Empire Builder

  • Chicago
  • St. Paul/Minneapolis
  • Spokane
  • Portland/Seattle
46 hours Train Numbers
7, 8, 27, 28, 807, 808
Frequency: Daily

Experience the Rugged Splendor of the American West. Traveling daily between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail, the mighty Empire Builder takes you on an exciting adventure through majestic wilderness, following the footsteps of early pioneers. From Chicago, you'll have magnificent views of the Mississippi and see the glowing night skyline of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Awake the next morning as you cross the North Dakota plains and travel over the spectacular Gassman Coulee Trestle. Skirting the Missouri, you'll cross into the Big Sky country in Montana, passing by a travelers favorite, Glacier National Park. From Spokane, you can continue on to Seattle or head down the Columbia River Gorge toward Portland for spectacular views of Mt. Hood and Beacon Rock.

Glide past—not above—amber waves of grain. Climb the magnificent Rockies and Sierra Nevadas and witness the power of the raging Colorado River. Cross the Continental Divide, travel through tunnels and canyons. Marvel at the vivid hues of Utah’s deserts. There is simply no better way to experience the true majesty of America than from the ground up on Amtrak.

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountains and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” — Sir John Lubbock

Features & Amenities

Amenities vary by train.

Downloadable menus are updated regularly, but menu items and prices are subject to change and may be different from what is available onboard.

Take your small dog or cat along with you on the train. Before you go, learn more about the types of pets allowed, pet reservations and fares, approved pet carriers and additional details.

See the Complete Pet Program Guidelines

Trails & Rails - Heritage Appreciation Onboard

Trails & Rails - Heritage Appreciation Onboard

Trails & Rails - Heritage Appreciation Onboard

Trails & Rails - Heritage Appreciation Onboard

An innovative partnership program between the National Park Service and Amtrak, the Trails & Rails program provides Amtrak passengers with educational opportunities to foster an appreciation of a selected region's natural and cultural heritage and renews the long tradition of associating railroads with National Parks.

During the spring and summer months, National Park Service guides are onboard the Empire Builder between Seattle and Shelby, MT from the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. The other programs are presented on different days of the week.

Learn More about Trails & Rails