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Amtrak prepares for increased Thanksgiving travel

(Source: Amtrak press release, October 11, 2019)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — 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 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 is adding extra cars to existing trains along the Midwest and West Coast routes.

“With more than 500 destinations nationwide, customers can witness some of the best sightseeing opportunities the United States has to offer while getting to their holiday destination of choice,” said Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson. “This year for Thanksgiving, Amtrak customers can also do something good for the environment while traveling with ease to family, friends and loved ones.”

On the NEC, Amtrak Acela (Boston – Washington, D.C.) and Northeast Regional (Boston – Washington, D.C. – Richmond) trains will operate full and extended schedules with additional frequencies and added capacity during the Thanksgiving week. The Amtrak Keystone Service, Pennsylvanian and Empire Service trains will offer extended holiday capacity. Additional NEC trains, including the Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian will require reservations beginning Nov. 25 through Dec. 2.

In the Midwest, Amtrak Wolverine Service, Hiawatha, Pere Marquette, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Saluki and Illini trains will all offer extra capacity to accommodate increased customers. Extra service will be operated by Amtrak to some Downstate Illinois cities. Chicago and Hiawatha service will also require reservations between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2nd. At Chicago Union Station, Sleeping Car and Business Class customers, as well as top-tier Rewards members, can experience the Metropolitan Lounge and pre-board their trains. Coach customers can purchase day passes to the lounge.

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. 27 and Dec. 2.

Being able to easily travel from/to city centers, Amtrak offers the freedom to use phones and electronic devices (no “airplane mode”), the ability to travel with small pets on many trains, large spacious seats with ample leg room, no middle seat, and one of the most generous baggage policies in the travel industry, applicable for two personal items and two carry-on bags. Amtrak also offers up to 45% off when six passengers travel together as part of its Share Fares deal so customers can Get Carried Away on Amtrak.

Last year, Amtrak had its largest passenger count to date during the Thanksgiving week with over 846,000 riders on its trains across the country. Amtrak carried over 160,000 customers the Sunday following Thanksgiving last year.

Monday, October 14, 2019

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