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Travel Tips

Last major update December 2012

On Track On Line - Amtrak Tips - Web Links

Passenger Train Advocacy and Travel Links

Here are some web sites that have more info about traveling via train and related matters:

The National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) is a lobbying and passenger rail advocacy group. If you would like to help Amtrak to be able to serve you better, the best thing you can do is to join NARP. Their web site also has up-to-date news about Amtrak.

Those looking for a hotel that can be reached by rail after disembarking Amtrak may find this listing from Kevin Korell helpful. Please note that neither Kevin nor OTOL makes any recommendations about the hotels on that list, other than their proximity to a train station.

A huge amount of Amtrak route info can be found at TrainWeb Travel, with other items of train info at TrainWeb.

The Rail Passenger USA site contains a wealth of info about rail travel in the U.S. including very useful route guides.

Railserve has links to many other passenger rail travel web sites.

VIA Rail Canada Train Listing - Compiled by Kevin Korell.

Amtrak-Related Links

The Amtrak Web Site is a primary source for Amtrak information with individual route information, schedules and an on-line reservation system.

Amtrak Press Release pages are updated frequently and provide the very latest information about Amtrak and traveling conditions.

Service disruption notices from Amtrak can be found here.

Amtrak Route Atlas - Amtrak’s Interactive Route Guide.

Amtrak Guest Rewards Amtrak's "Frequent Traveler" Program.

Amtrak‘s Whistle Stop - a community site for everyone who loves train travel as much as we do.

Amtrak Radio Frequencies - If you like to listen to the crews talk while riding Amtrak, you can find the radio frequencies here.

Amtrak Train & Bus Numerical List - Kevin Korell has compiled a comprehensive listing of Amtrak trains and Thruway Buses.

For information about the Auto Train, visit our Amtrak Auto Train Travel Tips section.

Amtrak's Northeast serves the Northeast Corridor and connecting routes. If you will be traveling in the northeast area of the United States, this is a page you should visit.

Amtrak California - Home Page of the Caltrans Amtrak California Services.

Amtrak Cascades - Eugene-Portland-Seattle-Vancouver, BC.

Capitol Corridor - San Jose-Oakland-Sacramento-Auburn.

Heartland Flyer - Oklahoma City-Fort Worth.

A site devoted to a single Amtrak route is the Texas Eagle site, which contains schedule and service information, a trip planner, route guide, and local information for every city along the route, including those served by connecting Thruway motorcoach.

Hiawatha - Chicago-Milwaukee.

North Carolina’s Amtrak - Home Page of the North Carolina Services.

Downeaster - Boston [North Station]-Brunswick, Maine, via Portland.

Amtrak Virginia for services within the State of Virginia.

Final Tip

Last and Perhaps Most Important Tip: Don't ride Amtrak expecting great luxury and a high level of personal service. Amtrak isn't the fabled Orient Express (it's also much less expensive!), and it's also not an airline. Don't expect to be pampered, nor see plastic smiles. Travel on Amtrak has been described as a cross between staying at a resort and camping out. Amtrak employees are a cross-section of America; you will encounter some excellent ones, some mediocre ones, and some who may belong in another line of work.

If you have any unpleasant experiences, take names and talk to the Conductor. You can talk to an Amtrak Customer Relations representative by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL and asking for "customer relations"; letters should not be written until you have talked to Customer Relations. By the way, the customer relations folks would be very pleased to hear about your pleasant experiences too.

With a spirit of adventure and a willingness to "go with the flow" you can expect to have a great time!

Amtrak Travel Tips edited by from personal experience and many inputs from OTOL members, Amtrak travelers and Amtrak employees. Particular thanks to former OTOL Leader HaRRy Sutton.

Amtrak does not endorse this page and other associated On Track On Line pages, nor does it sponsor this or any other On Track On Line page. Amtrak sources were used to compile or confirm some of the information here, but this does not represent official Amtrak information, nor is this information endorsed by Amtrak.

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