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Rider's Guide

Rider's Guide


Ride like a train aficionado by checking out the categories below. Hint: if you are traveling to or from Canada make sure you have all the documentation you need. 

Know Before You Go



If you've never traveled on Amtrak Cascades, or it's been a while since you have, take note of the following information before you leave for the station:

Travel Documents Be sure you have all travel-related documents together before you leave for the train station. Be sure to bring your tickets and identification.

Heading to Canada? Avoid delays by checking the latest travel restrictions before heading to Canada.

Health and Medical Precautions If you or someone in your party takes medication, or has special health or medical needs, please contact Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL for more information.

Baggage Carry-on baggage is limited to two pieces per passenger (with few exceptions). Checked baggage service is available only at certain train stations. Be sure you understand our checked baggage baggage guidelines before leaving for the station.

Seating On most Amtrak Cascades trains, seating is on a first-come, first served basis. Once onboard, the conductor may assign seats. Learn more about our seating accommodations.

Make Your Trip More Enjoyable Don't forget to bring along those personal items that will help you get the most out of your trip. Our seasoned riders recommend the following:

  • Laptop, smartphone, or other Wi-Fi enabled device
  • Deck of cards
  • Travel games, board games
  • Personal CD or DVD player (with headphones)
  • Cell phone
  • Camera, video camera
  • Binoculars
  • A pillow and blanket
  • Comfortable footwear
  • Crayons and coloring books
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Book or magazine
  • A travel journal or notebook
  • Maps (to follow along during your journey)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hand towelettes

Load the WSDOT App

Border Crossing: US/Canada


Train service re-started to Canada on September 26, 2022, with one round trip. On March 6, 2023, a second round was added. Please read the information below for the required documentation for cross border travel. 

Details on COVID-19 requirements for traveling between Canada and the United States are available at Travelers who are not U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents, must show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 when entering the United States. Those who fail to meet these criteria will not be allowed to cross the border. A few more details about the bus trips are available at:

Passengers MUST have all the following BEFORE boarding the train or bus:

Guidance for all travelers entering Canada

  1. Travel documentation (see below for list of accepted identification methods)

Avoid delays! Check the latest travel requirements before heading to Canada.

Guidance for all travelers entering the United States

  1. Travel documentation (see below for list of accepted identification methods)
  2. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (for non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. permanent residents only)

Avoid delays! Check the latest travel requirements before heading to the U.S. 

Please note that masks are required on buses in Canada.


Check the latest travel restrictions before heading to Canada.


Traveling over the International United States/Canadian border requires specific identification and there are other laws you may need to comply with.

Passengers traveling on Amtrak Cascades across the U.S./Canada border are subject to inspection by Canadian and American law enforcement officials. When entering the United States, travelers must inform U.S. Border inspectors of all fruits, vegetables, plants, plant products, live animals, meats and animal products, regardless of whether they are allowed. Read Bringing Agriculture Products to the United States from Canada (pdf 80kb) for more information.

  • HELPFUL NOTE: Please arrive one hour early if you will be crossing the International United States/Canadian border.

For further information, contact the appropriate U.S. or Canadian government offices prior to travel:

CANADIAN RESOURCES: | 1-800-O-CANADA (1-800-622-6232)

UNITED STATES RESOURCES: | 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636)

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)

Onboard Experience and Menu



The Bistro car offers a variety of fresh, local foods and beverages including soups, sandwiches, sweets and snacks, as well as alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. You can take your food back to your seat and use your spacious tray table, or relax in the Lounge car if your train has one. The Bistro is wheelchair accessible and two of the trainsets feature panoramic windows. Amtrak Cascades is proud to feature products grown and made in the Pacific Northwest on our normal menu. View the Bistro Menu.


The Lounge Car is one of the best places to enjoy the passing scenery, with casual seating for 30, available on a first-come basis. Eat, read, or play a game at one of 10 tables. The Lounge car is wheelchair accessible. Two of our current trainsets feature a Lounge Car. 


