Amtrak Suggests Travelers Buy Tickets Now for Thanksgiving Travel

Amtrak is urging travelers to buy tickets for Thanksgiving travel now although its announcements have not said whether additional cars will be added to trains during the holiday travel period.

A news release posted on the Amtrak website referenced “available seats added on many routes to maintain distancing.”

That may suggest additional coaches will be added to some trains.

In the past, Amtrak has indicated in its holiday travel news releases that all available equipment would be used during the Thanksgiving travel period.

However, concurrent with the intercity passenger carrier’s reducing the frequency of operation of nearly all long-distance trains to tri-weekly, Amtrak also has reduced the number of cars assigned to most trains.

In recent years, additional trains have operated for the Thanksgiving travel period in Illinois and Michigan, but that seems unlikely this year.

Those states have reduced their funding of Amtrak service and the number of trains on most Midwest corridor routes has been reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In its latest news release, Amtrak has reiterated that trains will not be operating at full capacity in order to maintain social distancing during the pandemic. Seating will be half of capacity in coaches.

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