Amtrak Prepared for Thanksgiving Holiday Travel

November 16, 2015

Vernae Graham

Amtrak Contact

510 238.4360

Amtrak adds capacity to California trains for Thanksgiving

OAKLAND – In anticipation of the busiest travel week of the year, America’s Railroad® is prepared to accommodate the surge of holiday travelers with extra trains and additional capacity on several routes in the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West Coast.

More seats will be added to the Amtrak San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner and Capitol Corridor routes. The Pacific Surfliner trains will add 8,000 seats and require advanced reservations beginning Monday, Nov. 23, through Sunday, Nov. 29. One additional northbound Pacific Surfliner train will be added between San Diego and Los Angeles on Thursday, Nov. 26 and Monday, Nov. 30, which will continue to Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, and one additional southbound train will be added between Los Angeles and San Diego on Wednesday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 29, providing more options for the busiest travel days of the year. More than 700 seats will be added to the Capitol Corridor service beginning Tuesday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 29. The San Joaquin service will add 600 seats beginning Wednesday, Nov. 25, through Sunday, Nov. 29.

Amtrak will also be increasing the number of reserved Thruway buses on its busiest California routes, including Martinez-Arcata, Sacramento-Stockton, Bakersfield-Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo-San Jose.

Amtrak is working hard to provide a hassle-free travel experience while connecting passengers with friends and family. These additional tips will help to ensure a smooth trip:

  • Avoid the Rush: The busiest travel days are the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday. Other than Thanksgiving Day, morning trains typically have more available seats than those in the afternoon or evening.
  • Arrive Early: Allow plenty of time at stations prior to departure – at least 45 minutes beforehand if picking up tickets. Arrange for pre-boarding if you need extra time or assistance and use Amtrak Red Cap agents to help you with your baggage.
  • Purchasing Tickets: eTicketing is enabled on every train route throughout the nation. Travelers may purchase tickets early using, Quik-Trak or ticket windows at staffed stations (where available), on Amtrak mobile app, or by calling 800-USA-RAIL.
  • Check Train Schedules: Make sure to check holiday train schedules prior to arriving at the station with a helpful, online-only timetable provided by Amtrak.
  • Carry Photo ID: Passengers are required to show valid photo identification when purchasing tickets. Make sure to carry valid photo ID at all times, as it may be requested aboard trains.
  • Be Safe: Be aware of your surroundings, stand back from the edge of the platform, do not leave your bags unattended, and watch your step when boarding or leaving the train or when walking between cars when the train is in motion.
  • 2+2 = Free: Amtrak has the friendliest baggage policy in the travel industry. Passengers can bring two bags and two carry-ons, collectively weighing up to 150 pounds, for free. Excess baggage will cost $20.
    Passengers can anticipate exceptionally heavy travel the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving so reservations for these days should be made as soon as possible.

About Amtrak®

Amtrak – America’s Railroad® – is dedicated to safe and reliable mobility as the nation’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its high-speed rail operator. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak passengers for each of the past five years. 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. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Learn more at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and other information. Check us out at, Like us on and Follow us on Twitter @Amtrak.

About Capitol Corridor®

The Capitol Corridor serves seventeen stations along the 170-mile rail corridor connecting Placer, Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties, paralleling both the I-80/I-680 and I-880 corridors in segments from Sacramento to San Jose. The CCJPA partners with Amtrak, Union Pacific Railroad, Caltrans and the communities comprising the CCJPA to offer cost-effective intercity passenger rail and offers a convenient way to travel between the Sierra Foothills, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley/San Jose. For details about the Capitol Corridor, visit or call 1-877-974-3322. Join us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at