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That’s why Danielle and Michael packed their bags and headed south, then north, then east for their trip of a lifetime.
Traveling on our City of New Orleans from Chicago to New Orleans and back, then to New York on our Cardinal, this traveling duo made best friend memories that were, as Michael puts it, “AMAZING!!!” Read More →
If you’re one of the more than half million people who rode the Keystone Service through Lancaster last year, you know we’ve been working hard to renovate the station. We’re now putting the finishing touches on the project, but wanted to give you (our favorite riders!) a sneak peek at some of the improvements. Check them out, and tell us what you think!
Lancaster-based Brent L. Miller Jewelers graciously donated 6 historic clocks that are now displayed around the station. But here’s the cool back story. Ryan Miller, Brent’s son, donated the clocks as a tribute to his late father, who used to ride the train from Lancaster to New York while building his jewelry business. Today, the clocks greet Amtrak riders throughout the station. How cool is that?
Sprucing up the Waiting Room
Fun Fact Alert: The new paint in the waiting room is historically-accurate. That’s right, the State Historic Preservation Office approved the paint to make sure we were keeping it real.
Have a Historic Seat
Refinished and restored to their original beauty, the historic wooden benches throughout the station bring a little old school character to the upgraded station.
More Improvements Coming
In the upcoming months, we’ll finish painting the pedestrian bridge, clean and paint some of the equipment above the tracks and re-install the antique lights in the main waiting room. We look forward to bringing you an improved Lancaster Station.
What do you think of the improvements to the Lancaster Station? Let us know in the comments section below.
Read more All Aboard!: 20 Amtrak Routes with Record Ridership
Little-known fact: We’re the only provider of high-speed rail in the entire country. Our Acela Express service stretches from Washington, D.C., all the way up to Boston and is definitely a fan favorite!
From the leather seats to the first class car and lounges, Acela is the definition of riding in style. In fact, on November 7, 2013, Acela ridership peaked at more than 15,000 riders, making it the single best day in Acela's 13-year history.
In celebration we asked you what exactly you loved most about our high-speed trains. Your answers were creative to say the least. Here are the top 10 reasons you love Acela!
10. “Those whoosh self-opening doors between cars like on Star Trek.”
-Mark Miller, Dover, New Hampshire
9. “My favorite thing about riding #AmtrakAcela is the great feeling of traveling on one of America’s greatest innovations, the railroad!
-Anthony DiGiovanni, Philadelphia
8. “The speed, not just the actual miles per hour, but from making limited stops to the picture windows and the cafe car. The one time I rode first class was amazing: free food, great service and access to the Acela lounge in New York Penn Station.”
-Joe Scolastico, Massachusetts
7. “I love that I do not have to drive, they have a beverage car and I can use my phone or read while I ride.”
-Kathy Smith Stern, Niantic, Conn.
6. “My favorite thing about riding is Frank in Baah-ston and the Club Acela. By the way, my Guest Rewards number is #XXXXX65 ”
-Dosh Steve, West Point, N.Y.
5. “Being able to relax and enjoy traveling with my family!”
4. “@Amtrak the legroom. #6footer”
-Mark, New England
3. “@Amtrak, my favorite thing about Acela is the amazing staff who help me get my Boston accent back the closer we get to home!”
-Steven Broderick, Washington, D.C.
2. “Taking photos and video of the scenery outside.”
-James Redman, Newport News, Va.
1. “@Amtrak, I love meeting world travelers and hearing their tales of Acela travel.”
-Sherry-Lea, New Orleans
Bonus: Hats off to William Morgan who stayed true to his hometown favorite with, “I’m sure #AmtrakAcela is nice, but I love my #AmtrakCascades.” Let’s hear it for loyalty, folks!
What do you love most about the #AmtrakAcela? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking to score cheap Amtrak tickets? Here are 6 ways to pay less for your trip.
1. Join Amtrak Guest Rewards
Every time you ride with us, you can earn Amtrak Guest Rewards points toward free trips. Joining the loyalty program is completely free, and promotions come directly to your inbox. It’s a really simple premise: You ride, you earn points. Even better, if you ride a lot, then you get bumped up to higher tiers in the program that earn you even more points per ride.
