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About Amtrak

Amtrak is the largest passenger railroad service in America, offering daily intercity trains to 864 destinations across the contiguous United States, as well as several cities in Canada. Formally referred to as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is a quasi-public corporation that receives a combination of state and federal subsidies but operates as a for-profit organization.

Amtrak was formed in 1971 as a result of the Rail Passenger Service Act that the U.S. Congress passed in 1970 in a bid to rescue the declining intercity passenger rail industry. The first train trip operated under the Amtrak brand took place on May 1, 1971. While the fledgling organization struggled to grow within the first several years of its formation, Amtrak continued to expand its operations as some of the remaining private railroads went out of business.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Amtrak continued to expand its network and invested in modernizing its fleet to better serve its passengers. However, the most prominent service upgrade did not come until the early 21st century, when Amtrak introduced the high-speed Acela service, providing long-awaited express trains along the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C. Today, Amtrak’s railroad network covers 76268 routes across North America and the carrier runs an average of 34917 train trips every day.

Today, Amtrak’s network consists of more than 40 different regional train services. The most popular ones include the Northeast Regional, the Pacific Surfliner, the Downeaster, and the famous Coast Starlight. In addition to its train lines, Amtrak also offers a bus service called Thruway, which is provided throughout the U.S. as an extension of Amtrak’s network to destinations where rail service is not available.

Many Amtrak routes are famous for offering unique scenic views along the way, which further enhances the onboard experience. Take the Empire Builder for a one-of-a-kind journey through Glacier National Park, or hop aboard the Coast Starlight for a front-row view of America’s gorgeous Pacific coastline. If you are planning a trip for the fall, you might want to book a ticket for the Adirondack and witness firsthand some of the most gorgeous fall foliage in the U.S.

One of the main reasons why Amtrak continues to be among the preferred ways to travel between cities is the carrier’s high-quality onboard experience. Every Amtrak train comes equipped with comfortable seats boasting extra legroom, as well as four-seat areas with tables in the middle where you can face and interact with your fellow travel mates. In addition, each car has a freshly cleaned restroom, free WiFi and power outlets at every seat. On top of that, snack bars where you can purchase drinks or food during your journey are available aboard all Amtrak trains, and some even come equipped with an entire dining car.

Wanderu has been an official partner of Amtrak since 2015, making it super easy to search and compare all available Amtrak trips in one place. More importantly, you can always find and book the cheapest Amtrak tickets on Wanderu and we would never charge you any additional booking fees. If you are an Amtrak Guest Rewards member, make sure you enter your unique number and earn points for your trip.

* **#1 Best Ground Travel Provider in the United States**   
 * #1 Most Comfortable Seats   
 * #1 Best Wi-Fi   
 * #1 Business Travelers' Favorite   
 * #2 Best On-Time Performance   
 * #2 Best Quality Vehicles / Train Cars   
 * #2 Best COVID-19 Safety Measures   
 * #2 Commuters' Favorite   
 * #2 Students' Favorite   
 * #3 Most Helpful Crew
  • #1 Best Ground Travel Provider in the United States
    • #1 Most Comfortable Seats
    • #1 Best Wi-Fi
    • #1 Business Travelers' Favorite
    • #2 Best On-Time Performance
    • #2 Best Quality Vehicles / Train Cars
    • #2 Best COVID-19 Safety Measures
    • #2 Commuters' Favorite
    • #2 Students' Favorite
    • #3 Most Helpful Crew

Amtrak Photos

Amtrak Amenities

Air conditioningAir conditioning
RestroomRestroom
Extra legroomExtra legroom
Loyalty rewardsLoyalty rewards
Power outletPower outlet
SnacksSnacks
WiFiWiFi

Quickview

Amtrak train coverage

Daily Trips34,917
stations962
cities864
countries2

What travelers are saying about Amtrak

Here’s what Wanderu users who have booked trips with Amtrak had to say about their travel experience.

Traveling During COVID-19

"Mask mandates were enforced and social distance maintained."
based on 1482 reviews

Onboard Experience

"I liked the wifi and electrical outlets for working."
based on 1701 reviews
"I found all the crew respectful, thoughtful and helpful."
based on 2250 reviews
"Absolute best value for your money."
based on 2460 reviews
"The train was on time and fast"
based on 2226 reviews
"Amtrak trains provide spacious and comfortable seats even in coach."
based on 2376 reviews
"Bathrooms and cars were very clean."
based on 2464 reviews

Amtrak reviews from Wanderu customers

Overall review score for Amtrak

(Based on 2826 reviews)

4.4
Ratings (Out of 5)
Comfort

4.3

Timeliness

4.3

Staff

4.4

Value

3.9

Condition

4.5

Amtrak passenger reviews

5.0

Barbara

4 September 2022- Solo travel

Palm Springs to Anaheim

Pros: Amtrak bus arrives on time and arrived early at the destination. Cons: Amtrak shared bus stop in Palm Springs with Sunline Bus system Has removed bench seat. No place to sit and wait. Tips: Use Wanderlust for cheap, Safe travel. Interstate 10 West is hazardous f...

