Amtrak’s Service Reductions: The Days The Trains Run

by Kev
Amtrak Chicago Yard

October 5, 2020. Amtrak’s service reductions begin in three phases, and it affects all long-distance trains but for the Auto Train. Like the rest of the transportation industry dealing with COVID=19, Amtrak has taken a massive hit during the Covid-19 pandemic. Amtrak does have plains of restoring full service at some point.

When The Amtrak’s Service Reductions Begin?

October 5, 2020
California ZephyrCapitol Limited
City of New OrleansCresent
October 12, 2020
Coast StarlightLake Shore Limited
Southwest CheifTexas Eagle
October 19, 2020
Empire BuilderPalmetto
Not Affected By Service Reductions
Sunset Limited*Cardinal*
Auto Train
* This train was running at 3 day a week service before.
Amtrak Auto Train
Amtrak’s Auto Train – Photo Courtesy of Amtrak

To make it easier for you to plan, I came up with tables for each train if you are not familiar with how the Amtrak system work, this could be handy for you.

Here is how to use this section. Find the trains that you want; the California Zephyr is a good example. Going west, it now leaves Chicago on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but what if you are leaving from Grand Junction, CO? If you look at the chart, you see that stations between Lincoln, NE, and Salt Lake City, UT, have service on Tuesday, Thursday, or Sunday.

Amtrak’s Service Reductions: Routes and Days of Operations

Auto Train #52/#53

Service between Sanford, FL and Lorton, VA. There is no change to the frequency of this train.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#52 NorthboundSanford, FL – Lorton, VASunday – Saturday
#53 SouthbondLorton, VA – Sanford, FLSunday – Saturday

California Zephyr #5/#6

Service between Chicago, IL, and Emeryville, CA, connected bus service to San Francisco, CA.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#5 WestboundChicago- Omaha, NEMonday, Wednesday, Saturday
Lincoln, NE – Salt Lake City, UTTuesday, Thursday, Sunday
Elko NV – EmeryvilleWednesday, Friday, Monday
#6 EastboundEmeryville, CA – Elko, NVTuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Salt Lake City, UT – McCook, NEWednesday, Friday, Sunday
Holdrege, NE – Chicago, ILThursday, Saturday, Monday

Cardinal #50/#51

Service between Chicago and New York Penn, NY. The Cardinal was a three day a week train before these changes.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#50 WestboundChicago, IL – Indianapolis, INTuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Connersville, IN – New York, NYWednesday, Friday, Sunday
#51 EastboundNew York, NY – Maysville, KYSunday, Wednesday, Friday
Cincinnati, OH – Chicago, ILMonday, Thursday, Saturday
Normal Schedule for this train

Capitol Limited #29/#30

Service between Chicago, IL and Washington D.C.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#29 WestboundWashington, D.C. – Pittsburg, PAWednesday, Friday, Sunday
Alliance, OH – Chicago, ILThursday, Saturday, Monday
#30 EastboundChicago, IL – Toledo, OHMonday, Thursday, Saturday
Alliance, OH – Washington D.C.Tuesday, Friday, Sunday

City of New Orleans #58/#59

Service between Chicago, IL and New Orleans, LA.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#58 NorthboundNew Orleans, LA- Memphis, TNWednesday, Friday, Sunday
Newbern-Dyersburg, TN – Chicago, ILThursday, Saturday, Monday
#59 SouthboundChicago, IL – Effingham, ILMonday, Thursday, Saturday
Centralia, IL – New Orleans, LATuesday, Friday, Sunday

Coast Starlight #11/#14

Service between Los Angeles, CA, and Seattle, WA.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#11 SouthboundSeattle, WA – Klamath Falls, ORMonday, Wednesday, Saturday
Dunsmuir, CA – Los Angeles, CATuesday, Thursday, Sunday
#14 NorthboundLos Angeles, CA – Sacramento, CAMonday, Wednesday, Friday
Chico, CA – Seattle, WATuesday, Thursday, Saturday.

Crescent #19/#20

Service between New Orleans, LA and New York, NY.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#19 SouthboundNew York, NY – Danville, VATuesday, Friday, Sunday
Greensboro, NC – New Orleans, LAWednesday, Saturday, Monday
#20 NorthboundNew Orleans, LA – Spartanburg, SCTuesday, Thursday, Sunday
Gastonia, NC – New York, NYWednesday, Friday, Monday

Empire Builder #7/#8/#27/#28

Service between Chicago and Seattle, WA/Portland, OR,

This train runs as one train, in each direction #7/#27, going west and east #8/#28 between Chicago, IL, and Spokane, WA. In Spokane, this train spits going west and comes together with going east. #7 and #8 is the section of the train runs to Seattle, and the #27 and #28 travels to Portland, OR.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#7/#27 WestboundChicago, IL – St. Paul/Minneapolis, MNMonday, Thursday, Saturday
St, Cloud, MN – Sandpoint, IDTuesday, Friday, Sunday
#7 WestboundSpokane, WA – Seattle, WAWednesday, Saturday, Monday
#27 WestboundSpokane, WA -Portland, ORWednesday, Saturday, Monday.
#8 EastboundSeattle, WA – Ephrata, WATuesday, Thursday, Saturday
#28 EastboundPortland, OR – Pasco, WATuesday, Thursday, Saturday
#8/#28 EastboundSpokane, WA – Devils Lake, NDWednesday, Friday, Sunday
Grand Forks, ND – Chicago, ILThursday, Saturday, Monday.
Days of operation for Amtrak long-distance trains.