2. Book 14 Days in Advance
The early bird really does get the worm! If you plan ahead and book your seats early, you can get the worm and the best ticket prices on the Northeast Corridor. In fact, you can save 25 percent or more off the lowest available fares when you book 14 days in advance. Just choose the Adult passenger type when booking to receive the discounted fare.
3. Buy Your Tix Online or on Your Phone
In case you were planning on waiting until the last minute and buying your tickets when you get to the station--don't. Our best prices are listed on our website and are also available on our app. If you don't have that yet, go here to download it. Not only do you get the best prices, you'll also be able to change your reservation and check your train's status right from your smartphone! Read More →
Take it from us at Amtrak. If you're traveling by train this holiday season, you're going to need a packing strategy. Here are 5 most important packing tips you need to know about what to bring and how to bring it this travel season!
1. There's a 50 lb. limit
The good news is you can bring two 50 lb. bags completely for free! For the international crowd that’s 23 kg or 3.57 stones per bag. As a general rule of thumb, however, if you can’t maneuver it, you might want to check it. Our over-head storage requires you to lift the luggage above your head, and it cannot exceed the following dimensions: 28” x 22” x 14” on most trains and 28” x 22” x 11” on our Pacific Surfliner.
2. Choose your luggage wisely
There's a good chance your luggage will be exposed to the elements, whether you take it with you on the platform or you check it into the baggage car. Around the holidays that can mean snow, sleet, or just plain cold temps. When you pick which bags to travel with, avoid trash bags, large packing boxes, fabrics that let sharp poke through or containers that can't securely hold your stuff. We want all your holiday sweaters to arrive at your destination unharmed.
3. Check cardboard boxes
We understand there's lots of gift giving this time of year. In fact, we don't mind getting a few ourselves! But transporting that new Xbox One or iPad Mini can be tricky. If you're packing your holiday haul in cardboard boxes, keep in mind that those boxes will only be accepted as checked baggage. They also have to have handles and be adequate for shipping. If you're short a box, we've also got shipping boxes available for sale. No worries!
4. Pack essentials in a separate bag
For passengers traveling in our long-distance sleeper cars to get home this holiday, here's some expert advice. Save yourself some room and only bring a few important items (not the whole kit and kaboodle) into your sleeper. If you're staying in a roomette, bring two overnight bags, in a family bedroom bring two to three suitcases, in a bedroom bring two suitcases, and in an accessible bedroom bring two suitcases and a wheelchair. Your additional luggage can be checked.
5. Leave sharp stuff at home
Whether you're carrying on your luggage or checking it into the baggage car, there's a few important things you can't bring. It's for safety, folks! Knives, sharp objects, spears, and swords (sorry, King Joffrey) all have to be left at home. Also billy clubs, nightsticks, nunchuks and New Years fireworks are prohibited. Seriously. For a full list of prohibited items, go here.
What's at the top of your packing list this season? Let us know in the comments below!
Read More All Aboard!: 5 Important Things to Know about Carry-on Luggage
Your votes have been tallied from the far corners of Twitter, Facebook and Google+! The winner of this week's Photo of the Week is Sidney, who took it to another level with an awesome video of our Coast Starlight!
The Coast Starlight connects Los Angeles and Seattle on the West Coast. When you travel on it, you'll see the snow on the Cascade Range and Mount Shasta and some of the West Coast's coolest cities (Portland, Seattle, Bay Area). Did we mention this awesome photo opp just north of San Luis Obispo, Calif.?
If you've never ridden one of our long-distance trains, the Coast Starlight is definitely a must-see. It's a bi-level train, which means you can even ride on the second level of the train to enjoy the view from up top!
If you’d like to submit your best Amtrak pics for our Photo of the Week contest, tag your photo #Amtrak. Each Friday we’ll pick the best one from that week to feature here on our blog!
Just like the holidays, train travel is better when it's shared with friends and family. That's been true for our 42 years of business! So this Throwback Thursday we're going all the way back to 1981 with this retro pic!
