You can now avoid crowds for train departures with the Amtrak app
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Have you ever witnessed travelers crowding to board a plane or train the moment the doors open?
Gate lice behavior may be here to stay, but you don’t have to stand around for it — at least when traveling with Amtrak, anyway. Now for select Amtrak stations, you can track real-time gate and departure information directly through the Amtrak app.
The app feature allows travelers to avoid clustering around departure boards and other information signage, like they currently do at Penn Station, before making the mad dash to the right track. This process is annoying during the best of times, and potentially harmful during these times of heightened infection risk.
Penn Station will be the latest Amtrak destination to display real-time track and departure information within the app — the functionality will be added by July 2020. Existing stations with tracking information include:
- Sacramento, Calif.
- Berlin, Conn.
- Meriden, Conn.
- Wallingford, Conn.
- Wilmington, Del.
- Washington, D.C.
- Jacksonville, Fla.
- Carlinville, Ill.
- Normal-Bloomington, Ill.
- Aberdeen, Md.
- Baltimore, Md.
- BWI/Thurgood Marshall Airport, Md.
- New Carrollton, Md.
- Havre, Mont.
- Omaha, Neb.
- Rochester, N.Y.
- Klamath falls, Ore.
- Salem, Ore.
- Philadelphia, Penn.
- Austin, Texas
- Houston, Texas
- Richmond (Staples Mill), Va.
- Tukwila, Wash.
Tracking your train track and departure information isn’t the only feature available within the newly updated Amtrak app. You can stay efficient and germ-free by accomplishing the following tasks, all from your trusty smartphone:
- Show your scannable eTicket while onboard, including multi-ride and monthly passes, bypassing the need for printed tickets.
- Purchase one-way, roundtrip, multi-ride and monthly tickets, either by credit card or with Amtrak Guest Rewards points
- Check the status of your train
- Find station hours and addresses
- Get real-time gate and track boarding information at select stations
- Edit and manage your account profile
- Save credit cards for quick checkout (these are the best cards to use for train travel)
- Send your eTicket to Apple Wallet
The app is free for both Android and iPhone devices, and can also be used on an iPad. The Amtrak website is also mobile-friendly, so you can pull up any browser window to access the Multi-city tickets are not supported, but can be purchased through the Amtrak website. And you can “favorite” the Amtrak stations you use the most often by selecting them within the app.
Amtrak has made a number of customer-friendly changes in recent months, including extending elite status for travelers impacted by coronavirus lockdowns, as well as extending the expiration date on Amtrak Guest Rewards points.
Featured photo courtesy of Amtrak/Doug Riddell.
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