Dec 27, 2013

Train Travel for the Design Aficionado

Ride the new "Portland Express," a train car with iconic Northwest design elements.

By Debra Prinzing

Travel Portland and Amtrak Cascades last week unveiled the city's Portland Express train car, the first-ever design takeover of a passenger rail car for the Pacific Northwest’s route that runs from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Eugene, Oregon.

The retrofitted dining car is as cozy as a Northwest mountain lodge, outfitted with custom Pendleton Woolen Mills upholstered seats, wood-grain wallpaper, Tanner Goods leather coasters, oil paintings, mounted antlers and other accents from beloved Portland vendors. If you're inclined to peek under the tables—and we did—you'll find that the posts have been yarn-bombed with hand-knit coverings.

Outside, the train car has also been wrapped in graphic illustrations depicting all that's fun, weird, and wacky about Portland. Travel Portland tapped hometown advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy to design and execute the project.

Passengers will be able to ride the Portland Express from Jan. 6, 2014, through March as part of the city's winter travel promotion highlighting tax-free shopping, 52 craft breweries, and a culinary scene that includes restaurants, specialty shops and an entire month of $29 three-course menus in March.

If you book your Amtrak Cascades train tickets at least two weeks in advance, you’ll get 25 percent off already low prices—meaning a one-way trip to Portland starts at only $24 from Seattle or $47 from Vancouver. Learn more at

An entire Amtrak Cascades train car is wrapped with all the images that represent Portland's distinct personality.

"Portland is Happening Now," the message that Travel Portland is using to lure passengers from Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle to visit, shop, dine, and experience Portland this winter.

As part of the interior makeover of an Amtrak dining car, the seats were reupholstered with Pendleton Woolen Mills fabric.

Ordinary table legs get a distinctly Portlandesque makeover, yarn-bombed with hand-knit coverings.

Cozy as a Pacific Northwest mountain lodge, the Portland Express is tricked out with all things Portland.

Wood-grain wallpaper, Pendleton blanket window coverings, and a tiny hanging terrarium รก la Portland. 

All photos courtesy of Travel Portland

1 comment:

  1. Are those HBC blankets hanging over some of the chairs?