowned Powell's City of Books, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Willamette River.



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