Lake Shore Limited #48/#49/#448/#449

Service between Chicago, IL, and Boston, MA/New York, NY.

This train runs as one train, in each direction #48/#448, going east and west #49/#449 between Chicago, IL, and Albany- Rensselaer, NY. In Albany, this train spits going east and comes together with going west. #48 and #49 is the section of the train runs to New York, and the #448 and #449 travels to Boston.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#48/#448 EastboundChicago, IL – South Bend, INMonday, Thursday, Saturday
#48 EastboundElkhart, IN – New York, NYTuesday, Friday Sunday
#448 EastboundElkhart, IN – Boston, MATuesday, Friday, Sunday
#49 WestboundNew York, NY – Rochester, NYWednesday, Friday, Sunday
#449 WestboundBoston, MA – Rochester, NYWednesday, Friday, Sunday
#49/#449 WestboundBuffalo-Depew, NY – Chicago, ILThursday, Saturday, Monday

Palmetto #89/#90

Service between New York, NY, and Savanna, GA. The Palmetto is the only non-overnight long-distance train, so no sleepers or Flex/Traditional dining car.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#89 SouthboundNew York, NY – Savanna, GAMonday, Thursday, Saturday
#90 NorthboundSavanna, GA – New York, NYWednesday, Friday, Sunday
This is not an overnight train.

Silver Service Runs 7 Day Service With Amtrak’s Service Reductions

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

Amtrak’s Silver Service contains the Silver Meteor and Silver Star and runs between New York, NY, and Miami, FL. Even with Amtrak’s service reductions, these two trains offer daily service between those two cities.

These routes are the same for the most part, but for a section between Rocky Mount, NC, and Savannah, GA, where the trains travel their normal route. The Silver Meteor parallels the coast, and the Star jogs inward for awhile. See the map below.

Silver Meteor #97/#98

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#97 SouthboundNew York, NY- Rocky Mount, NCMonday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Fayetteville, NC – Miami, FLTuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
#98 NorthboundMiami, FL – Florence, NC (Myrtle Beach)Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Fayetteville, NC – New York, NYMonday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Silver Star #91/#92

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#91 SouthboundNew York, NY – Hamlet, NCSunday, Friday, Saturday
Camden, SC – Miami, FLMonday, Saturday, Monday
# 92 NorthboundMiami, FL – Jacksonville, FLThursday, Friday, Saturday
Savana, GA – New York, NYFriday, Saturday, Monday

Southwest Chief #3/#4

Service between Chicago, IL, and Los Angeles, CA.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#3 WestboundChicago, IL – Lawrence, KSMonday, Thursday, Saturday
Topeka, KS – Kingman, AZTuesday, Friday, Sunday
Needles, CA – Los Angeles, CAWednesday, Saturday, Monday
#4 EastboundLos Angeles, CA – Barstow, CATuesday, Thursady, Saturday
Needles, CA – Garden City, KSWednesday, Friday, Sunday
Dodge City, KS – Chicago, ILThursday, Saturday, Monday

Sunset Limited #1/#2

Service between New Orleans, LA, and Los Angeles, CA. The Sunset Limited ran three days a week before the pandemic.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#1 WestboundNew Orleans, LA – Houston, TXMonday, Wednesday, Saturday
San Antonio, TX, – Yuma, AZTuesday, Thursday, Sunday
Palm Springs, AZ – Los Angeles, CAWednesday, Friday, Monday
#2 EastboundLos Angeles, CA – Ontario, CASunday, Wednesday, Friday
Palm Springs, CA -Sander, TXMonday, Thursday, Saturday
Del Rio, TX – New Orleans, LATuesday, Friday, Sunday

Texas Eagle #21/#22/#421/#422

Service between Chicago, IL, and San Antonio, TX/Los Angeles, CA. A sleeper and coach car from 21/22 are added to the Sunset Limited in San Antonio as train 421/422.

DirectionCity SectionsDays of Operation
#21/ #421 SouthboundChicago, IL – Poplar Bluff, MOTuesday, Friday, Sunday
Walnut Ridge, AR – San Antonio, TXWednesday, Saturday, Monday
#421 WearboundSan Antonio, TX – Yuma, AZThursday, Sunday, Tuesday
Palm Springs, CA – Los Angeles, CAFriday, Monday, Wednesday
#422 WestboundLos Angeles, CA – Ontario, CASunday, Wednesday, Friday
Palm Springs, CA – Sanderson, TXMonday, Thursday, Saturday
(#422 combines with #22)Del Rio, TX – San Antonio, TXTuesday, Friday, Sunday
#22/#422 NorthboundSan Antonio, TX – Little Rock, ARTuesday, Friday, Sunday
Walnut Ridge, AR – Chicago, ILWednesday, Saturday, Monday

I Hope This Helps You Figure Out Amtrak’s Service Reductions

Over the next few months traveling on the rails may be difficult but not impossible. During these times, thinking intermodality will help you.

Booking from Florida to Chicago could be tricky and reduced to one possible day for you to leave, but getting there is less challenging.

Safe Travels,


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