Joe shared this awesome #TBT picture with us. He's the one on the right and little sis is in the middle. (Nice hats, guys!) While it might look like Halloween, this photo was snapped while Joe and his family were aboard a long-distance train from Illinois to Texas.
The year was 1981, and Amtrak was a young 10 years old. That was also the year our computer reservation system went into service. Since then we've continued to add new technology to our ticketing system.
Other Amtrak milestones that occurred in 1981 include, the unveiling of our first Amfleet II cars, our Coast Starlight was converted to bi-level Superliner cars and a new Albany/Rensselaer station opened.
Do you have old family pics to share from your trips on Amtrak? We'd love to see them and share them on our blog! Just tag them #Amtrak on Instagram and let us know your story in the caption.
Read More All Aboard!: This Throwback Thursday was a Real Relic
This holiday season, it's easy to have a stress-free trip. Follow these 10 holiday travel tips to arrive relaxed and refreshed this holiday!
1. Set a Meeting Place
If you're planning to meet someone at the train station, use the Amtrak app or Train Status function on Amtrak.com to keep them updated about your arrival time and train number. A true expert tip: Meet at a place away from the gate area so you can avoid the crowds near the platforms.
2. Bring Your Gifts
You can travel with up to 100 lbs. of luggage for free! On our trains, you're allowed two 50-lbs. bags, so pack one with clothes and toiletries and the other with presents for friends and family! Just keep in mind that sharp objects are not allowed in carry-on luggage for everyone's safety. Please see an Amtrak agent or one of our (free!) Red Caps to help you check your additional bags. Want to see what else you can bring for free? Go here.
Yesterday a new Norfolk train station opened in Virginia, allowing sailors, soldiers and civilians in the Tidewater area to connect to Amtrak's national rail network.
The new 3,500-square-foot facility, which includes modern amenities such as a ticketing counter and comfortable lobby, comes just in time for customers to enjoy Amtrak's flash sale along its busy Northeast Corridor.
Norfolk travelers can connect to the nation's capital then enjoy the special sale fare of $42 each way to New York City. Other reduced fares include travel between New York and Baltimore for $38 each way and between Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va., for $19 each way.
The sale is available for purchase only on Amtrak.com until Dec. 5 for travel between Jan. 21 and Feb. 13, 2014.
"A year ago, Virginia, Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, CSX and the City of Norfolk celebrated as their multi-year partnership to bring intercity passenger rail service back to Norfolk became a reality," says Thelma Drake, director of the state's Department of Rail and Public Transportation. "The Amtrak station in Norfolk is a beautiful facility that will greet travelers going to and from Harbor Park."
Read More All Aboard!: Big News Pulls into Roanoke, Va.
On February 2, New York and New Jersey will co-host the National Football League’s very first outdoor, cold weather Super Bowl. That’s Super Bowl XLVIII for those of you keeping track!
While the teams aren't final yet, this transit-friendly Super Bowl promises to be epic and probably freezing.
We’ve been working closely with the nice folks on the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee sorting out details so you have a great travel experience before and after the game. In the next few weeks we’ll share the need-to-know info. That means how you can take the train to the game, not to mention the week-long festivities leading up to kick-off.
Before the Super Bowl festivities really get started, we invite you to check out a few behind-the-scenes shots. We recently chatted with former players Brian Dawkins and Matt Light and current player Torrey Smith. Why were we chatting with them you ask? You’ll have to check back soon to find out (Yes, we just left you hanging).
If you need a hint, here you go: #SuperMemories. That's all you get. How’s that for dramatic?
What two teams will make it to Super Bowl XLVIII? Let us know in the comment section below.
Read More All Aboard!: Top College Rivalries Served by Amtrak
Your votes have been tallied from the far corners of Twitter, Facebook and Google+! The winner of this week's Photo of the Week is Cherish, who snapped this memory capturing pic while taking her twin daughters on a mini vacay to the Bay Area aboard the train!
We offer many special comforts that make train travel ideal for traveling with children. There is a Café Car full of snacks and table seating perfect for coloring, outlets to plug-in gadgets and room to move around and explore, which can be perfect for parents traveling with children.
