FAQ

 

Q: Where can I get general information about traveling on Amtrak, such as when trains operate?

A: For Pacific Surfliner® and San Joaquin® route information, click on View Schedules on the home page.  For fares, visit Amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL. Printed schedules are also available at Amtrak ticket offices, onboard trains and at participating travel agents. You may also request printed schedules from the California Department of Transportation, Division of Rail. To request a printed schedule click on Contact Us

For Capitol Corridor schedules and fares, click here or call 1-877-9-RIDECC (1-877-974-3322).

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Q. Where can I purchase tickets?

A. You may purchase tickets online, from a ticket agent at any staffed Amtrak
station, Quik-Trak kiosk, or through participating travel agents. You can also purchase tickets by phone 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.

For other purchasing options click here.

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Q. Do I need reservations to ride on Amtrak trains?

A. Some trains require advance reservations while others do not.

The Pacific Surfliner and Capitol Corridor are unreserved and do not require advance reservations. However, the Pacific Surfliner offers an optional upgrade to Pacific Business Class, which includes a reserved seat, complimentary coffee, tea, or juice, free newspaper and generous reclining seats with extra legroom.

The San Joaquin, and Amtrak’s interstate long distance trains (such as the Coast Starlight or California Zephyr) as well as most Amtrak Thruway Buses require advance reservations.

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Q. Can I get something to eat on the train?

Amtrak California trains provide a Café Car where you can purchase food, beverages and alcoholic drinks. Food may be consumed in the Café Car or at your seat. Menus vary and are subject to change at any time without notice. Café Cars accept most debit and credit cards. Alcoholic beverages may be consumed onboard only if purchased in the Café Car. You may also bring your own food onboard and consume it at your seat. Please note that preparation of personal food is not permitted in the Café Car, and consumption of personal alcohol is not permitted onboard.  View Sample Menu

Amtrak long distance trains provide full service dining cars offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more information about dining car accommodations click here.

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Q: Can I take my bicycle on the train?

A: Yes.  On Amtrak California trains and Thruway Buses, you can bring your bike along. Space is limited and bike racks are available on a first-come, first-served basis. View our bike policy.

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Q: Is checked baggage service available?

A: Checked baggage services are available at most staffed stations and on Amtrak Thruway buses. However, be advised that not all trains and stations offer checked baggage services. To see which stations offer checked baggage services, refer to individual station information found in the Station Directory.

On Amtrak California, you can take up to 4 bags for FREE!  (2 checked bags plus 2 carry-ons).

Guidelines for Checked Baggage

• Two-Piece Limit: Each ticketed passenger may check up to two pieces of luggage at no charge. Up to two additional pieces may be checked upon payment of $20.00 per piece.

• 50-Pound Limit: Each checked bag may weigh no more than 50 lbs. Heavier pieces will not be accepted.

• Size Limit: Each checked bag at staffed stations may not exceed 25x25x25 inches in size.

• Check-In Time: Check all baggage at least 45 minutes prior to departure. Allow additional time at larger stations, during peak travel times, if you have special items or also need to obtain tickets. Baggage checked less than 45 minutes prior to departure may be delayed.

• Suitable Bags: Pack your baggage using sturdy luggage or containers that are capable of withstanding expected handling. Please note that we do not accept plastic storage containers, lightweight suit bags, and other similar items as checked baggage.

• Baggage Tags: Attach your name and address to each item. Free identification tags are available at stations or from crew members, or you may use your own.

Guidelines for Carry-On Baggage

• Two-Piece Limit: Each passenger may bring aboard no more than two pieces of carry-on baggage. Not included in this limit are personal items such as purses, briefcases, laptop computers, baby items - such as strollers, diaper bags and car seats, and equipment required for a passenger’s medical condition such as breathing assistance devices and oxygen tanks.

• 50-Pound Limit: Each carry-on bag may weigh no more than 50 lbs.

• Size Limit: Each carry-on bag may not exceed 28x22x14 inches in size. Please note that carry-on baggage is limited to 11 inches on Pacific Surfliner trains.

• Visible Tag Required: All carry-on luggage must be visibly tagged with the name and address of the passenger. Passengers may use their own personal identification tags, or may obtain free Amtrak baggage identification tags at station ticket offices, or onboard trains from a member of the train crew.

• Special Items: Ski equipment, snowboards, golf clubs and bicycles may generally only be handled as checked baggage on Amtrak trains, and not as carry-ons. Items are permitted onboard when they can be safely stowed in the exterior lockers of Superliner equipment, or onboard equipment that is specifically designed to safely and securely accommodate the storage of the items.

For more information see Amtrak’s complete Baggage Policy and Information.

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Q: I am interested in employment opportunities with Amtrak. How do I get started?

A: Amtrak employs thousands of diverse, energetic professionals in a variety of career fields and is always looking for high quality applicants. Amtrak is an equal opportunity employer, and offers competitive salaries and benefits. To view current job openings at Amtrak, including position summaries and required qualifications, click here.

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Q: How much does it cost to take the train?

A: There are several factors that determine the price of a ticket. Fares are subject to the time of year travel will take place, one-way or round trip options, how many people are traveling, advance or last-minute ticket purchase, travel in coach or Pacific Business Class, etc. There are also several ways to save such as student and senior discounts and special offers.
To determine actual fares for your next trip, start with our Fare Finder. You can also get fare information from any ticket agent at staffed Amtrak stations, participating travel agents, or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

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Q: What’s the best way to get from Los Angeles Union Station to the Los Angeles International Airport?

A: The most convenient way to get to the airport from Union Station is the airport’s non-stop FlyAway service. The LAX FlyAway offers regularly scheduled service to LAX from Union Station, Van Nuys and Westwood. FlyAway buses drop off passengers on the Upper/Departure level of each terminal at LAX. Passengers board buses on the Lower/Arrival level in front of each terminal under the green FlyAway signs. Each bus is marked with its service location. Buses run every 30 minutes between 5:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. and hourly between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

For current FlyAway fares and schedules visit LAX FlyAway or call 1-866-iFLYLAX (1-866-435-9529).

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Q: Can I bring my pet on the train?

A: Only service animals are permitted aboard. Amtrak allows trained service animals accompanying passengers with disabilities in all customer areas of stations, on trains and Amtrak Thruway buses.

Service animals must be kept under control at all times and comply with local animal safety regulations. The animal should always be on a leash or in a carrier, except as required for boarding or detraining.

If the train schedule permits, you may walk your service animal at station stops provided that you stay within reasonable proximity to the train and re-board promptly when the conductor notifies you that the train is about to depart. If you plan to walk your animal during the trip, please notify the conductor when you first board the train.

Please note that if at any time you lose control of your animal, or your animal causes a significant disturbance, the train crew may in its discretion remove the animal from train and turn it over to local animal control officials.

No other animals are permitted at any time.

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Q: Can children travel alone without a parent or guardian?

A: Children age 13 and older may travel unaccompanied, but are subject to all policies applying to adult passengers. Children 12 years old and younger may not travel alone. They must be accompanied by a person 18 years or older who has responsibility for the child. For more information, see Amtrak’s complete policy on Unaccompanied Children.

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