How to Travel on Amtrak

How to Travel on Amtrak
Many famous writers have expounded on the mystique of train travel. Amtrak travels directly to many hiking and skiing destinations, which makes train travel a viable way to meet other outdoor enthusiasts while en route to an outdoor adventure.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Train tickets Route map Luggage Identification Comfortable travel clothes
  • Train tickets
  • Route map
  • Luggage
  • Identification
  • Comfortable travel clothes
Step 1
Plan a route by studying Amtrak brochures and timetables, which can be found online or at the train station. Trains on some route operate just three days a week, so check to ensure that service on your desired route operates daily. If not, you will need to plan your trip on a day when the train does operate.
Step 2
Make your reservation on the Amtrak website, by calling the toll-free reservations number or at the Amtrak station if it is staffed by an agent. Your tickets can be mailed to you, you can pick them up at an Amtrak station, or you can purchase them aboard the train if the station at which you are boarding does not have an agent or the ticket office was closed at train departure time.
Step 3
Check the baggage allowances and pack accordingly. Amtrak allows three pieces of checked luggage and two carry-on bags. Your bags must not weigh more than 50 pounds each. Skis, snowboards and bicycles must be checked. Consider wearing some of your items to save baggage space. For example, hiking boots provide ankle security when walking through the train. Some trains get chilly, so wear an extra layer of clothing. If it gets too warm, you can use your fleece pullover as a pillow.
Step 4
Determine the available modes of transportation from the train station. For example, if you are staying at a hiking or a ski lodge, find out if it will pick you up at the train station. If it does not, inquire as to whether there is a local taxi service. This information is available for every station in the Amtrak timetable in the section labeled "Amtrak Service Locations."

Tips & Warnings

 
If you are traveling on an overnight train, consider booking a sleeper car accomodation. Check the on-time status of your train on the Amtrak website or by calling the toll-free reservation telephone number.
 
If you are traveling on an overnight train, consider booking a sleeper car accomodation.
 
Check the on-time status of your train on the Amtrak website or by calling the toll-free reservation telephone number.
 
Not all Amtrak trains offered checked baggage service. Many stations also do not have checked luggage service. You mayt not be allowed to board the train without proper identification.
 
Not all Amtrak trains offered checked baggage service. Many stations also do not have checked luggage service.
 
You mayt not be allowed to board the train without proper identification.

Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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