The Empire Builder [May 2004]

Having been forced from the ever-late Coast Starlight we arrived by bus into Portland, just in time to race up the platform and pop aboard the Portland section of the Empire Builder.
We pick up the journey across the Columbia River in Vancouver, where the Builder stops on top of the diamond for an industrial spur.
Looking down the platform at Vancouver, a few more passengers are added to the manifest.
As the sun begins to set, we stop briefly in Bingen. A short time later, the attendant comes through the sleeper to deliver our box dinner, as the Portland Section lacks a diner.
The following morning, the combined Empire Builder stops in Whitefish, Montana.
Whitefish is also the crew change point for the transit of Marias Pass. As the engine crew swaps greetings, snow-capped Big Mountain looms in the distance.

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