Amtrak’s Empire Builder bounces back from tardiness

June 24, 2015

The Builder Battles Back

Six months after Amtrak celebrated its return, and a year after it was plagued by delays, the Empire Builder tries to stay on time and regain riders

On June 19, Amtrak’s eastbound Empire Builder arrived in Libby 21 minutes late. Two hours later, it pulled into Whitefish 3 minutes early. And then, a little further down the line, it departed West Glacier 6 minutes late.

The ebbs and flows of the Empire Builder’s arrivals and departures that Friday morning perhaps best exemplify the historic passenger train’s current situation: Not perfect, but getting better.

The tardy arrivals into Libby and West Glacier are nothing when compared to last year when the train could be delayed for hours on end. Six months after Amtrak officials came to Whitefish and declared that “the Empire Builder is back,” the train is slowly but surely trying to regain footing and local officials are starting to notice.

“From what it was a year ago, it is 1,000 percent better,” said Whitefish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kevin Gartland. “A year ago it was totally unpredictable and that’s not the case anymore.”

Read the full story from the Flathead Beacon by clicking here.

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