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Amtrak Route Guides

Amtrak Long-Distance Train Route Guides & More

Amtrak long-distance trains can be a fun adventure, especially if you have the right tools. This page will direct you to the information you need about each of Amtrak’s long-distance trains. To help make your Amtrak adventure more fun, I have links to all Amtrak route guides and timetables.

Amtrak announced that they would reduce most long-distance trains to five days a week. These trains are starting to come back to daily service. If there are words in red, the train is not back to the regular or daily schedule. (Updated May 9, 2022)

Amtrak can change any of the info below, but I try to keep current to the best of my abilities.

About the Amtrak Route Guides

Amtrak Views
Views from an Amtrak roomette.

Amtrak wrote route guides circa 2010/2014 and distributed them in their trains and stations. These travel guides have been out of print for a while, so they are hard to find.

I found copies of the last time Amtrak printed them, and they are available for you to print out or store on a device.

Even though they are over a decade old, they still offer plenty of history of the train’s communities during your adventure.

About the Timetables

The timetables below came out when Amtrak ran trains three days a week, but all trains have been back to daily service since then.

The exception is the Sunset Limited and Cardinal; those trains have been three days a week for a long time.

While the dates of operation are wrong, the rest of the timetable information is correct. I try to keep it up to date to the best of my knowledge.

Amtrak System Map

Amtrak System Map
A system map of Amtrak, courtesy of Amtrak

Auto Train #52 & #53

Auto Train
The Auto Train transports you and your car (or your van, motorcycle, SUV, small boat, jet-ski, or other recreational vehicles) nonstop from the Washington, DC area to sunny Florida, just outside Orlando. This train is the best way to drive I-95. And remember, you can pack your car as if it were your suitcase.

The Auto Train runs daily from the greater Washington DC and Orlando areas and allows you to bring your car along with you on the train.

There is no Amtrak route guide for the Auto train.

The train does run on the Silver Meteor route, so that is the guide below.

The Auto Train runs daily, stopping and starting at Lorton, VA, and Sanford, FL. with one intermediate stop, only for refueling and crew changes.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Auto Train uses Superliner Equipment with coach class, roomettes, bedrooms, family, accessible rooms for accommodation, and auto racks for your cars.

Food Options

The Auto Train has a cafe open to all and traditional dining for sleeping passengers.

  • Southbound meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast
  • Northbound meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast
DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONS
#52 NorthboundSanford, FL – Lorton, VA
#53 SouthboundLorton, VA – Sanford, FL

California Zephyr #5 & #6

Amtrak’s California Zephyr will not leave Chicago, IL, or Emeryville, CA, on Sundays and Monday. For more information on what days this train runs, check out this page. The train’s tentative date for daily service is May 29, 2022.

California Zephyr
The California Zephyr

The California Zephyr daily with significant stops at Chicago. Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Emeryville (San Francisco).

Equipment & Accomidations

The California Zephyr uses Superliner Equipment with coach class, roomettes, bedrooms, family, and accessible rooms for accommodation.

Food Options

The California Zepher has a cafe open to all and traditional dining for sleeping passengers.

  • Eastbound meals by the day
    • One: lunch and dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Three: breakfast and lunch
  • Westbond meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Three: breakfast and lunch

The California Zephyr will whisk you from the busy Chicago skyline through the farm field and rural scenes of Illinois and Iowa, with stunning views of the Rockies and High Sierras.

DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAYS OF TRAVEL
#5 WestboundChicago, IL- Omaha, NE1st Day
Lincoln, NE – Salt Lake City, UT2nd Day
Elko NV – Emeryville3rd Day
#6 EastboundEmeryville, CA – Elko, NV1st Day
Salt Lake City, UT – McCook, NE2nd Day
Holdrege, NE – Chicago, IL3rd Day

Capitol Limited #29 & #30

The Capitol Limited runs daily between Chicago and the Capitol of the U.S.

Amtrak's Capital Limited
Capitol Limited at a station stop in Cumberland, Maryland

This train follows the historic B&O line on your journey through the Potomac Valley, past historic Harpers Ferry, and the Allegheny Mountains into Pittsburgh.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Capitol Limited uses Superliner Equipment offering coach class, roomettes, bedrooms, family, and accessible rooms for accommodation.

