December 23, 2014 Amtrak “Empire Builder” Back to Normal Schedule

Marc Magliari

Media Contact

312 544.5390

More popular timetables for Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana; Detours end in North Dakota

CHICAGO – Amtrak will resume operating the Empire Builder (Trains 7/27 & 8/28) on its regular schedule and route in both directions, effective with the departures of Jan. 12, 2015.

The return of the previous timetables from Seattle and Portland will offer more attractive arrival and departure times for the balance of the winter recreation season in the Flathead Valley of Montana, near Glacier National Park. Additionally, Leavenworth and Spokane, Wash., and Sandpoint, Idaho, passengers will again enjoy same-day round trips to Portland or Seattle.

Three additional hours eastbound and 90 minutes westbound were added to the schedules in April west of St. Paul, Minn. This was done to accommodate $1 billion in BNSF construction projects to add capacity and to help improve service for all traffic on its route.

Amtrak and BNSF continue to work cooperatively on the operational and maintenance issues that affect Amtrak trains on this line. BNSF is committed to work to improve the performance of the Empire Builder going forward.

“Local community and business leaders depend on the Empire Builder and see Amtrak service as an important public transportation link,” said DJ Stadtler, Amtrak Executive Vice President/Chief Operations Officer. “We will work closely with BNSF to fulfill a commitment to Amtrak passengers and our communities to operate this train on schedules our customers expect.”

“BNSF has a long history of hosting passenger service on our freight network. The investments we are continuing to make will help improve reliability for all our customers, including Amtrak,” said DJ Mitchell, AVP Passenger Operations, BNSF Railway.

Also effective with the schedule restoration, the Empire Builder will resume operating on its normal route in both directions in North Dakota. Amtrak will then discontinue the use of chartered buses to cover missed station stops in Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Rugby, N.D., which has been routine since May.

Amtrak President & CEO Joe Boardman visited North Dakota earlier this year to engage community leaders and stressed the importance of reliable service.

Current on-time performance data are available on, including responsibility for each element of delay. This information is also presented to passengers when booking travel on the website and is available elsewhere from Amtrak.

About Amtrak®

Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at

About BNSF Railway

BNSF Railway is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies operating on 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food and beverages. BNSF’s shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve. You can learn more about BNSF at