Coast Starlight vs Amtrak Cascades

Amtrak Cascades train in Portland, Oregon

The Coast Starlight and Amtrak Cascades routes travel along the beautiful Pacific Northwest coast. But that’s where the similarities end. The Coast Starlight is a long-distance train with a sleeper car and sightseer lounge while the Amtrak Cascades is a European-designed train that travels a shorter distance (and into Canada). Learn more about the differences below.

Coast StarlightAmtrak Cascades
Route Length1,377 miles467 miles
Travel Time35 hours10+ hours
FrequencyDailyMultiple trains per day
Type of TrainSuperlinerEuropean trainset
Sleeper CarYesNo
Sightseer LoungeYesNo
Dining OptionsCafé for coach passengers, traditional dining car for sleeper car passengersBistro Car
WiFiNoYes (but not in Canada)
States on the RouteCalifornia, Oregon, WashingtonOregon, Washington (plus Canada)
End-of-the Line StationsLos Angeles and SeattleEugene, OR and Vancouver B.C.
Popular StopsLos Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, Eugene, Portland, SeattleEugene, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver B.C.
LandscapesPacific Ocean, Cascade Mountain Range, Columbia and Willamette rivers, agricultural valleysCascade Mountain Range, Columbia and Willamette rivers, Puget Sound
Best SceneryPacific Ocean, Cascade Mountain RangePuget Sound, Cascade Mountain Range
National ParksCrater Lake, Channel Islands (via Oxnard), Olympic National Park (via Tacoma and Seattle), Mount Rainer National Park (via Tacoma and Seattle)Olympic National Park (via Tacoma and Seattle), Mount Rainer National Park (via Tacoma and Seattle), North Cascades National Park (via Bellingham)

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Top photo credit: Reinhard Dietrich