November 8, 2017 Amtrak Ready and Prepared for Thanksgiving Travel

Plan ahead and avoid the rush

WASHINGTON – The Thanksgiving travel season will soon be underway and Amtrak and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) are prepared to accommodate additional customers traveling on the Northeast Regional during the busiest travel week of the year. Tickets sell out quickly, so customers are encouraged to plan ahead and book reservations early.

New this year is Northeast Regional service to and from Roanoke. The Northeast Regional provides a same-seat trip from Norfolk, Newport News, Richmond, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and now Roanoke to as far north as Boston.

Customers departing from Richmond’s Staple Mills Road Station are encouraged to allow for extra travel time as parking is limited. A construction project to expand parking at the station is in progress. If possible, customers should plan to be dropped off and picked up.

Last year, Amtrak carried 760,755 customers throughout its national network during the Thanksgiving travel period. Similar customer counts are anticipated this year.

Tips to ensure a smooth trip:

  • Purchasing Tickets: Customers can purchase tickets by visiting com or calling 800-USA-RAIL, or at Quik-TrakSM ticket kiosks, ticket windows at staffed stations (where available), or Amtrak mobile apps.
  • Avoid the Rush, Arrive Early: The busiest travel days are the Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday of Thanksgiving week. Morning trains typically have more availability. Customers are encouraged to arrive 45 minutes before departure, especially if picking up tickets.
  • Enhanced Experience: Trains feature free Wi-Fi, the freedom to always use electronic devices (no “airplane mode”), large spacious seats, ample leg room and no middle seat.
  • 2+2 = Free: Amtrak has the friendliest baggage policy in the travel industry. Customers can bring two bags and two carry-ons, up to 150 pounds collectively, for free!
  • Travel with Your Furry Friend: For only $25, cats and small dogs (20 pounds or less) are welcome for trips up to seven hours on most routes.
  • Check Train Schedules: Check holiday train schedules and status before arriving at the station on, Track Your Train, or Amtrak mobile apps.
  • Carry Photo ID: Customers are required to show valid photo identification when purchasing tickets and carry valid photo ID at all times aboard trains.
  • Safety First: If you see something, say something.  Report any suspicious activity or unattended items to an Amtrak employee or member of the Amtrak Police Department at (800) 331-0008, by calling 911, or by sending a text to APD11 from a smartphone, or to 27311 from a standard cell phone.

For More Information

Kimberly Woods

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 DRPT®

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s mission is to improve the mobility of people and goods while expanding transportation choices in the Commonwealth through rail, public transportation and commuter services. DRPT provides nearly $700 million in funding that is allocated to over 40 transit services, as well as Amtrak, Class 1, and short-line railroads. The agency works with local, regional, state and federal governments, as well as private entities, to provide the necessary support for maintaining the stability and growth of transit and rail in Virginia. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.