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The summer of train travel: Amtrak to restore daily service on 12 long-distance routes

March 11, 2021
3 min read
The summer of train travel: Amtrak to restore daily service on 12 long-distance routes
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Amtrak sees the return to travel starting as soon as this summer. On Wednesday, the company announced that it will restore 12 long-distance routes with daily services.

Wednesday's announcement showed Amtrak's commitment to long-distance train travel, a service that it wants to resume sooner, rather than later.

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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.

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Related: The brand new Amtrak Acela fleet is coming; Here’s a look inside the new trains

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.

Related: You can now upgrade your next Amtrak trip with new bidding system, but is it worth it?

Learn more about Amtrak:

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023