If you're looking for a little entertainment with your relaxation, you're in luck. You may bring and use onboard personal electronic devices such as laptop computers, DVD players, and CD players (be sure to use headphones). Standard 110-volt electrical power outlets are available right by your seat to supply power to your electronic devices.


Please consider the comfort of others, particularly when your coach is crowded. Use earphones or headphones when listening to audio/video devices. When using your cell phone, please be considerate of other passengers around you. For calls of longer duration or louder tone, please use the vestibules between cars.


  • Do not leave children unattended or they will be given coffee, a puppy, and a kitten. 
  • Use seat backs and handrails while walking through the train.
  • Wear shoes at all times and use caution when wearing non-rubber soled shoes.


We allow trained service animals accompanying passengers with disabilities in all customer areas in our stations, trains and Amtrak Thruway motorcoaches. Trained service animals must be kept under the control of their owners or trainers at all times. The only animals other than service animals allowed on trains are small cats and dogs in accordance with our pet policy

Baggage Information

We offer the best baggage policy; four free items!


TWO FREE Personal Items
Passengers may carry two personal items, 25 lbs. (12 kg) 14x11x7 inches each, such as small bags, backpacks, purses, laptops. Personal items can also include neck pillows, blankets and outer garments.

TWO FREE Carry-on Items
Each passenger may bring two bags; each bag weighing 50 lbs. (23 kg) or less, and measuring 28 x 22 x 14 inches or smaller.


  • Each passenger can check up to four bags. Two free of charge and two more for $20 per bag, each of which may not exceed 50 lbs or be larger than 75 linear inches (length + width + height).
  • Oversize bags between 75 and 100 linear inches can be checked for $20 per bag.
  • All baggage, both carry-on and checked, must be visibly tagged with your name and address. Amtrak staff has baggage tags available if you need them.
  • Amtrak Cascades checked baggage service is available at: AlbanyBellingham, CentraliaEdmondsEugene,EverettPortlandSalemSeattleTacomaVancouver, B.C.*, and Vancouver, WA. If you are checking baggage, please arrive at the station 45 minutes early.
    *If you are checking baggage in Vancouver, B.C., please arrive one hour in advance of departure.
  • Checked baggage service is available during hours of operation at staffed stations. Visit the specific stations webpage for specific station hours. Free "Red Cap" service is available to help with your bags in Seattle and Portland.
  • Checked baggage is not available at Olympia, Tukwila, Kelso, Oregon City, or Stanwood stations.

Excess/Oversize Baggage Fees
A $20 excess baggage fee will be charged for each carry-on and personal item above the quantity and size limits. A maximum of two excess bags are permitted per passenger. The fee will be collected at the station or if unstaffed, onboard the train. If checked baggage is available, passengers can check two bags free of charge to their final destination. Checked baggage is not offered on all trains and stations, so please check with Amtrak to see if checked baggage is available throughout your journey. Amtrak reserves the right to deny transport for items exceeding policy limitations.

  • All baggage, both carry-on and checked, must be visibly tagged with your name and address. Amtrak staff has baggage tags available if you need them. Carry-on purses, briefcases, laptop cases, diaper bags, strollers, car seats, cosmetic cases, or equipment required for a medical condition do not need name/address tags.
  • Once on board the train, carry-on bags may be stowed in overhead bins or baggage rack. Safety rules require that all bags be stowed in designated baggage areas and kept out of aisles, walkways, and vestibules. Please bring only luggage you can lift overhead without assistance. Baggage is not allowed in the Bistro and Lounge cars.

 The complete baggage policy is available at


Make a reservation for both you and your bike aboard Amtrak Cascades. There are two options for bringing your bike – you can use one of our onboard bike racks, or box your bicycle and check it as baggage.

Ten bike racks are available on each Amtrak Cascades train. Bike racks are very popular and reservations are required. The cost for reserving space in the bike rack is $5. Bicycle racks will not accommodate tandem, recumbent or other unusual bikes. Such bikes must be transported as checked baggage in a box.