Food Options

The Capitol Limited has a cafe open to all and flex dining for sleeping passengers.

  • Eastbound meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast
  • Westbond meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast
DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY Of TRAVEL
#29 WestboundWashington, DC – Pittsburg, PA1st Day
Alliance, OH – Chicago, IL2nd Day
#30 EastboundChicago, IL – Toledo, OH1st Day
Alliance, OH – Washington DC2nd Day

Cardinal #51 & #52

The Cardinal transports passengers triweekly between Chicago, IL, and New York, NY. This train runs through the Northern section of The South.

Amtrak Cardinal in DC
Amtrak Cardinal Photo Courtesy of Amtrak

Major stops include Washington, DC, Charlottesville, WV, Cincinnati, OH, Indianapolis, IN, and other intermediate stops.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Cardinal is a Viewliner train that offers these accommodations: coach classroomettesbedrooms, and accessible rooms.

Food Options

The Cardinal’s Cafe is open to all passengers, and Amtrak’s flex dining is for sleeping passengers.

  • Eastbound meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and diner
  • Westbond meals by the day
    • One: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Two: breakfast
DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY OF TRAVEL
#50 WestboundChicago, IL – Indianapolis, IN1st Day
Connersville, IN – New York, NY2nd Day
#51 EastboundNew York, NY – Maysville, KY1st Day
Cincinnati, OH – Chicago, IL2nd Day

City of New Orleans #58 & #59

Amtrak’s City of New Orleans does not leave Chicago, IL, or New Orleans. LA on Sunday or Saturday. The train’s tentative daily service return date is September 18, 2022.

The City of New Orleans takes passengers between Chicago and New Orleans, with other significant stops in Memphis and Jackson, MS.

Amtrak's City of New Orleans
Amtrak’s City of New Orleans picking up and dropping off passengers at Jackson, MS

Equipment & Accomidations

The City of New Orleans is a Superliner train that offers these accommodations: coach classroomettesbedrooms, and accessible rooms.

Food Options

The Cafe in The City of New Orleans is open to all passengers, and Amtrak’s flex is dining for sleeping passengers.

  • Southbound meals by the day
    • One: dinner (often started before leaving Chicago)
    • Two: breakfast & lunch
  • Northbound meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast
DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY OF TRAVEL
#58 NorthboundNew Orleans, LA- Memphis, TN1st Day
Newbern-Dyersburg, TN – Chicago, IL2nd Day
#59 SouthboundChicago, IL – Effingham, IL1st Day
Centralia, IL – New Orleans, LA2nd Day

Coast Starlight #11 & #14

The Coast Starlight travels between Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.

Portland Union Station
Portland Union Station in Portland, OR.

Along the Southern end of this route, you can see beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. There is no better way to travel the Western seaboard than the Coast Starlight.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Coast Starlight uses Superliner Equipment with coach class, roomettes, bedrooms, family, and accessible rooms for accommodation.

Food Options

The Coast Starlight has a cafe open to all and traditional dining sleeping passengers.

  • Northbound meals by the day
    • One: lunch and dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Southbound meals by the day
    • One: lunch and dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY OF TRAVEL
#11 SouthboundSeattle, WA – Klamath Falls, OR1st Day
Dunsmuir, CA – Los Angeles, CA2nd Day
#14 NorthboundLos Angeles, CA – Sacramento, CA1st Day
Chico, CA – Seattle, WA2nd Day

Crescent #19 & #20

Amtrak’s Crescent does not leave New Orleans, LA, or New York, NY, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Crescent may return to daily service on September 13, 2022.

The Crescent takes passengers between the Big Apple and the Big Easy. Along the way, passengers see views of the old South.

Amtrak Crescent
Amtrak Crescent at a station stop

The Crescent runs daily, serving New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta, plus more.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Crescent is a Viewliner train that offers these accommodations: coach classroomettesbedrooms, and accessible rooms.

Food Options

The Crescent’s Cafe is open to all passengers, and Amtrak’s flex dining is for sleeping passengers.

