Travel – Amtrak’s Empire Builder: Seattle to Milwaukee


Bucket list item checked off. Extended train ride across the USA. We finished our vacation riding Amtrak’s Empire Builder from Seattle to Milwaukee. This part of the journey began at Seattle’s King Street Station on Tuesday June 7 at 4:40 pm PDT and ended at Milwaukee’s Downtown Intermodal Station on Thursday June 9 at 3:30 CDT. One hour later than scheduled which is pretty darned good by Amtrak standards.

Train travel. There’s nostalgia in the thought of it. If you are of a certain age, like us. Perhaps your mind’s eye see’s people waving farewell from the back of a caboose that is adorned with red, white and blue swags that hang from the back railing. Or perhaps a scene from The Wild Wild West, with James West and Artemus Gordon riding the rails on the way to their next adventure on behalf of the POTUS.

For fans of This Is Us, and more recently, the series next to last and perhaps best episode; season 6, episode 17 entitled appropriately, The Train. Mandy Moore’s matriarchal character Rebecca Pearson lies on her death bed dreaming of being on a train that her father described to her as a young girl. A luxurious train from an era before the jet set took over the transportation industry.

Rebecca starts her final journey in coach at the front of the train and is quickly greeted by her escort for the journey William, Randall’s biological father, who leads her through the train cars meeting significant and influential people in her life. The first stop is a beautifully decorated cocktail lounge with Dr. Katowski who delivered her triplets, saved her life and was a frequent source of sage advice for Rebecca and her husband Jack when the kids were young.

William escort Rebecca through the opulent train until at last they arrive at a sleeper car. If you saw the final episode and have had the pleasure of booking a bedroom car on Amtrak, you know that the sleeper room that Rebecca and Jack occupy as her time on earth ends is MUCH larger than an bedroom you can gt know. But, Boy Howdy did this episode make us excited for our Amtrak trip scheduled for June 7 through June 9!

A quick selfie while awaiting our turn to board the Empire Builder at Seattle’s King Street Station.

We’ve been on Amtrak before. Mostly the Hiawatha from Milwaukee to Chicago Union Station for weekends in The Windy City and once from Milwaukee to Omaha to see my parents. That trip was on two trains; the Hiawatha from Milwaukee to Chicago, then the California Zephyr from Union Station to Omaha.

We’ve been on tourist type narrow gauge railroad trains, which is fun, but the ride is a short. I am always left wanting more, which is good. Right?

Oh! I almost forgot. The Christmas Train! In 2017 we were able to go to the Columbus, WI Amtrak station and see the Christmas Train make an entertainment stop. That was a fun night with our friend Michelle Martin.

Published by R Dub's Rub

Conversational BLOG writer and contributing writer for LocaLeben magazine. My BLOG entries represent observations that intrigue, amuse, inspire or stimulate my appetite.

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