Amtrak Trains Stations overview
Amtrak train stations range from a fully staffed station with food courts and luxury shopping such as Washington (DC) Union Station to a platform with a sign next to a cornfield somewhere in Nebraska. There are even Amtrak stations that never see a train but provide connecting bus services.
Knowing what type of Amtrak train station you are going to, leaving from, or where your next layover might be, can help you plan for your next adventure.
Takeing time to research the train station you are going to and having realistic expections helps you to plan better and can be prepaired
For example, understanding that you cannot check bags at unstaffed save the frustration of finding that out when you arrive. This way you know to pack light or make sure your baggage fits within Amtrak’s baggage policies.
A quick note on baggage
Speaking of luggage, if either your departure or destination does not provide checked bag service, you are not able to check your bags for the trip. Amtrak does have a reasonably generous carry on and baggage policy. If you have a layover at a station with baggage services and your final destination does at well, you may check your bag at the layover station provided that you check it within the time limit.
The types of Amtrak Train Stations you may encounter
- Staffed Stations
- These stations have agents and other staff to assist you
- Larger stations may have food and retail
- Unstaffed Stations
- As the title suggests, these stations do not have any Amtrak employees Onboard staff can get you on and off the train or help you with questions relating to your train trip involving the train you are getting on. The conductors or other onboard staff are not there help you plan a trip or help you book tickets
- These stations do not offer services like baggage check, other services like pets and bike may also not be offered
- Platform Stations
- Often are just a place to stand or sit and am Amtrak sign
- The same is true as about onboard staff
- Bus/Connecting Services
- These are Amtrak stops that connect you to other Amtrak trains or locations that are not serviced by rail
- The stops may be at a station with train service, a station with an agent but no train service, or are just a street sign like a bus stop.
The information provided comes from my experience and could be different for you, and presented as a guide. Always do your homework, so you are fully ready for your trip.
My first Amtrak station experience
My first Amtrak train trip was from the Sturtevant Train Station to Chicago, and my only issue was I went to the wrong location because I did not do my research! I went to where the station used to be; like years ago. That is why I always tell you to check, and double check your information, for some mistakes are not easily fixed, like missed trains.
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