Pros: Amtrak bus arrives on time and arrived early at the destination. Cons: Amtrak shared bus stop in Palm Springs with Sunline Bus system Has removed bench seat. No place to sit and wait. Tips: Use Wanderlust for cheap, Safe travel. Interstate 10 West is hazardous for an inexperienced driver and should only be used by professional drivers like Amtrak.

More

5.0

Jayshri

26 August 2022- Solo travel

Anaheim to Palm Springs

Nice ride for the same price!

Nice ride for the same price!

5.0

Kris

24 August 2022- Visiting friends

Portland to Astoria

Bathroom didn’t have soap in its dispenser

Bathroom didn’t have soap in its dispenser

5.0

James

21 August 2022- Visiting family

Portland to Astoria

Pros: Great views. Cons: Coach was over refrigerated. It did not need to be this cold for the passengers but I wondered if it was necessary for the driver. Several passengers mentioned it to driver but it didn’t change.

Pros: Great views. Cons: Coach was over refrigerated. It did not need to be this cold for the passengers but I wondered if it was necessary for the driver. Several passengers mentioned it to driver but it didn’t change.

5.0

Shelia

11 August 2022- Solo travel

Portland to Astoria

Pros: . Cons: . Tips: .

Pros: . Cons: . Tips: .

Amtrak Routes & Network

Amtrak’s train network features 76268 train routes that connect 864 cities serving 962 stations. On average, Amtrak performs about 34917 train trips every day. The top cities to which Amtrak offers the highest number of daily train service include Philadelphia and New York.

Top Cities Served by Amtrak

CityRouteEarliest trainLatest train
New York54:17 am3:59 am
Washington25:22 am3:53 am
Los Angeles27:05 am3:59 am
Chicago37:13 am6:49 am
Philadelphia47:30 am3:53 am
Boston34:15 am3:49 am
San Diego25:14 am3:59 am
Baltimore24:24 am3:53 am
New Haven24:15 am3:59 am

Most popular Amtrak routes

The train from Philadelphia to New York is Amtrak’s most popular route. Trips from Washington to New York and New York to Boston are also highly popular.

Top Amtrak routes

RouteDaily TripsDurationPrice
Philadelphia to New York21h 16m€19
Washington to New York23h 3m€32
New York to Boston36h 52m€50
Los Angeles to San Diego273h 34m€36
Washington to Baltimore30h 28m€6
Washington to Philadelphia21h 45m€19
New Haven to Hartford130h 46m€8
Palm Springs to Los Angeles166h 18m€19
Baltimore to New York32h 35m€29

Amtrak Cancellation Policy

All Amtrak tickets can be cancelled for a full refund within the first 24 hours after purchase. If more than 24 hours have passed, the cancellation policy and change fee structure for Amtrak bookings depend on the type of fare you purchased:

Saver Fare tickets: A 25% fee applies for any changes. If you cancel the trip, you will receive an eVoucher worth 75% of the original ticket price.

Value Fare tickets: No change fees and fully refundable up to 15 or more days before departure. If cancelled less than 14 days before departure, a 25% cancellation fee applies.

Flexible, Business and Premium Fare tickets: No change fees and fully refundable if cancelled or changed before departure.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable after the train has departed, so be sure to make your updates as soon as possible if your travel plans change.

If your Amtrak ticket is eligible for change or cancellation, you can do that by calling Amtrak’s customer service phone number at 1 (800) 872-7245. To cancel or change your booking online, simply go to www.amtrak.com and click on the “Modify Trip” tab in the upper right corner.

Wanderu also offers an affordable trip protection option by Allianz Global Assistance that you can purchase when booking your tickets. In addition to 24-hour assistance during your trip and coverage for lost or damaged baggage, trip protection can help you get your money back in case you need to cancel or change your trip. You can file a claim to have any Amtrak change or cancellation fees reimbursed if you cannot travel due to covered reasons such as illness, extreme weather, or required work shifts.

Amtrak Train Guide & FAQs

Where can you travel on an Amtrak train?

As the most popular train service in the United States, Amtrak has trains running across every major region in the United States, including trains connecting American cities and Canadian cities. In fact, you could get from coast to coast, or even around the entire U.S. by Amtrak train. Amtrak has an especially strong presence on both the West Coast and the East Coast, with trains from LA to Seattle and Miami to New York. It also connects the Midwest to both coasts, with train stations in major cities like Chicago.

What is Amtrak's luggage policy?

Amtrak's luggage policy is fairly generous. Each passenger can bring two personal carry-on items, two carry-on bags, and two checked bags for free. Passengers may also check an additional two bags, for a fee of $20 each.

  • Personal Items — Passengers are allowed two personal items of no more than 25 pounds each, not to exceed the following dimensions: 14 x 11 x 7 inches.
  • Carry-On Items — Passengers are allowed two carry on items of no more than 50 pounds each, to be stowed on designated racks or in the compartment above the seat. These bags should not exceed the following dimensions: 28 x 22 x 14 inches.
  • Checked Bags — Passengers are allowed up to four checked bags. The first two are free of charge, and the second two cost $20 each. Bags are not to exceed 50 pounds and 75 linear inches (length + width + height).

