Like the rest of the transportation sector, Amtrak is still working on getting back to a “new normal.” Because of staffing and equipment issues, in January 2022, Amtrak reduced most long-distance trains to five days a week, suspended one, and canceled the less used segments of regional trains, like the Hiawatha and the Northeast Corridor.
But there is some good news for those planning to travel this summer and later this year.
This article on Amtrak Summer 2022 Update gives you hope and perspective on Amtrak travel in the coming year.
If you are in the planning stages and want more information on each route, I have a post that includes route guides and schedules for long-distance trains.
Besides long-distance trains, a few regional trains with reductions are coming back soon.
Amtrak Update: Summer 2022 Return of Service Podcast
Amtrak Update: Summer 2022 Return Of Service For long-distance trains
While many trains are returning to their regular schedules, they may not be returning to the pre-pandemic consist right away. Amtrak is trying to fix cars, return them to the rails, and increase its staff. As they are able, trains should start returning to their former size.
Reduced equipment availability could lead to higher prices, especially for sleepers.
Amtrak bases its reservation prices on supply and demand, like other transportation. As more equipment returns to service and Amtrak staffing levels increase, Amtrak could reduce pricing due to more rooms available.
As of now, there are no changes when it comes to the dining cars and the food service offered. Coach passengers still do not have access to dining cars at this point.
Trains returning to regular schedules
These trains will be returning to daily service in May 2022.
- Califonia Zepher
- Empire Builder
- Lake Shore Limited
- Southwest Chief
Long-distance trains already back to daily service
These trains have already returned to daily service
- Capitol Limited
- Coast Starlight
- Texas Eagle
The long-distance trains that are not returning to regular schedules yet
These trains are maintaining their January service reduction. According to booking availability, these trains could return in September.
- These trains maintain a five-day-a-week schedule for now.
- Suspended Train
- Silver Meteor
- Interim service continues daily via Silver Star, Palmetto, Carolinian, and Northeast Regional trains.
- Silver Meteor
Trains maintaining their pre-pandemic schedules.
These trains had no change this year.
- Cardinal maintains its three-day-a-week schedule.
- Sunset Limited maintains its three-day-a-week schedule.
- Auto Train
- Silver Star
Amtrak Update: Summer 2022 Regional trains
Changes are effective immediately unless noted otherwise.
Representing 79% pre-pandemic levels, Northeast Regional offers expanded service between Washington, D.C., and Boston
- 13 roundtrips per weekday between Washington, D.C., and New York City
- 9 roundtrips every Saturday between Washington, D.C., and New York City
- 14 roundtrips every Sunday between Washington, D.C., and New York City
- 8 roundtrips per weekday between Boston and New York City
- 8 roundtrips every Saturday between Boston and New York City
- 9 roundtrips every Sunday between Boston and New York City
- 12 roundtrips per weekday between Philadelphia and Harrisburg
- 10 roundtrips per weekday between Philadelphia and New York City
- New early morning departure arriving in New York City by 7:15 AM
Amtrak Hartford Line
- Fully restored with 7 roundtrips per weekday.
Acela (effective May 23)
- 10 roundtrips per weekday between Washington, D.C., and New York City
- 4 roundtrips every Saturday between Washington, D.C., and New York City
- 6 roundtrips every Sunday between Washington, D.C., and New York City
- 9 roundtrips per weekday between Boston and New York City
- 3 roundtrips every Saturday between Boston and New York City
- 4 roundtrips every Sunday between Boston and New York City
Amtrak returning to Canada
I have not heard of the exact date for Amtrak returning to Canada; returning service across the border is trickier. It could be as late as December 2023.
Amtrak Summer 2022 Update Wrap-up
If you plan to travel this year, keep in mind that things have changed.
The tourism and travel industry slammed on the breaks pretty hard at the beginning of the pandemic, and it takes time to bring things back to life. Some of our favorite places may have closed, changed owners, or have different hours. And even traveling could feel different for you.
As you travel, make sure you set your expectations accordingly, things are not the same. Some of the services you enjoy may not be back yet, and may never come back.
Remember that you may need to pivot your trip more than you want. Such as if places were not open when the website said they were.
We must put things into perspective.
The airlines, buses, and Amtrak are all in a similar boat with staffing and equipment.
If you need to call anyone in transportation, you may wait for hours. So keep that in mind.
The airlines cut many routes just as Amtrak did, but the impact feels greater since Amtrak often only offers once-a-day on some trains.
The airlines have canceled flights due to equipment and staffing issues too. Megabus has discontinued all services in and out of Chicago, and Greyhound has fewer options.
Recently, I was looking at flying to Tampa around the same time I did last year, and the prices are up on average 178% for comparable flights and city pairs. Plus I have fewer choices of flights.
Please, be nice
My point for this rant or section is this: be nice, and things are not the same.
Yelling at the staff concerning what displeases you will not do any good; they had NOTHING to do with the upper management’s choices. All you will do is ruin their day, which will not make you feel better in the long run.
Most people are working hard to make things the best they can, but they can be worn out. A sincere thank you and letting people know you appreciated their help and service will make them feel better and you as well.
If you like my work and find value, consider supporting and sharing this with your friends.
Be safe and be kind as we get back to travel!
I do not work for Amtrak or any other travel agency, and the information in this article is given as advice only. Amtrak can change things at any point, and the base for the information here is on an Amtrak news release and personal opinion.