begin running along the southern edge of Glacier National Park,
and about an hour later you'll go through the little community
of Essex. It's a flag stop, so chances are you'll just go right on by,
but watch for the Izaak Walton Inn on the right side of the train.
This little hotel sits right on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe's
busy main line and is a favorite train-watching spot for rail fans.
At least two or three of them will be out in front of the hotel tak-
ing your picture as you roll by, so get up close to the window and
wave as you pass.
In the wee hours while you're asleep, the Builder stops for
about an hour in Spokane. This is where a sleeper, a coach,
and the lounge car split off and, with a new locomotive, head
southwest into Oregon. That train arrives in Portland around
If you're staying on the Seattle section, wake up early the next
morning; your journey is now taking you through the incredible
Cascade Range, with towering evergreen trees in thick wood-
lands that are crisscrossed by rushing streams. When you stop
at Wenatchee, Washington, you'll be smack in the middle of a
huge apple-producing valley. In fact, this town is called the Apple
Capital of the World.
About an hour before the stop at Everett, the train passes
through the Cascade Tunnel. It's almost eight miles in length,
accommodates only a single track, and is the longest railroad
tunnel in the United States. Everett, by the way, is where Boeing
builds most of its jet aircraft.
Edmonds is the Builder's last stop before its arrival in Seattle,
but most of the last 90 minutes of the ride is along the shore of
Puget Sound, literally within 50 or 60 feet of the water. Seattle is
the Empire Builder's western terminus, and you'll end your rail
journey in this wonderful city at just about the same time the
other section reaches Portland, 200 miles to the south.