Here are some additional requirements to keep in mind:

  • Your luggage should be checked at least 45 minutes before the train departs.
  • ID tags are required for all luggage.
  • All luggage must be in containers that are suitable for transport (storage tubs and plastic bags are not allowed).

Do Amtrak trains have WiFi?

Yes, Amtrak offers WiFi on their trains. Although most trips with Amtrak will have WiFi as advertised, some trains might not come equipped with WiFi and onboard WiFi can lose its connection in rural areas. We recommend you bring a book or download a movie just to play it safe. Amtrak WiFi is generally best used for surfing the web, checking emails and chatting with friends; you shouldn’t count on the WiFi to binge watch your favorite show.

Are there power points or USB points on the train?

Yes, there are power outlets onboard Amtrak trains. You can generally find one or two sockets per row of seats, so be a good traveller and check if your seat neighbor might want to charge up their devices as well. With the onboard power outlets, you can charge both a computer and USB devices with a USB power adapter that typically comes with most phones and tablets.

Since Amtrak might sometimes use replacement train vehicles, not all trips are guaranteed to have power points. We recommend to bring a power bank to charge your phone for all trips over 2 hours, just in case.

What is Amtrak's schedule?

Because Amtrak operates in so many different regions, the schedule varies widely depending on the route. Amtrak is actually divided into over 40 regional services, each with its own timetables. These regional services include the following popular routes:

Can you buy a train ticket at the station?

You can buy a train ticket at most large train stations, which are staffed with Amtrak ticket agents. If a ticket agent is not available, many stations provide a Quik-Trak Kiosk from which you can purchase a ticket directly.

If your nearest station is not big enough to sell tickets in-person, you can purchase online at Amtrak.com or via an online booking platform like Wanderu. Alternatively, Amtrak allows you to buy tickets over the phone 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.

Do you need an ID to get on the train?

Yes, Amtrak requires you to present an ID to an agent to be allowed to board the train. Make sure you have identification issued by a government agency that meets the carrier’s requirements. Alternative IDs, such as a college ID, won’t work.

What are Amtrak’s COVID-19 policies?

Visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide to view the most up-to-date information about Amtrak’s cleaning protocols and adjusted ticket change policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Are there toilets on Amtrak trains?

Yes, there are bathrooms on Amtrak trains. The bathrooms are pretty basic and include a toilet, toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Most bathrooms don’t have running water. As you will be using a bathroom on a moving vehicle, please use caution and hold on to a rail at all times.

Are meals or beverages available?

Many Amtrak trains have diner cars with meal service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prices and selections vary between different routes; menus are updated regularly. Additionally, most trains will have various snacks and beverages available for purchase. Most passenger cars also have free water from a water dispenser.

Do you need to print your Amtrak ticket?

Amtrak does not require a printed ticket for boarding. Upon purchase, eTickets will be delivered as a PDF attached to your confirmation email. Simply pull up the eTicket on your mobile device and present a valid ID to the conductor when prompted. For more details, see our guide on how to read an Amtrak ticket.

Does Amtrak offer any premium features like extra legroom or movies?

Amtrak goes the extra distance to deliver premium features to its customers.

Do you find yourself squished in a regular seat or just love having extra room to sprawl out? Well you’re in luck as Amtrak offers extra legroom seating. Since there is no standard of what extra legroom is, the extra space you get may vary between train lines, but getting extra is always good.

Cheap Amtrak tickets recently found on Wanderu

With 34,917 Amtrak trips per day, there are a lot of great deals to uncover for the bargain hunter and Amtrak tickets start at just €0.51. Check out some of the latest and greatest deals snatched up by Wanderu users.

How do I get the best deal on Amtrak tickets?

Wanderu is the best place to score cheap Amtrak tickets. Wanderu offers the lowest available fares every day and charges no extra booking fees. Plus, you can compare Amtrak prices with trips offered by other train companies to be sure you’re getting the best deal on your tickets!

Pro travelers know that booking your ticket well in advance is key to finding the lowest price. Ticket prices normally go up the closer you get to the travel date, so don’t miss out on a good deal when you see one. If you can be flexible with your travel date, you can also get cheap tickets by traveling on weekdays instead of weekends.

When you’re ready to book, type your departure city and destination city in the search bar above, select your travel date, and let Wanderu work its magic to show you all of the best bus and train ticket prices available for your trip. Pick the ticket that’s best for your budget, schedule, and preferences, and complete the booking right on Wanderu to secure your great deal.

Wanderu is the simplest way to book coach and train travel.

With just a quick search on Wanderu, you can compare coach and train schedules and prices from hundreds of travel companies in one convenient place to find the trip that works best for you. Wanderu’s simple checkout process makes it easy to book cheap coach and train tickets hassle-free and with no additional fees. Most importantly, as Wanderu is an official partner of all leading bus and train companies, we always have the best coach and train deals out there.

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