The city of Leavenworth, Wash. and Amtrak announced that the restoration of rail passenger service to the popular Bavarian village, a destination community in the Cascade Mountains, will begin on Friday, September 25, 2009. The first train returning to Leavenworth, one of Washington's most visited attractions, will be Amtrak's Empire Builder, departing Seattle that evening bound for Chicago.
"We have been working for some time with our partners at Amtrak and BNSF Railway to make Icicle Station and the return of rail passenger service to our community a reality," said Leavenworth's Mayor Rob Eaton. "Our community has a long history with railroads and train service and we are truly thrilled to welcome Amtrak to Leavenworth and have the ability to offer passenger service to both our residents and visitors."
The city partnered with the Port of Chelan, Chelan County Commissioners, Washington State Senator Linda Evans Parlette and U.S. Senator Patty Murray as they worked with Amtrak and BNSF representatives on the project. Additionally, the local community, Projekt Bayern (a local service group) and the Chamber of Commerce were instrumental in supporting Icicle Station.
On Thursday, passengers were able to begin making reservations and purchasing tickets to and from Leavenworth.