November 2, 2017 Amtrak Schedules Extra Trains and Additional On Board Capacity for Thanksgiving Travel

Reservations required for select Northeast, Midwest and West Coast trains

NEW YORK – In anticipation of the busiest travel week of the year, Amtrak is accommodating the surge of holiday travelers with extra trains and capacity on several routes in the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast. Amtrak will also operate every available passenger railcar. Tickets sell out quickly, so customers are encouraged to plan ahead and book tickets early.

On the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak Acela Express (Boston – Washington, D.C.) and Northeast Regional (Boston – Washington, D.C./Newport News, Virginia) will operate full and extended schedules with additional frequencies and added capacity during Thanksgiving week. Standard Amtrak booking and ticketing procedures apply. Additional Northeast Corridor trains, including the Keystone (New York – Harrisburg) will require reservations in advance of travel.

In the Midwest, extra trains will operate between Chicago and downstate Illinois and Michigan. At Chicago Union Station, Sleeping car and Business Class customers, as well as top-tier Amtrak Guest Rewards members, can experience the Metropolitan Lounge and pre-board their trains. Coach customers can purchase Legacy Club passes to access similar amenities. Visit to learn more about available station lounges across the country.

On the West Coast, additional capacity will be added to Capitol Corridor (Auburn-San Jose), San Joaquins (Oakland/Sacramento – Bakersfield), and Pacific Surfliner (San Diego-San Luis Obispo) routes. During the holiday period, Pacific Surfliner service will also require reservations between Nov. 22 and Nov. 26.

“With free Wi-Fi on most trains, plenty of leg room and no middle seat, Thanksgiving week is a great opportunity to highlight our commitment to providing the best possible travel experience,” said Amtrak co-CEO Wick Moorman. “Amtrak employees are gearing up for the holidays to provide the superior service our customers deserve.”

Last year, Amtrak carried more than 750,000 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: Travelers can purchase tickets using the refreshed com site, at Quik-TrakSM ticket kiosks, ticket windows at staffed stations (where available), Amtrak mobile apps, or 800-USA-RAIL.
  • 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: Most 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.
  • Carry Photo ID: Customers are required to show travel documents and valid photo identification 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

Jason Abrams

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.