Is it Safe to Take Amtrak?

I’ve had several inquiries over the past few weeks from folks wanting to know what the on-board services are like on Amtrak’s long-distance trains. The answer to that is . . . I think I know, but please remember that I’m stuck out here in the middle of the Pacific, almost three thousand miles from the nearest Amtrak train. That said, here’s what a believe is an accurate summery:

Not all trains are running according to the published schedules, so be sure to specifically ask about your destination when booking. Here are some changes we already know about:

  • Effective October 1st, all of Amtrak’s long-distance trains will operate on a 3-days-a-week schedule. Call Amtrak Reservations for exact days.
  • Many trains are operating on adjusted schedules and there are frequent changes. When booking, ask specifically if service is still being provided to your destination. There is no service into Canada on any route.
  • Amtrak is selling fewer seats per train so that passengers can be seated with at least six feet of space between them and other passengers.
  • Face masks are required of all passengers and crew.
  • Pre-Packaged frozen meals are served in dining cars on long-distance trains and the six-feet-of-separation rule is observed (read: enforced).

It does seem to me that you can travel safely on Amtrak. But I would urge you to take all the usual precautions and do not “cheat” on any of them.   If you do, chances are (as the conductors love to say), “Our next stop will be your last.”

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