The summer of train travel: Amtrak to restore daily service on 12 long-distance routes
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Wednesday’s announcement showed Amtrak’s commitment to long-distance train travel, a service that it wants to resume sooner, rather than later.
Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more travel news!
Made possible by government COVID-19 relief funding, Amtrak said that not only can it resume the 12 long-distance routes with daily service, but it will also recall more than 1,200 furloughed employees throughout the remainder of 2021 and into 2022. The funding is pending President Biden’s signature.
Amtrak will resume the following routes with daily service as of May 24:
- California Zephyr (Chicago – Omaha – Denver — Salt Lake City – San Francisco)
- Coast Starlight (Seattle – Portland — Sacramento – Oakland – Los Angeles)
- Empire Builder (Chicago – St. Paul-Minneapolis – Spokane – Portland/Seattle)
- Texas Eagle (Chicago – St. Louis – Dallas – San Antonio – Los Angeles)
The following routes will resume with daily service as of May 31:
- Capitol Limited (Washington, D.C. – Pittsburgh – Cleveland – Chicago)
- City of New Orleans (Chicago – Memphis – Jackson – New Orleans)
- Lake Shore Limited (New York/Boston – Albany – Buffalo – Chicago)
- Southwest Chief (Chicago – Kansas City – Albuquerque – Los Angeles)
Finally, the following four routes will regain daily service as of June 7:
- Crescent (New York – Washington, D.C. – Atlanta – New Orleans)
- Palmetto (New York – Washington, D.C. – Charleston – Savannah)
- Silver Meteor (New York – Savannah – Jacksonville – Orlando – Miami)
- Silver Star (New York – Raleigh – Jacksonville – Orlando – Tampa – Miami)
“Offering daily long-distance service represents a vital step in our road to recovery,” said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn. “Recognizing the immense value of our employees, we’d like to thank Congress for enabling service restoration and helping us recall furloughed employees.”
Amtrak’s not just focussing on its long-distance routes in a post-COVID-19 world. Last year, Amtrak showed off the interiors of its brand-new Acela train cars, which will enter service at some point in 2021. While not a long-distance route — with service between Boston and Washington, D.C. via New York — the new Acela trains will hold 378 passengers and feature reliable Wi-Fi and new interiors, among other improvements.
Earlier this week, Amtrak announced it would be adding sleeper rooms to its popular Northeast Regional route between Washington, D.C. and Boston, with tickets costing as low as $199 one-way.
In January, the long-awaited follow-up to Penn Station opened in New York City. Called the Moynihan Train Hall, the $1.6 billion renovation and expansion project features a baggage claim and new flagship Amtrak lounge.
Learn more about Amtrak:
Featured photo by Laser1987/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees