Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and if you rely on train travel to make it to your Thanksgiving dinner, you might want to plan ahead this year. Thanksgiving week is the busiest travel period of the year, and Amtrak expects to need every passenger railcar in its fleet, plus the addition of extra train cars. Many routes that don’t typically require reservations will need them, and Amtrak is encouraging riders to buy their tickets in advance to avoid any last-minute holiday stress. Low-fare seats during Thanksgiving week are expected to sell out quickly.
In 2017, Amtrak had its busiest Thanksgiving week ever, transporting over 777,000 passengers across the country. Unsurprisingly, the busiest day was the Sunday following Thanksgiving when everyone was returning home after the long weekend.
To help you plan ahead, Amtrak has released a few tips to keep in mind for Thanksgiving travel:
- Extra trains will run in the Northeast Corridor between Boston and DC.
- Additional capacity will be added to train routes out West, including the Capitol Corridor (Auburn/Sacramento to San Jose via Oakland), San Joaquins (Oakland/Sacramento to Bakersfield), and Pacific Surfliner (San Diego to Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo).
- Reservations will be required for the Pacific Surfliner route between November 21st and the 25th, as well as for the San Joaquins route between November 19th and the 26th.
- Morning trains often have more availability than afternoon and evening trains, so plan accordingly.
- Changes and expansions to other routes can be viewed here.
In preparation for the Thanksgiving rush, Amtrak has also given its trains a facelift with new seat cushions, carpeting, curtains, and restrooms.
To solidify your Thanksgiving travel, visit Amtrak’s booking site now.
H/T: Smarter Travel
Best Travel Credit Cards
Top offers from our partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 bonus points
The Platinum Card®
75,000 bonus points
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 bonus points