Amtrak - News, updates, upgrades, etc


That’s explained in this article here:

The decision to reconfigure seating in each coach so that half of the seats face in different directions [see “Fixed forward and backward seating to speed Northeast Regional equipment turns …,” Trains News Wire, Feb. 28, 2024] means trains can forego a time-consuming, non-revenue trip to a wye or loop track at Washington and New York, allowing trains to be sent back out more quickly.


The exact process is further explained here:

The new configuration should save a lot of time. Prior to this, when the trains reached their terminal points, such as Boston or Washington, D.C., Amtrak crews would either turn the seats around manually (they have swivel mechanisms that allow that) or they would go to a trainyard and the cars would be reversed. Either way took a couple of hours.

Now, with half the seats permanently facing forward and half facing backward, there’s no need for that.

“By not taking the time to turn the seats around in Boston or Washington they are going to save a couple of hours,” said Strauss.

“If you leave the seats in place in this configuration at the endpoint stations, crews no longer need to spend the time and effort swapping the seats to face the direction of travel. This effort is not trivial,” added Jim Mathews, president and CEO of the Rail Passengers Association, a national group of Amtrak users.

He figures the change can easily save two hours after each trip.


There are unique colors for certain Amtrak trains. Obviously these are not very familiar to us in the Northeast.


A bit of Eastern Europe in Eastern Pennsylvania (and I’m not talking about Bustleton)!


Depending on the direction the train is running, there are some forward facing seats in the reconfigured cars where you are not facing opposite. I think the trick to snagging these seats is trying to get into queue as early was possible. Also if you keep walking along the train set until you find cars with few people in them you’re more likely to grab these seats.

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Lots of folks defrauding Amtrak these days


It’s only going to get worse with AI.

Q&A with Amtrak’s executive vice president of capital delivery.


Paywall :roll_eyes:

Baltimore Penn Station’s scaffolding is starting to come down.


A pretty little station. The waiting room is a gem.


Update on expanded Amtrak service to southwest Virginia

Update on planned New Orleans-Mobile route


Portland, Maine

Portland Press Herald graphic by Jake Laws


Essex Junction, Vermont

They are building a new platform raised 8 inches above the track level.


Amtrak’s new train between Chicago and St Paul, MN (“Borealis” train) will launch May 21. I checked the Amtrak app myself, and it’s true what they wrote in Reddit. This train follows the same route as the Chicago-Portland/Seattle “Empire Builder” train.

Source: Reddit - Dive into anything


Now confirmed by Amtrak:


Official announcement press release by Amtrak.


Northern California update


Another Amtrak flash sale -
Book through May 16 for travel from June 1 to Aug 30
$7.00 Philly to NYC!


Amtrak service to Montreal will be shut down for more than a month due to trackwork.

It was also shut down for most of last summer due to heat-related speed restrictions in Canada (the track in Canada is in very bad shape).

ALBANY, N.Y. — Amtrak’s Adirondack will be cancelled north of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. between May 20 and June 29, passengers already ticketed on the New York City-Montreal train were informed this week.

Anyone trying to book a reservation for those dates on Amtrak’s website receives the message, “We do not have any services between the cities entered on the date(s) you selected. Please try different date(s).” As of today (Thursday, May 9), the “Service Alerts and Notices” section of the website does not include an advisory with information on the cancellation or informing passengers when service will be available.

The Adirondack will continue to operate as a daily round trip on its existing schedule between New York City and Saratoga Springs, whose famed racing facility will serve as the substitute site of this year’s Belmont Stakes, part of horse racing’s Triple Crown, on June 8. The Ethan Allen Express also serves Saratoga and Fort Edward-Glens Falls, N.Y. on the Adirondack’s route, but six other New York stations on the remaining 184 miles north to Montreal are losing service.

The 41-day service disruption occurs just as summer travel demand heats up and Amtrak announces a summer fare sale promising reductions “up to 30% on coach and Acela business class travel.”

Early this week, Trains News Wire asked Amtrak and Canadian National for the specific reason for the cancellation and why no alternate transportation is being provided, followed by a similar request to the New York governor’s office. As of late this afternoon, only Amtrak had responded. Its statement: “Due to anticipated track work, Amtrak has modified Adirondack service on a short-term basis from May 20 to June 30 and will only operate between New York City and Saratoga Springs.”