  • Southbound (Westbound) meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Northbound (Eastbound) meals by the day
    • One: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Two: breakfast
DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY OF TRAVEL
#19 SouthboundNew York, NY – Danville, VA1st Day
Greensboro, NC – New Orleans, LA2nd Day
#20 NorthboundNew Orleans, LA – Spartanburg, SC1st Day
Gastonia, NC – New York, NY2nd Day

Empire Builder #7, #8, #27, & #28

Amtrak’s Empire Builder does not leave Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, or Chicago, IL on Thursday or Friday, with a daily schedule starting on May 26. 2022.*

The Empire Builder runs from Chicago up through Wisconsin before it wanders through the northernmost states heading to the pacific northwest.

Empire Builder in Milwaukee
Amtrak’s Empire Builder in Milwaukee, WI

Amtrak’s Empire Builder runs daily, serving Chicago, St. Paul/Minneapolis, Spokane, Portland/Seattle, plus more.

This train does operate as two separate trains; one travels between Portland, OR, and Spokane, WA, and the other Seattle and Spokane. Check out this article about trains that split.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Empire Builder uses Superliner Equipment with coach class, roomettes, bedrooms, family, and accessible rooms for accommodation.

Food Options

The Empire Builder has a cafe open to all and traditional dining for sleeping passengers.

  • Eastbound meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and diner
    • Three: breakfast and lunch*
  • Westbound meals by the day
    • One: dinner*
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Three: breakfast

*This meal will not be in the dining car because that car is on the Seattle section of the train. Your car attendant will let you know your choices.

DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY OF TRAVEL
#7/#27 WestboundChicago, IL – St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN1st Day
St, Cloud, MN – Sandpoint, ID2nd Day
#7 WestboundSpokane, WA – Seattle, WA3rd Day
#27 WestboundSpokane, WA -Portland, OR3rd Day
#8 EastboundSeattle, WA – Ephrata, WA1st Day
#28 EastboundPortland, OR – Pasco, WA1st Day
#8/#28 EastboundSpokane, WA – Devils Lake, ND2nd Day
#8/#28 EastboundGrand Forks, ND – Chicago, IL3rd Day

Lake Shore Limited #48, #49, #448, & #449

The Lake Shore Limited takes passengers from the bustling Eastcoast to the Midwest, passing many Great Lakes and waterways.

Lake Shore Limited
Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited in Albany.

The Lake Shore Limited is a daily train stopping at New York/Boston, Albany, Chicago, etc.

This train operates as two trains one section goes to New York, and the other goes to Boston; the sections come together (Westbond) or split (Eastbound) in Albany, NY. For more information on trains that split, check out this article.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Lake Shore Limited is a Viewliner train that offers these accommodations: coach classroomettesbedrooms, and accessible rooms.

Food Options

The Lake Shore Limited has a Cafe open to all passengers and Amtrak’s flex dining for sleeping passengers.

  • Eastbound meals by the day
    • One: no meal due to late departure
    • Two 48: breakfast and lunch
    • Two 448: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Westbound meals by the day
    • One: 49 dinner
    • One: 449 lunch and dinner
    • Two: breakfast
DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY OF TRAVEL
#48/#448 EastboundChicago, IL – South Bend, IN1st Day
#48 EastboundElkhart, IN – New York, NY2nd Day
#448 EastboundElkhart, IN – Boston, MA2nd Day
#49 WestboundNew York, NY – Rochester, NY1st Day
#449 WestboundBoston, MA – Rochester, NY2nd Day
#49/#449 WestboundBuffalo-Depew, NY – Chicago, IL2nd Day

Palmetto #89 & #90

Palmetto coming into CHS
Amtrak’s Palmetto pulling into the new Charleston Station

The Palmetto serves New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Charleston, SC, Savana, GA, and other intermediate stops.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Palmetto is an Amfleet train that offers these accommodations: coach class and business class.

Food Options

This train only has a Cafe car that is open to all passengers. The cafe is in front of the business class and behind the coach cars. It could be the other way around, depending on the direction of the train.

DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDay of travel
#89 SouthboundNew York, NY – Savanna, GASame Day
#90 NorthboundSavanna, GA – New York, NYSame Day

Silver Meteor #97 & #98

Amtrak suspended the Silver Meteor until September 14, 2022. If you need to travel to Fayetteville, NC, Dillon, SC,  Florence, SC (Myrtle Beach), Kingstree, SC, Charleston, SC, or Yemassee, SC, you may need to book the Palmetto, and that could require an overnight stay in a transfer city.

Amtrak's Silver Meteor
Amtrak’s Silver Meteor train pulling into Orlando, FL

The Silver Meteor takes passengers up and down the Eastcoast from New York to Miami.

The Silver Meteor runs daily, serving New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Charleston, SC, Jacksonville, Orlando, Kissimmee, Miami, etc.

If you take this train to Disney World, take the train to Kissimmee. After you arrive, walk to the 56 bus stop on Center Dr and Reams Rd. The bus takes less than an hour and costs a few dollars, and it takes you to the Disney Transportation and Ticket Center. Your other option is a rideshare or taxi.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Silver Meteor is a Viewliner train that offers these accommodations: coach classroomettesbedrooms, and accessible rooms.

Food Options

The Silver Meteor has a Cafe open to all passengers and Amtrak’s flex dining for sleeping passengers.

  • Southbound meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner? (checking on dinner)
  • Northbound (Eastbound) meals by the day
    • One: breakfast? lunch and dinner
    • Two: breakfast

? = I am checking on this because I am not sure.

DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY OF TRAVEL
#97 SouthboundNew York, NY – Rocky Mount, NC1st Day
Fayetteville, NC – Miami, FL2nd Day
#98 NorthboundMiami, FL – Florence, NC (Myrtle Beach)1st Day
Fayetteville, NC – New York, NY2nd Day

Silver Star #91 & #92

Amtrak Silver Star
Amtrak’s Silver Star in Orlando, FL

Like the Silver Meteor, this train takes passengers from New York to Miami but slightly detours to serve a few inland North and South Carolina communities.

The Silver Star runs daily with significant stops at New York,  Philadelphia, Washington DC, Raleigh, Savannah, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami.

If you take this train to Disney World, take the train to Kissimmee. After you arrive, walk to the 56 bus stop on Center Dr and Reams Rd. The bus takes less than an hour and costs a few dollars, and it takes you to the Disney Transportation and Ticket Center. Your other option is a rideshare or taxi.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Silver Star is a Viewliner train that offers these accommodations: coach classroomettesbedrooms, and accessible rooms.

Food Options

The Silver Star has a Cafe open to all passengers and Amtrak’s flex dining for sleeping passengers.

  • Southbound meals by the day
    • One: lunch and dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner? (checking on dinner)
  • Northbound (Eastbound) meals by the day
    • One: lunch and dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner? (checking on dinner)
DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY OF TRAVEL
#91 SouthboundNew York, NY – Hamlet, NC1st Day
Camden, SC – Miami, FL2nd Day
# 92 NorthboundMiami, FL – Jacksonville, FL1st Day
Savana, GA – New York, NY2nd Day

Southwest Cheif #3 & #4

The Southwest Cheif offers stunning views of the Southwest as it takes passengers to their destinations.

Southwest Chief
The eastbound Southwest Chief in Galesburg, IL

The Southwest Chief runs daily, stopping at Chicago, Kansas City (MO), Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Los Angeles, etc.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Southwest Chief uses Superliner Equipment with coach class, roomettes, bedrooms, family, and accessible rooms for accommodation.

Food Options

The Southwest Chief has a cafe open to all and traditional dining sleeping passengers.

  • Eastbound meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Three: breakfast and lunch
  • Westbond meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Three: breakfast
DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY OF TRAVEL
#3 WestboundChicago, IL – Lawrence, KS1st Day
Topeka, KS – Kingman, AZ2nd Day
Needles, CA – Los Angeles, CA3rd Day
#4 EastboundLos Angeles, CA – Barstow, CA1st Day
Needles, CA – Garden City, KS2nd Day
Dodge City, KS – Chicago, IL3rd Day

Sunset Limited #1 & #2

The Sunset Limited takes passengers between New Orleans and LA and gives passengers views of Mexico.

