You are currently viewing Amtrak Route Guides and More
Amtrak Route Guides

Amtrak Route Guides and 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.

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 (Schedules)

The timetables in this article were put together (not in collaboration) by myself and the Rail Passenger Association.

We encourage you to use them as a guide and verify the times with Amtrak. Since neither I nor RPA is a part of Amtrak, we do our best to keep things updated, but Amtrak could change things without our knowledge.

Amtrak Service Alerts and Notices

Check here to see if there are any alerts or notices for your trip!

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 this is the only train where you can bring your car with you!

There is no Amtrak route guide for the Auto train, but the train does run on the Silver Meteor route. The Meteor’s route guide is 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 & Accommodations

The Auto Train uses Superliner Equipment

Food Options

Meals offered for sleeper car accommodations

  • 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

California Zephyr
The California Zephyr

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

Equipment & Accomidations

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

Food Options

Meal times offered

  • 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 Sierra Nevadas.

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

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

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

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

Equipment & Accomidations

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

Food Options

  • 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
The route by the day.

Cardinal #51 & #52

The Cardinal transports passengers between Chicago, IL, and New York, NY., three times a week. This train runs through the Northern section of The South. with significant stops including Washington, DC, Charlottesville, WV, Cincinnati, OH, Indianapolis, IN, and other intermediate stops.

Amtrak Cardinal in DC
Amtrak Cardinal Photo Courtesy of Amtrak

The Cardinal rolls past gently rolling horse country, Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley, and the wild white-water rivers of West Virginia.

As you head westward, as the train rolls along the Ohio River bank, you’ll see quaint towns of Ashland and Maysville to the skyline of Cincinnati, onto Indianapolis, and then northward to Chicago.

Equipment & Accommodations

The Cardinal is a Viewliner (single-level) train.

Food Options

Meal times offered

  • 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

The Amtrak City of New Orleans operates only five days a week. This train does not leave Chicago, IL, or New Orleans. LA on Sunday or Saturday. The train’s tentative daily service return date is September 17, 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
The route by the 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
The route by the day.

Crescent #19 & #20

Amtrak’s Crescent is currently only running five days a week, and it 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
The route by the day.

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

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
The route by the day.

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

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

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

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
The route by the 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
The route by the day.

Silver Meteor #97 & #98

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

October 2022, the Silver Meteor is set to return to service. 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.

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

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

If Disney World is your destination, get off the train in Kissimmee. FL. From there, walk to the 56 bus stop on Center Dr and Reams Rd. In less than an hour, and for a few dollars, the bus takes you to the Disney Transportation and Ticket Center. From there, you can get to where you need to go. 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?
    • 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
The route by the 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 Disney World is your destination, get off the train in Kissimmee. FL. From there, walk to the 56 bus stop on Center Dr and Reams Rd. In less than an hour, and for a few dollars, the bus takes you to the Disney Transportation and Ticket Center. From there, you can get to where you need to go. 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? (verifying)
  • Northbound (Eastbound) meals by the day
    • One: lunch and dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner? (verifying)
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
The route by the day.

Southwest Cheif #3 & #4

Southwest Chief
The eastbound Southwest Chief in Galesburg, IL

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

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
The route by the day.

Sunset Limited #1 & #2

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

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

The Sunset Limited runs three times a week with stops in New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Tucson, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and more.

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 day
    • One: No meal due to late departure
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Three: breakfast and lunch
  • Westbond meals by day
    • One: lunch and dinner
    • Two: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Three: no meal due to early arrival.

Overview of the Sunset Limited

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/Sun
The route by the day.

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

Texas Eagle fueling in STL
The Texas Eagle fueling in St Louis, MO (2016)

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.

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
The route by the day.

Wrap up on Amtrak Route Guides

I hope this page helps, and the information adds to your research and can add to your next Amtrak adventure. Amtrak 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 ensuring 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

Do you like travel tips?

Are you interested in getting travel tips in your inbox, or want to know when new articles come out? If so, join my email list! Here is an example of an email.

*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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.