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Everything you need to know about Amtrak

Choosing Amtrak with Virail

Begin your American rail adventure with Virail. When you use Virail and Amtrak, you have the choice of over 500 destinations, in 46 states, on 30 plus different train routes. Amtrak also travel as far north as Montreal, in Canada. Whether you want to travel south to north, or east to west, using our platform you can plan your Amtrak rail journey to suit your personal travel itinerary. Working with Virail, you can find the cheapest one-way ticket on the day you want to travel, or plan a round-trip, returning by a different route. With your rail journey planned, we will automatically redirect you to the provider’s platform where you can book and purchase your tickets.

About Amtrak

Amtrak is America’s national rail carrier, and made up of over 20 rail operators who amalgamated back in 1971. In May of that year, the very first Amtrak service pulled out of New-York station, bound for Philadelphia. Today, Amtrak operates over 300 train journeys daily, covering more than 21,000 miles through 46 American states. When you travel across America by Amtrak, you travel in style. On your journey, you will benefit from a totally different perspective of stunning mountain ranges, wide flat prairies, dry arid deserts, magnificent sprawling cities, and places you will only ever see when traveling by rail.

Main routes and stations

With over 500 destinations, there are few places you can’t go with Amtrak. Enjoy the picturesque countryside on long-distance routes that cross the country, taking you either along the coast or through the heart of the United States. Some of these are epic multi-day routes, offering an eco-friendly, low-carbon-emission alternative to traveling from city to city by plane. These sweeping routes include the following: Coast Starlight: Stopping at Seattle - Portland - Sacramento - Los Angeles. Empire Builder: Stopping at Chicago - St. Paul/Minneapolis - Spokane - Portland/Seattle California Zephyr: Stopping at Chicago – Omaha – Denver – Salt Lake City – Emeryville (San Francisco). Or travel from city to city on shorter routes like: Capitol Corridor: Stopping at Auburn – Sacramento – Emeryville (San Francisco) – Oakland – San Jose. Amtrak Hartford Line: Stopping at New Haven – Hartford – Springfield. The Acela: Stopping at Boston – New Haven – New York – Philadelphia – Baltimore – Washington DC.

Amtrak ticket pricing and categories

With so many routes and destinations available, Amtrak offers a range of different ticket categories, to give all travelers the best option at the best price. Saver Fares: The cheapest Amtrak fares available. Limited in number, the earlier you book your trip, the better your chance of making extra savings on your journey. Saver fares are available on reserved coach and Acela Business Class routes. Refundable only within 24hrs of purchase. Value Fares: Value fares are Amtrak’s regular ticket prices. Although limited in numbers, they are available on all routes. Value fares apply to unreserved, reserved, and Acela Business Class coaches. Full refund if canceled eight or more days prior to travel. Flexible Fares: Fully refundable without any cancellation fee. Flexible fares are great for those who might want to make last-minute changes to their travel plans, without incurring any additional costs. Flexible fares apply to unreserved and reserved coaches and Acela Business Class. Flexible fares can also be purchased on board the train. Business Fares: You don’t have to be on business, to enjoy an enhanced Amtrak railway experience. Situated in dedicated coaches, business class travelers can enjoy the same extras and high level of service you would expect from a leading travel operator. Business class fares apply to Non-Acela Business Class, and are fully refundable if canceled prior to departure. Premium Fares: Premium tickets offer the luxury of traveling in Acela First Class and, on those long cross-country journeys, high-quality Sleeper Accommodation. Offering premium amenities, premium fares give you access to the Club Acela lounge, and complimentary food and drink. Full refunds are available if canceled before departure.

Main Transportation types used by Amtrak

Amtrak is involved in America’s rail network, covering over 21,000 miles, through 46 US states. It even crosses into Canada to reach the border cities of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. The company divides its routes into three categories: Northeast Corridor (NEC), state-supported, and long-distance routes. The NEC is the only route that the Acela Express, the fastest train in the Americas, operates on. Special mention should be given to the Auto Train that runs non-stop between Lorton, Virginia, and Sanford, Florida. You can drive your car into specially designed wagons, but you spend your time in one of the passenger cars during the 17-hour journey.

Main amenities offered by Amtrak

  • Sleeping berths on long-distance trains.
  • A range of seating accommodation depending on ticket level.
  • A range of dining options.
  • Bicycles and pets allowed on some routes.
  • Wi-Fi available on most routes.
  • A quiet car available on many routes.
  • Toilets in all the trains.

Amtrak – Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any boarding rules? Amtrak trains run a very punctual service. Because all stations differ, it is recommended you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the stated departure time. If you are traveling with your vehicle on the Auto Train, you should arrive at least two hours before departure. How do I book a ticket? Once you have selected your journey, ticket type, and traveling dates on Virail, you will be directed to Amtrak’s booking portal to complete the transaction. How do I choose my seat? Seating is assigned at the time of booking, and can be changed at no extra cost. However, on some short-distance routes, seats will not be guaranteed if you book an unreserved coach class seat. How can I change or cancel my ticket? Tickets can be changed or canceled online from the booking portal by entering your reservation number and email address. How can I get a refund for my ticket? To get a refund for your ticket, first you will need to cancel. Depending on the type of booking, you may receive a refund of your funds, or an eVoucher. Cancellation fees apply in some cases. How can I reach Amtrak's customer service? Amtrak's customer service can be reached online, by email, or by calling 00 1 215-856-7924. What is Amtrak's luggage policy? Passengers are permitted to bring two personal items, each weighing a maximum of 25 lbs and measuring no more than 14 x 11 x 7 inches, as well as two carry-on items, which can weigh up to 50lbs each with a maximum measurement of 28 x 22 x 14 inches per item. Your name and address should be on a tag on the outside of every piece of luggage. Charges will apply for excess luggage. What is Amrak's pet policy? Pets must be booked in advance, for a cost of $26. As there's a limit of five pets per train, be sure to reserve early. Both dogs and cats can be taken on board in carriers, but pet and carrier together must have a maximum weight of 20lbs. This pet carrier counts as one of your pieces of luggage. Some restrictions apply, so be sure to check your route. Does Amtrak offer reduced mobility support? Amtrak endeavors to assist those suffering all forms of disability. Online or mobile app bookings can be made for the deaf, blind, those using mobility devices, and those accompanied by service animals or a traveling companion. Trains are equipped with accessible spaces and areas for wheelchairs. Passengers with reduced mobility will get a discount on both their tickets, and the tickets of their travel companion. Tips to travel cheaper with Amtrak Book at least 14 days in advance to save up to 20% on the cost of your journey. Frequent Amtrak passengers can benefit from signing up to the Amtrak Guest Rewards Program, a points program that can ultimately get you free journeys in the future.

Your journey with Amtrak

If you want to experience as much as possible of this magnificently diverse country, explore America by rail. Many of Amtrak’s routes will take you through parts of the country nothing else can reach. Using our platform, you can plan your journey on some of the world’s most iconic rail routes. Start planning your trip today, and let Virail and Amtrak help provide you with travel opportunities that will be remembered for a lifetime.

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