FAQs USA Rail Passes and Train Tickets

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FAQ's USA

Pass Information

Reservations & Tickets

Luggage

Facilities

How do I validate my Amtrak Pass?

You validate your Amtrak Pass by presenting your pass at the railway station prior to your first sector of travel.
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Are seat reservations included in my Pass?

Yes seat reservations for economy class are included however a supplement is payable for First and Business class travel.
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Are sleepers included in my Pass?

No, to book a sleeper you must pay an extra cost on top of your pass.
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Are meals included in my Pass?

Meals are not included in your pass but can be purchased on board.
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Do I need to pre book my seat?

Seat reservations are compulsory on all Amtrak services and must be pre booked.

Passes can be open dated but you must have a seat reservation before boarding the train. Reservations can be made before departure in Australia with International Rail. If you are already in the USA, you can make a seat reservation at any Amtrak train station. At the time of booking, a point-to-point ticket will be issued and you will also be allocated a seat reservation.

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How far in advance can I reserve my seat?

Pass holders - within 180 days from the date you purchase your pass.

Non pass holders - Within 11 months

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How much are seat reservations?

Seat reservations are free.
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What is the difference between First, Business & Economy class on Amtrak?

Economy class is available on all Amtrak trains except Acela Express. Amtrak coaches feature comfortable seats with fold down trays and individual reading lights (may not be available on some short distance trains).

Business class on Acela Express offers reserved seating with extra leg room, at-seat outlets for lap tops and at-seat tray tables. On regional and many short to medium distance trains, Business class offers reserved seating with extra legroom, at-seat outlets for lap tops and complimentary non alcoholic beverages (except on those trains that operate between New York and Albany).

First class for personalised attention, Amtrak offers First class service on all Acela Express trains. First class offers spacious seating with at-seat service in a quiet, elegant atmosphere. Included in your First class purchase is your choice of meal and complimentary beverage, including wine by the glass, fresh linen and hot towels and complimentary newspaper.
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What is the difference between a Roomette and a Bedroom on Amtrak?

Superliner Roomettes, on both levels, include an upper and lower berth. In the Roomette restroom facilities are not located within the room but are available nearby, as is a public shower, which is not wheelchair accessible.

Superliner Bedrooms include two berths (upper and lower), with a sink and toilet. In Bedrooms, the restroom facilities are enclosed and include a shower.

Viewliner Roomettes and Bedrooms. All room types include two berths (upper and lower), with a sink and toilet.
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Are seat numbers allocated when I exchange my vouchers at the station?

As a rule Amtrak does not assign seat numbers on trains. On long distance trains passengers may be assigned to a specific "car" based on their destination. The assignments are normally handled by the train crew on the day of departure.
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Can I request window seats or close to seats when I go exchange their voucher?

Amtrak does not assign specific seats. As such, the passenger is free to sit wherever they please once they board the train.
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Can I exchange my voucher before the date of travel on the ticket?

Yes, vouchers can be exchanged at any staffed Amtrak ticket office. That can be done on/before the passenger's day-of-departure.
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How many people can a bedroom accommodate?

Most sleeping car rooms are designed to comfortably accommodate two averaged-sized adults, one in each berth. Some rooms can accommodate more: on Superliner trains, for example, Family Bedrooms are designed to accommodate two adults and two children. Regular Bedrooms (not Roomettes, Family Bedrooms or Accessible Bedrooms) can be combined to create Bedroom Suites. In addition, lower berths in all Bedrooms (but not Roomettes) can accommodate two small adults or children, allowing up to three to share a room.
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Are meals included with my sleeping accommodations?

Yes. Sleeping accommodations are considered "Sleeper Service" accommodations aboard Amtrak. As Sleeper Service passengers, you and your sleeping car companions (up to the maximum passenger capacity for your accommodation) are entitled to receive all regular meals as part of your accommodations.
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What age is considered a Senior?

The Senior age for Amtrak is 62 years and over.

Sleepers
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What are the luggage restrictions?

Guidelines for Carry on luggage

Two piece limit: Each passenger may bring aboard no more than 2 pieces of carry on luggage. Not included in this limit are personal items such as briefcase, handbag, laptops and infant paraphernalia such as strollers, diaper bags and car seats.

50 pound limit: Each carry on bag may weigh no more than 50 lbs (approx 22kg).

Size limit: Each carry on bag my not exceed 28x22x14 inches in size.

Visible Tag required: Each carry on bag must be visibly tagged with the name and address of the passenger. Passengers may use their own personal identification tags, or may obtain Amtrak luggage identification tags at station ticket offices, or onboard trains from a member of the train crew.

Excess Carry On Bags

A $20 excess baggage fee will be charged for each carry-on and personal item above the quantity and size limits. A maximum of two excess bags are permitted per passenger. Fees will be collected at the station or onboard the train if the station is unstaffed. If checked baggage is available, you can check two bags through to your final destination free of charge.

Guidelines for Checked luggage

Two piece Limit: Each ticketed passenger may check up to three pieces of luggage at no charge. Up to three additional pieces may be checked upon payment of USD 20.00 per piece.

50 pound limit: Each carry on bag may weigh no more than 50 lbs. Amtrak will not accept heavier pieces.
Size limit: Each carry on bag my not exceed 36x36x36 inches in size.

Suitable Bags: Please be sure to pack your luggage using sturdy luggage or containers that are capable of withstanding expected handling. Please note that Amtrak does not accept plastic storage containers, lightweight suit bags, and other similar items as checked luggage.

2 Additional Bags - $20 Each
Oversize Baggage (76 - 100 Linear Inches) - $20 Each

Baggage Tags: Attach your name and address to each item. Free identification tags are available at stations or from crew members, or you may use your own.

Where available: checked baggage service is available at many stations and on most trains and Amtrak Thruway buses throughout the country.

Check in Time: Please check all luggage at least 30 minutes prior to departure , and longer for special items. Luggage checked less than 30 minutes prior to departure may be delayed.

Claiming checked luggage: Checked luggage will be available for claiming generally within 30 minutes of arrival. However, some items may require additional handling and therefore may take up to 60 minutes.

Be prepared to identify your luggage by the claim check numbers. Storage charges apply to luggage not claimed within 2 days of arrival.

ID required: to check luggage, you must have a valid photo ID.

Special items: Amtrak accepts a number of special items such as baby strollers, bicycles, golf bags, musical instruments, and skis (one set per bag, container). In most cases there is a handling charge of USD 5.00 per special item.
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Is luggage assistance/storage available at USA stations?

Red Cap service is available to help load luggage onto the train, however each passenger is responsible for their own luggage once onboard the train.
Many major railway stations offer porters to assist with luggage handing (for a small fee). Alternatively, most stations have trolleys/carts available for hire from a machine that will require local currency
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What dining facilities are available?

Amtrak offers a Cafe Car for short journeys, serving a selection of sandwiches, snacks, non alcoholic & alcoholic beverages that you can enjoy in the cafe carriage or take back to your seat. Long distance trains offer a Dining car with restaurant-style service and menus. Meals are reasonably priced between USD10 - 14 for a main course. Special menus are available for those with dietary requirements and children.
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