For Amtrak’s first ten years, the Empire Builder went to Seattle but did not have a Portland section. That was rectified by the time this 1984 brochure was published. Like the Willamette Valley, I rode on the first run of the Portland section in 1981 and reported on it for Passenger Train Journal.
Burlington Northern had a business car on the end of the train and I somehow wangled an invitation to ride in the car for part of the trip. I remember we were easily going the speed limit of 79 mph–probably closer to 85–and the car gave a sudden lurch around one corner. All of the BN executives made a note of where that was so they could get the track fixed right away so future trips of the train could stay on the advertised. At Amtrak’s invitation, I returned via the Seattle section of the Empire Builder and then took one of the trains from Seattle to Portland.