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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Topic: Amtrak

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February 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM

NPR report: Oil trains cause huge delays for Amtrak’s Empire Builder

If Amtrak’s Empire Builder train is your favorite way to get across the northern United States, the North Dakota oil boom has thrown an oil-industry-sized wrench in things. NPR and KUOW radio this morning reported regular, extraordinary delays — sometimes up to 18 hours — on the popular route between Portland, Seattle and Chicago, with at…

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Comments | More in Amtrak, trains | Topics: Amtrak, Empire Builder, oil trains

July 24, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Wooo-hooo! It’s a day for train buffs on Saturday

Seattle's newly restored King Street Station hosts Amtrak Rail Day on Saturday. (photo by John Lok / The Seattle Times)

Seattle’s elegantly restored King Street Station hosts Amtrak Rail Day on Saturday. (photo by John Lok / The Seattle Times)

If you’re a train spotter, or hey, even a train-station spotter, head for Seattle’s newly restored King Street Station on Saturday for Amtrak Rail Day.

Amtrak’s Exhibit Train will make one of its two stops in the Pacific Northwest this year, powered by a special locomotive that honors American veterans. The Exhibit Train is a rolling museum dedicated to America’s publicly owned railroad, with displays featuring workable train signals, virtual sleeping accommodation tours, railroad trivia, and special looks at locomotives and train horns. In addition, the Exhibit Train features

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Comments | More in Northwest, Tourism industry | Topics: Amtrak, Amtrak Exhibit Train, Amtrak Rail Day

February 20, 2013 at 6:30 AM

How not to leave your dollars in San Francisco

A fisherman and a seagull stand near San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In a city where you can leave your heart –  and lots of cash –  a springtime San Francisco hotel deal can help you  save. 

The city’s tourist office, in cooperation with some  hotels, has created “49 hours in San Francisco” with sightseeing itineraries and a discount of  25 percent on hotel bills for a three-night (or more) stay. The deal is good through April 30 for hotels booked through the 49 Hours website  (or call 800-655-6751).

Twenty-one hotels are part of the “49 hours” discount deal.  They aren’t among  San Francisco’s tip-top hotels,  but some are well-located and very comfortable. They include  the Hotel Union Square in the heart of the city (although not right on the square ), with rooms from $161 a night. Or check out the Nob Hill Motor Inn, a budget hotel with rooms from $99 (and  take off 25 percent if you book through  the “49 hours” deal). It’s walking distance to Fisherman’s Wharf.

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Comments | Topics: Amtrak, hotel discounts, San Francisco

February 12, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Quick sales on Amtrak Cascades tickets, Whistler lodging

“Buy fast before it’s gone” sales seem to be the travel-industry strategy  these days. Regionally, both Amtrak Cascades and the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort  launched such limited-time  sales today for train travel and ski-resort accommodations, with a three-day window for buying. Sometimes the sales  can  be good deals – it’s hard to argue with a Seattle to…

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Comments | More in Northwest, Tips & deals | Topics: Amtrak, Amtrak Cascades, travel deals