Tips for Rail Travel
Need Help While Traveling
Travelers Aid maintains information booths in 4 North American train stations:
- Washington Union Station
- Philadelphia 30th Street Station
- San Diego Santa Fe Rail Station
- Toronto Union Station
In addition, Travellers Aid Australia operates information booths at 3 railway stations in Melbourne.
Amtrak permits 4 carry-on items and 4 checked bags.
- The railroad is now charging for the third and fourth checked suitcase.
- Check the Amtrak website for specifics concerning weight, sizes and packing suggestions.
- Luggage must be checked at least 45 minutes prior to your train’s scheduled train departure.
- If you will be transferring between stations, plan for at least 2 hours of scheduled layover time to ensure your luggage is transferred to your new train.
While reservations are encouraged, tickets are still sold at the station and on-board the train.
- Amtrak recommends that travelers arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time and even earlier at larger stations and during busy travel times. Plan for long lines at busy stations.
- If you are re-entering the U.S. on an Amtrak train departing a Canadian station, it is recommended that you arrive at the station at least an hour ahead of time to clear U.S. Customs prior to boarding your train.
Amtrak is also governed by TSA regulations.
- Amtrak passengers cannot bring weapons or explosive onboard the train.
- Other bulky items, such as bicycles and car parts, are also banned from checked luggage.
- Amtrak has a list of restrictions on its website. Some of these items may be shipped for a special fee.
While Amtrak has a variety of dining options, depending upon the length of the trip, passengers are permitted to bring along their own food and beverages, including alcoholic beverages. There are some restrictions.