Amtrak train at Santa Barbara

Amtrak Prepares for Thanksgiving Travelers Nationwide

Thanksgiving traditionally is one of the busiest traveled periods of the year. This year, however, travel is different, but there are still numerous options to get where you need to go in the case that you are traveling this year.

Last month, Amtrak reduced majority of its overnight, long-distance routes to three days per week, so passengers travel options are more limited. Many corridor routes are offering daily travel options, such as departures from Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. Safety measures are in place on all routes throughout the system including onboard social distancing, required face coverings, and additional contactless options such as ticket purchases through the Amtrak app.

Amtrak is actively monitoring ticket sales and is adding more cars on selected routes to allow for additional passengers to travel without the worry of unnecessary crowding onboard.

“This holiday season, customers can travel in confidence while avoiding unnecessary traffic,” said Ray Lang, the Amtrak Vice President responsible for state-sponsored services nationwide. “With our enhanced safety measures, we want to ensure our customers feel a renewed sense of confidence when they travel with us this holiday season.” 

West Coast

In the San Francisco Bay Area, all Capitol Corridor trains and connecting Thruway buses will require reservations starting Monday, November 23 through Monday, November 29, 2020. Capitol Corridor trains operate between Sacramento, Oakland, and San Jose with numerous connecting bus routes throughout the state.

In Southern California, Pacific Surfliner trains, between San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego, will also require reservations for all travel starting Monday, November 23 through Monday, November 29, 2020. Additionally, multi-ride tickets on each route must be confirmed prior to travel.

To provide more flexibility for customers and increase available seats on peak travel days, the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner is offering an additional round-trip that will operate between San Diego and Los Angeles on 11/25 and 11/29. Additional trains will operate as follows:

  • Wednesday, November 25, 2020: Southbound train 572 will depart Los Angeles at 10:54 a.m., making all scheduled stops on the way to San Diego, arriving at 1:52 p.m. Northbound train 591 will depart San Diego at 5:22 p.m., making all scheduled stops on the way to Los Angeles, arriving at 8:34 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 29, 2020: Southbound train 1572 will depart Los Angeles at 11:20 a.m., making all scheduled stops on the way to San Diego, arriving at 2:13 p.m. Northbound train 1591 will depart San Diego at 5:25 p.m., making all scheduled stops on the way to Los Angeles, arriving at 8:28 p.m.

East Coast

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA), has announced that the Amtrak Downeaster will operate a regular full schedule, which currently includes four daily round-trips between Brunswick and Boston, throughout the upcoming holiday travel period including Thanksgiving Day. In past years, an abridged holiday schedule was offered, but the full schedule provides more options for travelers this year and supports social distancing.

“We hope to make the 2020 holiday travel experience as pleasant as possible and are committed to providing a safe and comfortable travel experience that our riders can depend on,” said NNEPRA Marketing Director, Natalie Bogart. 

Other routes throughout the country already require reservations for everyday travel. For complete travel details, including fares and schedules, visit

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