With regards to SEA-PDX traffic, WSDOT released the new Point Defiance bypass Amtrak Cascades schedule which adds 2 additional Seattle - Portland trips, one early morning and one late evening trip designed for business travelers to be able to do same day trips. There will be a total of 6 round trips between Seattle and Portland, in addition to the daily Coast Starlight long distance train to/from Los Angeles (though it's 40 minute slower than the Cascades runs). Start date for the new schedule hasn't been finalized, but supposedly will be sometime in December as they finish up the new Tacoma station and trestle project.http://www.king5.com/traffic/traffic-ne ... /464422190
Travel times are reduced to 3 hours 20 minutes on all six trains, that's only 5 minutes slower than the scheduled travel time for BoltBus. Keeping in mind while BoltBus makes no stops, the Amtrak Cascades makes 6 stops on the way (Tukwila, Tacoma, Olympia/Lacey, Centralia, Longview/Kelso, and Vancouver WA), so that 5 minute extra travel time is a small price to pay for the added flexibility over BoltBus through 6 intermediate stops. If the train were to make no stops like BoltBus, it would be faster than BoltBus by I estimate a good 20 minutes if not more.
Hopefully they're able to keep to the 88% on time reliability that BNSF is guaranteeing, as poor on-time performance is the main problem the existing service suffers from and will deter business travelers which need dependable schedules. We shall see...
With regards to air travel, won't make make much of a difference, but it'll be interesting to see if same day business travelers, that normally would fly on Horizon, would now consider taking the train. Or if it will be mainly travelers that travel by bus or car that choose to take the train instead.
Here's the schedule:https://www.scribd.com/document/3564656 ... d-Schedule
It allows a 9 hour stay in Portland or Seattle, should be good for business travelers.
From an airport connectivity standpoint, Tukwila Station is only 5 miles from Sea-Tac Airport, so transfers to/from Amtrak Cascades and the airport are only a 10 minute cab/Uber/Lyft ride or 20 minute bus/light-rail ride. For those that live along points between Seattle and Portland, it's a decently convenient option to use to fly out of Sea-Tac.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran