Engaging on the Empire Builder

Engaging on the Empire Builder

I recently had the pleasure of riding with my brother on Amtrak’s Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle. It was my first time travelling across country by train, and the trip left me with lifelong memories.

Our travels began at Union Station in Chicago, Illinois. As we boarded the train, our attendant Oscar greeted us and directed us to where we would be staying for the trip: inside one of Amtrak’s Superliner roomettes. The large picturesque windows and reclining seats made the room feel both roomy and cozy. Shortly after getting settled in, Oscar gave us insights into how to make the most of our first experience riding the train. Like Osacar, the on-board staff, from the attendants to the conductor, all made us feel truly at home.

When we arrived at the dining car for dinner, we were greeted with a smile from our server and invited to share our meal with two other passengers. It was a unique experience sitting with strangers–a rare opportunity to tell stories and connect with people over a delicious meal. After finishing dinner, we said our goodbyes and went to watch the sunset from the Observation Car.

As the doors of the Observation Car slid open, we were immediately greeted with large windows that would allow us to soak in the spectacular views from the train. There was plenty of seating, and we arrived in time to see the sun set over the mountains of Glacier National Park.

Although the views from the Observation Car were spectacular, my brother and I spent the majority of our time in our roomette. There was nothing quite like watching the sunrise peek through the pines, illuminating the rivers that stretch throughout Wenatchee National Forest, all from the comforts of our own room. These are views you simply can’t get from an airplane.

Soon, Oscar helped us transition our roomette seats into a bunk beds, and we settled in for a good night’s rest prepared for what tomorrow would bring.

About the Author: Chris Biersack is a photographer from Phoenix, AZ. Follow him on Instagram at @chris.biersack.