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.
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!
WELCOME OFFER: 100,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $2,000
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.