Amtrak Provides Convenient and Flexible Options for Summer Travel

May 22, 2013

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Train service includes stops to popular destinations

WASHINGTON – Amtrak is expecting heavy ridership as the summer season kicks off and passengers head to the rails for their family vacations.

Affordable fares, convenient service and unpredictable gas prices make America’s Railroad® ideal for summer family travel. Passengers are encouraged to book early as advance reservations indicate increased demand for July and August versus last summer.

To soak in the sun, ocean and military attractions, passengers can board Amtrak Virginia for travel to Lynchburg, Richmond, Newport News and Norfolk. The daily Northeast Regional service also provides a same-seat trip from Virginia to Richmond, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and cities north.

For a break from the highway, Auto Train offers a unique service for passengers to travel from Lorton, Va., to Sanford, Fla., with their personal vehicles including cars, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, small boats or jet-skis. Passengers can purchase an upgrade to Priority Vehicle Offloading and their vehicle will be one of the first offloaded from the train.

In North Carolina, two new Thruway bus services offers connections between commuters and the Palmetto train service. Travelers can take other Amtrak routes in the state to visit the revolutionary Alamance Battleground in Burlington, and the first U.S. gold mine, outside of Charlotte or the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer.

From Philadelphia, people can hop on the Keystone for a summer getaway to the historic Lancaster County. Hourly departures whisk passengers through the rolling countryside of Central Pennsylvania. If you crave the water, ride the Northeast Corridor to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for great nightlife and famous Maryland crabs. Travelers can also access Kent Island, Salisbury and Ocean City on Maryland’s Eastern Shore via Thruway bus service.

Midwesterners can enjoy the beach, just two blocks west of the New Buffalo, Mich., station served by eight daily trains from Chicago and locations in central and eastern Michigan. They can explore summer music festivals in Milwaukee, Chicago and St. Louis or go to where roots of jazz, rock and the blues are deep in Kansas City, Memphis or New Orleans.

Travel along the west coast for events in California like the Solstice Festival in Santa Barbara, the Strawberry Festival in Oxnard and the state fair in Sacramento. The Rose Festival in Portland, Ore., runs throughout the summer with spectacular floats and activities around the July 4th holiday. And in Seattle, Seafair host numerous events around Puget Sound in July and August.

For those planning summer vacations, Amtrak Vacations offers a variety of single-city rail getaways and multi-city rail journeys across the United States and Canada. Visit for complete travel packages including hotel accommodations, sightseeing attractions, activities, dining and cruises.

Amtrak is upgrading its AmtrakConnect cellular-based Wi-Fi service to take advantage of 4G technologies to improve performance and enhance the passenger experience on trains that serve 75 percent of Amtrak passengers.

Purchase tickets using Amtrak eTicketing, at a staffed station or an Amtrak Quik-TrakSM kiosk. Passengers can also book online, call 800-USA-RAIL or use a mobile device.

About Amtrak®

Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at