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Do trains stop running in inclement weather?

I live in Portland, where it rarely snows and occasionally we have some freezing rain, so I know next to nothing about traveling in snow and ice.

My mom and I are taking the train to Seattle for the weekend, and we are supposed to be getting freezing rain starting at 2 pm tomorrow and lasting through Sunday, and Seattle is supposed to get ice/snow. Will the trains stop running? Be late? What should we expect?

Bonus question for Seattle ladies - we are staying at the Westin and seeing the Rockettes at the Paramount theater. Since I'm not particularly looking forward to walking around in snow in heel and a dress, any suggestions for some decent restaurants very close to either of those locations?


Re: Do trains stop running in inclement weather?

  • 1. Portland and Seattle have very simliar weather. Seattle is no worse....

    2. image

  • It really depends on *how* inclement the weather.  It might slow thing down but it's unlikely to stop the trains unless the tracks freeze over or there's flooding in the lowlands that crosses the tracks.  Highly unlikely this early in the season.  I'm trying to remember how bad things had to get last year but iirc, the trains ran for the most part and when they didn't run they supplemented with buses, except when the roads flooded south of Olympia and they shut down I5 for that one extended period of time.  You should be okay for travel is my guess.

    As for eateries, the Westin has the Coldwater Grill at the hotel itself.  Here's a copy of the menu:  One of my husband's favorite places, very near the Paramount, is Bambuza, which serves Vietnamese cuisine:  It's a block past the Paramount but the food is excellent.  Also, you're very near Nordstrom and Pacific Place (it's right between the Westin and the Paramount).  You can get to Pacific Place through Nordstrom if you want to get out of the weather for a block and use the walkway.  Pacific Place is three levels of shopping and has several restaurants, including PF Chang's (if I recall...if it's not there, it's close to it), Mexico (good Mexican food...I love the artsy jalepeno pepper inspired lighting and the gas/glass firepit - menu:, Thai Ginger (upscale Thai food), Il Fornaio (excellent Italian, upscale chain, menu: and Gordon Biersch (haven't tried it yet but it's looked good when I've gone past - I checked reviews and they're passable.)  About a block from the Paramount is Ruth's Chris Steakhouse...the butter-cooked steaks are amazing but the dinners can get pricey - I think it ran about $130 for me and DH, without alcohol.  Menu at  Olive 8 now has a restaurant open, Urbane, which is right by Paramount as well.  Here's their menu:  There are more but this is a start.  Gold star for me.  :)


  • image ArasSremmah:

    1. Portland and Seattle have very simliar weather. Seattle is no worse....

    2. image

    #2. is Wellington.  In the mountains.  Portland to Seattle you get to deal with image


  • I have heard rumors of the metro trains stopping due to ice in DC; however, DC is a big ole baby when it comes to weather. These are also trains that need the third electric rail (not sure if that makes a difference). If the tracks are completely covered in ICE it would be a problem but I doubt a little freezing rain will do that. Have fun!

    image, image

  • In my experience they only stop running trains when there's ice forming on the tracks.
    LittleL 8/10/07
    Baby E 11/27/10

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  • Last Christmas Eve the Amtrak canceled in MN because it had gotten stuck out in Seattle.  But I think there was a ton of snow then, like an unusual amount for Seattle.
  • In MA some trains sometimes got cancelled but more often it was just a delay of sometimes unknown duration.
  • I agree, I've only heardo of trains not running due to ice on the tracks (as far as inclement weather goes).  Generally speaking, I think the trains keep running longer than anything else, and are safer.
  • I don't post often but I wanted to let you know my experience. I took the train from San Jose to Seattle a few years ago around New Year's and our train stopped/was delayed going both directions because of weather. I believe we were delayed about 12 hours on our way there and 18 on the way back. The train ran out of food and water so I suggest bringing some of your own. Also, mothers ran out of diapers, formula, etc. It was quite an experience. You should probably be better off being that your trip is shorter to begin with but be prepared with warm clothes, food and water on the train. Good luck!

  • Trains can be stopped or delayed if there's ice or an excessive amount of snow on the tracks. I hope it won't impact your trip.

    There's a great restaurant called Palace Kitchen that's pretty close to the Westin. I've been there a few times and really liked it. If you like goat cheese, they have a very yummy goat cheese fondue appetizer.
  • I used to live in Portland and took that train to Seattle quite often. As others have said, it usually only stops for major ice or snow (or flooding, in some cases). However, it has been known to be delayed even in normal weather, so be prepared.

    It's a nice relaxing trip once you are on the train though, so enjoy!

    Married August 2009

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    Our rainbow baby boy born 11.16.15

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