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Originally published August 6, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified August 6, 2007 at 3:02 PM


Amtrak trains running again between Seattle and Portland

Trains are running again today on the Amtrak Cascades route between Seattle and Eugene, Ore., including the popular Seattle-Portland service...


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Trains are running again today on the Amtrak Cascades route between Seattle and Eugene, Ore., including the popular Seattle-Portland service. However, there may be delays since substitute equipment is being used.

The Amtrak Cascades train service was suspended Friday through Sunday after an inspection of the railcars built by Spanish manufacturer Talgo found cracks in the suspension system of a passenger car.

"All the parties involved decided that, in an abundance of caution, it was the most prudent thing to do to take the cars out of service," said Nora Friend, a spokeswoman for Talgo.

The rail passenger service brought in substitute train equipment. Those trains will operate at reduced speeds, said Amtrak, and don't include some of the amenities of the regular Cascades service such as business class, movies or bicycle accommodations. There will also be limited seating for the mobility impaired, Amtrak said.

Trains from Seattle north to Vancouver, B.C. — part of the Amtrak Cascades service which is run by Amtrak and the states of Washington and Oregon — weren't affected since substitute equipment was already being used on that route because of scheduled maintenance.

With the weekend Seattle-Portland train service suspended, travelers scrambled to get seats on Greyhound buses or rent cars. Amtrak was unable to provide alternate transportation since it couldn't get enough charter buses on the busy summer weekend.

Amtrak Cascades runs four round-trips a day between Seattle and Portland. A fifth train, the Coast Starlight, also stops in Portland on its long-distance service between Seattle and Los Angeles. It uses Superliner, not Talgo, equipment and was not affected by the mechanical problems.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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