Boxed bicycles do not require a reservation and can be checked as baggage. There is a $10 handling fee for checking a boxed bike. (This is subject to change without notice.) Not all stations have checked baggage service, and baggage service may not be available every day. Don't have a bicycle box? Bicycle boxes are available for purchase for $15 at staffed Amtrak stations with checked baggage service. Bicycles usually must be partially disassembled. For details regarding boxing your bicycle, on general information bringing bicycles onboard, please visit


Special items such as sports equipment, strollers, etc. are allowed on the train. Amtrak accepts a number of special items such as baby strollers, golf bags, musical instruments, snowboards, and skis (one board or set per bag/container).

Special items (such as skis, golf bags and surfboards) must be properly packed and visibly tagged.

In most cases there is a handling charge of $10 to $20 per special item. Contact 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) for more information.


Amtrak allows firearms and ammunition to be checked as luggage between staffed stations. Carry-on firearms and ammunition are prohibited. Visit for more information about firearms in checked baggage.


The following kinds of items are prohibited as both checked and carry-on baggage:

  • Incendiaries, including flammable gases, liquids, and fuels.
  • Large, sharp objects such as axes, ice picks, and swords.
  • Corrosive or dangerous chemicals or materials, such as liquid bleach, tear gas, mace, radioactive and harmful bacteriological materials.
  • Batteries with acid that can spill or leak (except those batteries used in motorized wheelchairs or similar devices for mobility-impaired passengers).
  • Club-like items, such as billy clubs and nightsticks.
  • Fragile and/or valuable items, including but not limited to electronic equipment. (Laptop computers and handheld devices may be carried onboard; however, Amtrak accepts no liability for damage.)
  • Animals (except service animals and small pets allowed per the Pet Policy).
  • Oversized or overweight items.
  • Consumption of personal alcohol is strictly forbidden.

Please note: This is not an exhaustive list. Any item similar to those listed, even if not specifically mentioned here, is prohibited from being carried onboard or checked as baggage.


Reports for lost or misplaced items left on trains or in stations must be submitted within 30 days of travel. For best results, submit your report at your arrival station; otherwise, call Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

When reporting a lost item, please have the following information ready:

  • A thourough description of the lost item, including a description of the size, color, brand, condition and any other distinguishing features.
  • Your date or dates of travel.
  • Your departure and arrival stations.
  • Your trains names and numbers.


Traveling with Kids

Children 2-12 can travel at 50% off the adult fare

Make memories and save money when you take the kids on a journey they’ll never forget. They'll experience the wonder of the train, while you enjoy a trip without baggage fees or traffic. 

Infants Ride Free

One infant under the age of two may ride free with each passenger paying an adult fare. Free infants ride on the lap of the adult. Additional infants per adult travel at the child fare

Child and infant discounts are automatically applied when adding travelers to your booking – No Promo Code needed.

Discount Restrictions

  • Children and infants must be accompanied by at least one adult (18+) in the same reservation.
  • Children 2-12 years of age may not travel unaccompanied.*
  • All persons 13 years of age or older, and all unaccompanied minors, pay adult fares.
  • Children under 2 years occupying a separate coach seat will be charged the fare for children aged 2-12 years.
  • Children's ages are determined by actual date of birth.
  • The age of the child at the start of the trip determines the fare that applies for the entire itinerary.
  • Amtrak reserves the right to require proof of age at any time.
  • Not valid for travel on certain Amtrak Thruway connecting services.
  • Additional restrictions may apply.

Traveling with Car Seats

Child car seats cannot be secured to any train or bus seats. Passengers traveling with an infant/small child in a child car seat may place the seat in a vacant seat only if it is not needed for a paying passenger; children under 2 years of age may be required to ride on the passenger’s lap and the child car seat stored in an appropriate baggage area.

Unaccompanied Minors

  • Children age 12 and under may not travel unaccompanied. They must travel with another person who is at least 18 years old.*
  • Children 13, 14 and 15 years old may travel as unaccompanied minors only under certain conditions.
  • Reservations for unaccompanied minors cannot be made on
  • Additional rules and restrictions apply.