"Don't be afraid to ask for help, she says. "Amtrak staff are so helpful and even other passengers. If you need help getting off the train, ask. If you need help getting a bag down, ask."
Do you remember traveling on the train when you were young or introducing your little ones to Amtrak for the first time? Tell us about it in the comments below!
If you’d like to submit your best Amtrak pics for our Photo of the Week contest, tag your photo #Amtrak. Each Friday we’ll pick the best one from that week to feature here on our blog!
Read More All Aboard!: See Other Photos of the Week
We can't go all the way back to Plymouth, Mass., this Thanksgiving, but our 1980s dining car is just as good for Flashback Friday!
For the 42-year history of Amtrak, our dining cars have been a special feature on our long-distance trains. Not only are they the hub of activity, they're also great for special holidays like today.
Depending on where you are seated on our trains, your meal may already be included in your ticket price.
Passengers who have booked roomettes or rooms have their meals included and must bring their tickets with them to meals. Passengers riding in the coach section do not have their meals included but are free to walk to the dining car to make a reservation. So come on down!
It might surprise some travelers, but when dining on a train you are often seated with other passengers. This is a great opportunity to meet your fellow travelers, hear their stories and maybe even make a life-long friend.
So from #TeamAmtrak to you and yours ... eat up and leave the driving to us!
Who did you celebrating Thanksgiving with? Let us know in the comments below!
Read More Amtrak History: History.Amtrak.com
This week's Thanksgiving festivities are just the start of the holiday season. In fact, for the first time since 1918 Hanukkah and Thanksgiving even fall on the same day! Some might call it "Thanksgivukkah." There are also lots of tree lightings and community celebrations planned across the country.
For those of you looking for some last minute holiday ideas and family vacations, we've got just the thing! Here are our top five tree lighting celebrations:
1. Metropolitan Museum of Art's Annual Christmas Tree
This is one of our favorites because there's nowhere like New York City at Christmas! Head over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art every Friday in December for a special tree lighting at 7 p.m.
Route: Acela Express and Northeast Regional just to name a few of the many.
2. National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Ever wonder how the President decorates the White House for the holidays? Join the festivities at the nation's capitol on Dec. 6 to witness entertainers, military bands and, of course, the President for this official ceremony!
Route: Northeast Regional, Carolinian, Crescent
3. Old Globe’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
The eighth annual Old Globe Christmas Tree Lighting will kick off the holiday season in conjunction with San Diego’s favorite holiday musical, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! This tree lighting is at the center of the Globe Plaza and includes live performances and even snow. Yes, snow.
Route: Pacific Surfliner
4. Chicago Tree Lighting
The 100-year-old Tree Lighting Ceremony in Chicago is perfect for all ages in the heart of Chicago's downtown Loop. The holiday season officially commences when the switch is flipped and the lights begin to sparkle. As a bonus, there's live performances, holiday music and more!
Route: Michigan, Hiawatha and Lincoln Services
5. Zilker Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
An Austin, Texas, family favorite each year, the Zilker Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony features a huge 120-foot wide Zilker tree standing more than 150-feet tall and decorated with more than 3,300 Christmas lights and a giant star that is over ten feet wide. It's definitely worth the trip since the fun includes eating too much candy and kettle corn, and even singing carols. Fa-la-la-la-laaaaa!
Route: Texas Eagle
What holiday festivities will you travel to this season? Let us know in the comments below!
Read More All Aboard!: The Best Holiday Parades in America
Did you know that Amtrak's CEO Joe Boardman joined the military at just 17 years old? That leap of faith shaped his career, his personal courage and now the company he heads, which has made a commitment to have 25 percent of its new hires be veterans by 2015.
In a new radio interview with the Armed Forces Network, Vietnam veteran Boardman discusses our hiring vets initiative as both a personal and professional commitment.
"All of you veterans who are listening to this and are interested in the railroad, Amtrak is a place where you can get a fair hearing to look at your skills," he says of hiring vets. "We need lots of your skills."
Since announcing the commitment in June, Amtrak has participated in several military career fairs with partners including Hiring Our Heroes, RecruitMilitary and General Electric, which launched its own veterans hiring initiative called Get Skills to Work last fall.