Amtrak Preparing for Thanksgiving Rush with Expanded Schedules, More Seats on California Train Routes

November 16, 2016

Vernae Graham

Amtrak Contact

510 238.4360

OAKLAND – In anticipation of the busiest travel period of the year, Amtrak is preparing to accommodate the expected surge of holiday travelers with additional trains and extra seats on routes in California. More seats will be added to the Amtrak San Joaquins, Pacific Surfliner and Capitol Corridor routes. The Pacific Surfliner trains will add seats and will require advanced reservations beginning Wednesday, Nov. 23, through Sunday, Nov. 27.  This is a blackout period for the Rail2Rail program for both Metrolink and COASTER riders. An extra daily Pacific Surfliner round trip began operating on Nov. 7, offering a new early-morning train from San Diego to Los Angeles, continuing to San Luis Obispo, and an additional evening train from Los Angeles to San Diego. Seats will also be added to the Capitol Corridor service beginning Tuesday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 27. The San Joaquins service will add seats beginning Wednesday, Nov. 23, through Sunday, Nov. 27.

Amtrak will also be increasing the number of reserved Thruway buses on its busiest California routes, including Martinez-Arcata, Sacramento-Chico, San Jose-Grover Beach, 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:

  • Book Early! Tickets sell out quickly, especially those for Thruway bus service, so customers are encouraged to plan ahead and book tickets early for best availability and pricing. Travelers may purchase tickets on, Amtrak mobile apps, or by calling 800-USA-RAIL.
  • Baggage: Amtrak has the friendliest baggage allowance in the travel industry. Customers can bring two bags and two carry-ons, collectively weighing up to 150 pounds, for free.
  • 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 seats available 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.
  • Bring your Bike: Some places are meant to be explored on two wheels. On certain routes bicycle reservations may be required when booking tickets. Reservations are not required on the Capitol Corridor or San Joaquins.
  • ADA Friendly: Amtrak welcomes all passengers with disabilities. Trainsets and conductors are prepared to make your travel experience comfortable and seamless.
  • Carry Photo ID: Customers 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: Passengers should be aware of their 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.

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 six years. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a 10-member board of directors, nine of whom are appointed by the President of the United States plus the Amtrak CEO. 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 17 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

About the Pacific Surfliner

The Pacific Surfliner travels along 351-mile coastal rail route through San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, serving 31 stations. It is the second busiest intercity passenger rail corridor in the United States with 24 daily trains and annual ridership of more than 2.9 million.  The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency manages the Pacific Surfliner service in close coordination with its member agencies, Amtrak and Caltrans. To learn more and plan a trip, visit, like Pacific Surfliner on Facebook, or @pacificsurfliners on Twitter.

About the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA)

As of July 2015, SJJPA is responsible for the management and administration of the Amtrak San Joaquins service.  SJJPA is governed by Board Members representing each of the 10 Member Agencies along the 365-mile San Joaquin route. For more information on SJJPA see