*Exception: A minor who is 16 or 17, who is a parent to children of any age, may bring those children without restriction. The 16- or 17-year-old must bring proof that he or she is the parent of the children.



You can take your small dog or cat along with you on Amtrak Cascades trains. Now that Rover can come over, we hope to see you and your pet onboard. Please refer to the guidelines below. Other restrictions may apply. Please note these guidelines do not pertain to service animals. 


Types of Pets Allowed
Cats and dogs are the only types of pets accepted. Only one pet and one carrier per passenger will be allowed. Maximum combined weight of pet and carrier = 20 lbs. 

Maximum Trip Length

  • Maximum length of travel on the train will be seven hours.
  • Passengers making connections must complete travel within seven hours from leaving their train station.

Making Pet Reservations, Fare and Ticketing

  • Pet reservations can only be made with a reservation agent at 1-800-USA-RAIL or at a staffed station.
  • Pet reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis, and may sell out quickly, so we strongly encourage you to make your pet reservations in advance. Pets are only permitted in Coach cars.
  • Only one pet per passenger will be allowed, and no more than five pets are reserved per train. Service animals do not count towards this limitation.
  • The pet fare is $29 per reservation ($58 round trip).
  • No pets allowed into Canada due to quarantine restrictions.
  • Pets are not permitted to travel with unaccompanied minors.

Buses and Multi-ride tickets

  • Pets are not permitted on Thruway or POINT bus services.
  • Multi-ride, monthly, and Rail Plus tickets cannot be used in conjunction with pet reservations.
  • All passengers traveling with a pet must reserve a Coach seat and pay the applicable fare.

Pet Check in at Station

  • At staffed stations, passengers must check in at the station ticket office no later than 30 minutes before train departure time in order to allow sufficient time to confirm pet eligibility and complete a Release and Indemnification Agreement.
  • At unstaffed stations, the conductor will confirm pet eligibility and provide passengers with a Release and Indemnification Agreement to sign on the train.
  • A waiver must be completed for each leg of travel.

Onboard Guidelines

  • Pets are only permitted in Coach car #4.
  • Passengers must remain with pets at all times.
  • Pets must remain inside their carrier at all times and may not be removed from their carrier while in stations or onboard trains.
  • Passengers must keep their pet carrier on the floor in front of the seat next to them.
  • Pet carriers are not permitted on train seats.

Pet Carrier

As noted, pets must remain in their carrier and on the floor. Pets cannot be on seats; and being in front of the aisle seat rather than the window seat keeps them safely away from the heater which could become too hot for their comfort and safety.

Approved Pet Carriers
Passengers traveling with pets can board at staffed or unstaffed stations as follows:

  • Pet owners must provide their own pet carrier.
  • The maximum size for pet carriers is 19" long x 14" wide x 10.5" high.
  • The carrier may be hard or soft sided but must be leak proof and well ventilated.
  • For safety reasons, pets must be able to sit and lie down comfortably without touching the sides of the carrier.
  • A carrier counts as one piece of carry-on baggage.

Pet Age and Health

  • Pet must be at least eight weeks old.
  • There isn't time for potty breaks at stops, so please ensure your pet gets a potty break before departure.
  • Pets must be odorless and harmless, not disruptive, and require no attention during travel. Amtrak maintains the right to refuse acceptance of, or remove from the train, any pet exhibiting these issues.
  • Passengers will be required to certify that the pet is up to date on all vaccinations and accepts liability for animal.
  • The maximum weight of your pet including the carrier is 20 pounds.
  • Amtrak will not accept liability for the health and well-being of pets.
  • Note: In the event of a service disruption, Amtrak will make reasonable efforts to seek (but cannot guarantee) pet friendly hotel accommodations, if sheltering is necessary.


