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Amtrak Preparing for Influx of Thanksgiving Travelers



Amtrak will add extra trains and capacity on several routes across the country to accommodate the impending travel surge this Thanksgiving.

On Friday, the railroad service said that it’s prepared to operate every available passenger railcar in its fleet to meet demand.

Amtrak plans to add extra trains to increase the amount of available seating on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and will add extra cars to existing trains along the Midwest and West Coast routes.

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In the Northeast, the 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, Amtrak said, while the Amtrak Keystone Service, Pennsylvanian and Empire Service trains will offer extended holiday capacity.

What’s more, additional NEC trains, including the Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian will require reservations November 25 through December 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 the increase in customers while extra service will be operated by Amtrak to some Downstate Illinois cities. Additionally, Chicago and Hiawatha service will require reservations between November 26 and December 2.

Finally, out West, Amtrak will add additional capacity 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. The latter will require reservations from November 27 to December 2.

The Washington, D.C.-based company warns that tickets for holiday travel will sell out quickly and encourages travelers to plan ahead by purchasing tickets sooner rather than later.

“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, in a statement. “This year for Thanksgiving, Amtrak customers can also do something good for the environment while traveling with ease to family, friends and loved ones.”

Amtrak is coming off its largest passenger count to date during Thanksgiving week 2018 in which it carried more than 846,000 riders on its trains across the country, including over 160,000 customers on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Families or groups of six or more traveling together with Amtrak this Thanksgiving can save up to 45 percent as part of its Share Fares deal. Amtrak has also launched a buy-one-get-one-free offer for travelers available exclusively on through Monday, October 14.

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