Amtrak prepares for busy Thanksgiving, expects 700,000+ riders

WASHINGTON – In anticipation of the busiest travel week of the year, Amtrak is preparing to accommodate the surge of holiday travelers with extra trains and capacity on several routes. Tickets sell out quickly, so customers are encouraged to plan ahead and book tickets early.

“With more than 500 destinations nationwide, Amtrak customers can avoid traffic and enjoy free Wi-Fi on most trains, plenty of leg room and no middle seat as they travel to visit family and friends,” said Amtrak President & CEO Richard Anderson.

With the Thanksgiving travel season soon underway, Amtrak is prepared to operate every available passenger railcar in its fleet. Amtrak is adding extra trains for more seating on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and Midwest routes, and is adding extra cars to existing trains along the West Coast.

On the NEC, Amtrak Acela Express (Boston – Washington, D.C.) and Northeast Regional (Boston – Washington, D.C. – Richmondtrains will operate full and extended schedules with additional frequencies and added capacity during the Thanksgiving week. Additional NEC trains, including the Keystone (New York – Harrisburg), will require reservations in advance of travel.

Hiawatha trains (Chicago – Milwaukee) will also require reservations between Nov. 20 and Nov. 25. 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.

On the West Coast, additional capacity will be added to the Capitol Corridor (Auburn/Sacramento – Oakland – San Jose), San Joaquins(Oakland/Sacramento – Bakersfield) and Pacific Surfliner (San Diego – Los Angeles – San Luis Obispo) routes. During the holiday period, the Pacific Surfliner service will also require reservations between Nov. 21 and Nov. 25. The San Joaquins train will require reservations between Nov. 18 and Nov. 26.

Passengers can now connect directly with customer service representatives via social:

  • Follow @Amtrak on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to connect with customer service and receive the latest news including sales and updates on new offerings
  • We encourage customers to share their Amtrak experience on all social media by tagging @Amtrak and using the hashtag #Amtrak in their posts
  • On Twitter follow @AmtrakNECAlerts for real-time service information on the NEC and follow @AmtrakAlerts for real-time service information on long distance and Midwest Corridor trains

Last year, Amtrak had its largest passenger count to date during the Thanksgiving week with more than 777,000 riders on its trains across the country, and its busiest day in history with more than 160,000 customers on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

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