Sunset Limited in El Paso, TX
Amtrak’s train 2/422 Sunset Limited/ Texas Eagle in El Paso, TX.

The Sunset Limited runs three times a week, stopping in New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Tucson, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, etc.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Sunset Limited uses Superliner Equipment with coach class, roomettes, bedrooms, family, and accessible rooms for accommodation.

Food Options

The Sunset Limited has a cafe open to all and traditional dining for sleeping passengers.

  • Eastbound meals by the day
    • One: No meal due to late departure
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Three: breakfast and lunch
  • Westbond meals by the day
    • One: lunch and dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Three: no meal due to late arrival
DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY OF TRAVEL
#1 WestboundNew Orleans, LA – Houston, TX1st Day
Mon/Wed/Sat
San Antonio, TX, – Yuma, AZ2nd Day
Tue/Thu/Sun
Palm Springs, AZ – Los Angeles, CA3rd Day
Wed/Fri/Mon
#2 EastboundLos Angeles, CA – Ontario, CA1st Day
Sun/Wed/Fri
Palm Springs, CA -Sander, TX2nd Day
Mon/Thu/Sat
Del Rio, TX – New Orleans, LA3rd Day
Tue/Fri/Sat

Texas Eagle #21, #22, #421, & #422

The Texas Eagle gives passengers views of the famous St. Louis Arch plus urban to rural views of Texas and Illinois (Arkansas is overnight). Three days a week, car from this train couples onto the Sunset Limited, reaching more communities.

Texas Eagle fueling in STL
The Texas Eagle fueling in St Louis, MO

The Texas Eagle runs daily with stops at Chicago, St. Louis, Little Rock, Dallas, San Antonio, and more, and three days a week ads cities like Tucson and Los Angeles.

Equipment & Accomidations

The Texas Eagle uses Superliner Equipment with coach class, roomettes, bedrooms, family, and accessible rooms for accommodation.

Food Options

The Texas Eagle cafe is open to all; flex dining for sleeping passengers between Chicago and San Antonio and traditional dining between San Antonio and Los Angles when the Texas Eagle cars join the Sunset Limited.

  • Eastbound meals by the day
    • One: no meals due to late departure (train 422 only)
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner (train 422 only)
    • Three (Day one for 22): breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Four (Day two for 22): breakfast and lunch
  • Westbond meals by the day
    • One: dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Three: breakfast, lunch, and dinner (train 421 only)
    • Four: No meal due to early arrival (train 421 only)
DIRECTIONCITY SECTIONSDAY OF TRAVEL
#21/ #421 SouthboundChicago, IL – Poplar Bluff, MOFirst Day
Daily
Walnut Ridge, AR – San Antonio, TXSecond Day
Daily
#421 Westbound
Splits from #21
San Antonio, TX – Yuma, AZThird-Day for #422
Tue/Thu/Sun (Only)
Palm Springs, CA – Los Angeles, CAFourth Day for #422
Mon/Wed/Fri (Only)
DirectionCity Sections1st Run
#422 EastboundLos Angeles, CA – Ontario, CA1st Day
Wed/Fri/Sun
Palm Springs, CA – Sanderson, TX2nd Day
Mon/Thu/Sat
Del Rio, TX – San Antonio, TX3rd Day
Tue/Fri/Sun
#22 combines with #422San Antonio, TX – Little Rock, AR#22 1st Day/3rd Day Cont. of #422
Daily
Walnut Ridge, AR – Chicago, IL#22 1st Day/ 4th Day #422
Daily

Wrap up

I hope this page helps, and the information adds to your research and can add to your next Amtrak adventure. The route guides are printable or downloadable to your smart devices. If you have other questions, please reach out to me, and I will do my best to answer them.

If you are interested in making sure this information stays online, consider supporting Travels with Kev. A lot of time and money goes into producing and keeping this info available.

Safe travels!

Kev

*This date is based on when booking was available, checked on May 9, 2022, and this information can change at Amtrak’s discretion.

Kev

Kev has been traveling with Amtrak since 2012, celebrating his tenth year this year. Over those years, he has been on over 700 trains covering over 200,000 miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by assisting them to get started. Kev enjoys making music as an organist.

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