Rail - Cascades Trainsets Overhaul


September 2017

  • New suspension balloons will be installed on the five original trainsets in spring 2017. Suspension balloons are large rubber rings placed between railcars that are filled with compressed air. The balloons help make the train ride smooth and comfortable for passengers. 
  • WSDOT is developing a plan to replace the existing Wi-Fi system on the five original trainsets.
  • Amtrak and Talgo are testing new LED lighting on WSDOT’s Mt. Adams trainset.

Why is WSDOT overhauling the Amtrak Cascades trainsets?
A trainset is a grouping of passenger rail cars, not including the locomotive. There are five original trainsets in the Amtrak Cascades fleet, comprised of groupings of 12 to 13 cars. WSDOT owns three - the Mt. Adams, the Mt. Rainier, and the Mt. Baker - and Amtrak owns two – the Mt. Hood and the Mt. Olympus. Two trains purchased by Oregon have been added to the fleet for a total of seven. These trains operate over the 467-mile rail corridor that connects Eugene, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C.

Amtrak Cascades trains are heavily used and require periodic upgrades so they continue to provide amenities for Pacific Northwest travelers. The overhaul work extends trainset life so they continue to provide public benefit well into the future.

Since 2008, WSDOT, Amtrak, and the trainsets’ manufacturer, Talgo Inc., have worked together to renovate the Business and Coach Class cars of the original fleet, upgrade the restrooms and vestibules, add safety features, and made upgrades to suspension systems and on-board computers. In 2011, we added Wi-Fi service and installed new video monitors. In May 2013, the upgrades referenced above were complete. 


The End Result
The Amtrak Cascades fleet of equipment will continue to be safe, clean, and attractive to the travelling public.

Project Benefits

  • Continued operation of Amtrak Cascades routes between Eugene, OR, and Vancouver, B.C.
  • Extended service life of the publicly-owned trainsets


What is the project timeline?

  • Upgrades to the fleet began in 2009 and will continue through 2019.


Financial Information
This project is funded through the following sources:

  • 2005 Partnership Funding (Weight Fees) - $9 million
  • Total Funding From All Sources - $9 million


How can I get more information?

Kirk Fredrickson, Cascades Passenger Services Manager
WSDOT Rail, Freight and Ports Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407

Visit: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Rail

View photos of a trainset with upgraded Bistro and Lounge cars.