Riding the Amtrak Cascades makes sense for many reasons
Not long ago, I took my first Amtrak round-trip to Portland from Pacific Central Station in Vancouver.
Costing less than $200, it was a bargain in comparison to the flights leaving Vancouver International Airport.
I was surprised by the legroom in the coach section. It was superior to anything I've experienced in economy class on an airplane.
It's not bad for groups of four, either, should they want to sit together.
The seats on the right-hand side of the train going south offered far superior views of the ocean, making for a pleasant journey that included stops in several small towns along the way.
Seattle is one of the prime destinations along the route. The Emerald City's King Street Station has undergone a major renovation, as you can see below. For fans of the Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders, the stadiums are within walking distance.
The bistro car offered snacks and drinks, which attracted long lineups.
It took eight hours to reach Portland, but it didn't seem that long, thanks to the Wi-Fi on the train.
Train travel has been the preferred option in Europe for generations, but it's only in recent years that it's made a comeback in North America.
On a daily basis, more than 86,000 passengers rode Amtrak in the United States in 2012-13, according to its website.
Last year, nearly 31.6 million boarded Amtrak trains, a record in the company's history.
Would I take this train again? Without hesitation.