Amtrak Cascades offers Coach Class and Business Class seating:

Coach Class offers theatre style seating, or family style  that accommodates up to four people seated at a table. Coach amenities include:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Reclining seats with seat back trays
  • Power outlets
  • Baggage racks
  • Reading lights

Business Class offers relaxation and roomier seats—all for only a few dollars more than a standard coach ticket. Business Class amenities include:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Priority boarding and detraining
  • Wider seats with more legroom
  • Fewer passengers in each car
  • Coupon for $3 off any menu items in the Bistro


Our goal is to provide safe, efficient, and comfortable service to all of our passengers. We are pleased to provide additional services to passengers with disabilities. Each Amtrak Cascades train has space for at least four mobility-impaired passengers. Braille signage is available throughout the train and audio and open captioning for travel information is provided on all overhead monitors. Visit our Accessibility page for more information.



Everyone can travel on Amtrak Cascades. Our goal is to provide safe, efficient, and comfortable service to all of our passengers. We are pleased to provide additional services to passengers with disabilities. Each Amtrak Cascades train has space for at least four mobility-impaired passengers. Braille signage is available throughout the train and audio and open captioning for travel information is provided on all overhead monitors. Amtrak Cascades is one of the most accessible passenger trains in the world with features accommodations for four mobility-impaired passengers on each train.


Reservations are required for Amtrak Cascades. To obtain special accommodations, we recommend that you make reservations and purchase tickets by:

Pay for your ticket once you're on the train, if you boarded at an unstaffed station or were unable to pay beforehand because of a disability. The onboard purchase fee will be waived for passengers who had no way to purchase tickets in advance.


We allow trained service animals accompanying passengers with disabilities in all customer areas in our stations, trains and Amtrak Thruway motorcoaches. Trained service animals must be kept under the control of their owners or trainers at all times. For all other critters, please view our new Pet Policy


Amtrak Cascades offers a 10% fare discount to passengers with mobility challenges and to their adult companions (16 years or older). Please request the discount when making reservations. These discounts cannot be combined with other available discounts.

To establish eligibility for the rail fare discount, a disabled person must present one of the following documents to both the Amtrak ticket agent and the conductor:

  • Identification card from a disability organization (e.g.,: Foundation for the Blind, International Brain Injury Association),
  • Written documentation, notice, or identification issued by a local, state, or federal government attesting to the disability,
  • Documentation from a medical institution stating that the passenger has a disability protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act,
  • VIA Rail Canada certificate for 92-B (Request for Discount for Blind Person or Guide),
  • Persons with Disabilities placard issued by a state department (Department of Licensing or Department of Motor Vehicles).

Note: If the documentation does not contain a photograph, photo identification may be requested.

Safety and Security

Masks are optional.

If you see something concerning or suspicious - Please report any security issues to the Conductor.

Bring Your Bike

Bring your bike on the train

We know how much you love bicycling — it’s just part of the Pacific Northwest culture. That’s why we’ve made it easy for you to take your bike along on your next trip aboard Amtrak Cascades.

  1. Make a reservation for you and your bike
    You’ll need to book space for both you and your bike when you make your reservation. Go to “Book Now” and complete the form telling us when you’d like to travel. You’ll be given all the options available for your trip. Look for the light blue button underneath each train option that says, “Add Bike To Trip.” Electric bikes are welcome too, as long as they weigh less than 50 pounds. 
  2. Rack your bike
    Ten bike racks are available on every Amtrak Cascades train. Bike racks, located in the baggage car, must be reserved for a cost of $5 each. Book early to ensure bike space is available and you get the best fare for your own ticket. This is particularly important during busy summer months when trains fill up quickly.
  3. Box your bike
    If you don’t make advance reservations, you may find the bike rack space is all sold out. If that’s the case, you can opt to box your bike (except at unstaffed stations)* for an additional $15/box plus a $10 handling fee. You’re responsible for disassembling and reassembling your bike. Remember to bring your tools along.
    *Unstaffed stations: Kelso/Longview, Mt. Vernon, Olympia/Lacey, Oregon City, Stanwood, and Tukwila

Bike trips near the stations

Looking for more info and some great bike rides along the Amtrak Cascades route? Check out our bike brochure for ideas on where to head for your next bike adventure.