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[ Amtrak Cascades to Van ] Time, seating, and bag storage

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[ Amtrak Cascades to Van ] Time, seating, and bag storage

Hi all. Trip coming up in July. Hoping you can help confirm a few things re: the Cascades to Vancouver BC, based on your experiences.

1 [ BAG STORAGE ]

Per Amtrak app, supposed to be available at both stations $10/item for ticketed passengers. Anyone done it? Assuming it is only meant for a ticket for travel the same day?

2 [ PRE-TRIP ARRIVAL ]

Per Amtrak app, at least 30 min. prior to departure. Website says an hour if crossing the border. How much earlier does boarding usually start before departure for coach? Would an hour before be better for seating? Necessary in summer?

3 [ SEATING ]

Northbound to Vancouver, we want to be seated on the left side of the train facing its front for the better views. At check-in, you have to specify this to someone? Likelihood of getting this?

Any other tips appreciated. Thank you.

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Vancouver
Vancouver
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1. Re: [ Amtrak Cascades to Van ] Time, seating, and bag storage

We just did the trip from Seattle to Vancouver.

1. BAGGAGE STORE

We did't use this, but, arriving in Vancouver they did not let anyone, even those with just hand luggage disembark until ALL the loaded bags were stacked at the side of the train. The train was them disembarked business passengers first and then rear of the train first. Coming back into Seattle, everyone was let off the train at the same time, so not sure where bags were picked up from, we just had hand luggage.

3. PRE TRIP ARRIVAL

Differed in each direction Coming from Vancouver to Seattle, We had to go through US immigration after check in and then the train stops at the border. US immigration came on board and checked all passports/ visas again. Going to Vancouver they just checked we had a passport no more check till we arrived in Vancouver when we had to clear Canadian immigration. Relatively quick for a fully loaded train and we were one of the last off. So to answer your question yes arrive early - see my answer below.

3. SEATING

Very antiquated system. You get a card with your seat number on when you check in, that you then insert into a holder above the seat. It was not possible to pre-reserve a seat. Going to Vancouver this **WAS** a problem, even though we checked in 45 minutes before departure ALL left side seats had gone (it was Memorial weekend and a Sunday)!! Coming back we got there an hour and a quarter before and got the seats we wanted. The views are superb, we even saw the bald eagles after we crossed the border into Canada,

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Seattle
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Vancouver
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2. Re: [ Amtrak Cascades to Van ] Time, seating, and bag storage

if you get business class, can you reserve the seat on the left?

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3. Re: [ Amtrak Cascades to Van ] Time, seating, and bag storage

Another question - we have 6 hours before the plane leaves to Yukon, can we store our luggage at train station and check out something near by? I saw science museum not far...

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4. Re: [ Amtrak Cascades to Van ] Time, seating, and bag storage

@trainman2017 - thank you! I love first-hand accounts. Our trip is a Saturday so I will plan to arrive 1hr+ or as early as we can stand to get up.

Re: the bags, I meant after/before the train, a place to leave bags at the station (not checked luggage).

For business class, I still don’t think you can reserve specific seats, but you get to board first.

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5. Re: [ Amtrak Cascades to Van ] Time, seating, and bag storage

1. Per the Amtrak web site bag storage is available at both the Seattle (King Street Station) and Vancouver, BC (Pacific Central Station) train stations. Yes, I understand that you must have a ticket for train travel to use the bag storage service. More info: https:/…at-station-baggage-services.html

I have only used the temporary bag storage in Portland a few years ago & not in Seattle or Vancouver.

2. I would arrive at least 45 minute prior to departure in Seattle and a minimum of 1 hour prior in Vancouver, BC. In Seattle you present your tickets & documents (passport, etc.) prior to being allowed to board. You clear Canadian customs & immigration in the Vancouver train station. For your return trip you clear US Customs & Immigration in Pacific Central Station prior to boarding. There is also a quick stop at the US border for US CBP agents to walk the train & gather your customs forms. Fill out the US customs form in Vancouver before checking in. There's usually a small table with the forms and pens in the station lobby.

3. As stated above all seating assignments are made in the train station at check-in. If available you can make seating requests with the Amtrak agent at check-in. Business class has it's own check-in line, so you can make seating requests at that point. It may be an 'antiquated' system, but it seems to work okay.

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6. Re: [ Amtrak Cascades to Van ] Time, seating, and bag storage

We have flight to catch at 8:15 from Vancouver on August 16th. I can't find how to buy tickets for August 16. Also what is the difference between Amtrak Cascade or Thruway?

https:/…Amtrak-Cascades-Schedule-010218.pdf

Is Thruway also a nice train and same views?

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Vancouver
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7. Re: [ Amtrak Cascades to Van ] Time, seating, and bag storage

Thruway Buses are NOT the same as Amtrak trains. There are currently 2 daily roundtrip trains between Vancouver, BC and Seattle.

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Vancouver
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8. Re: [ Amtrak Cascades to Van ] Time, seating, and bag storage

@sodomojo thank you for the additional info.

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9. Re: [ Amtrak Cascades to Van ] Time, seating, and bag storage

Are you saying 8:15 a.m. or 8:15 at night? If you take a bus it won't be as seen it however it will let you get off in Richmond where you can take a shuttle to YVR. If you take the train it's still easy to get to the airport but a cab will probably cost a little bit more

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Richmond
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Vancouver Intl Airport
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