Smoking on Amtrak
Smoking on Amtrak

Marijuana, Vaping, and Smoking On Amtrak Trains

Knowledge is power, and research is essential when it comes to traveling. If you smoke, vape, or use marijuana, learning about smoking on Amtrak is vital before your next trip. It covers vaping, transporting pot, and tobacco on Amtrak with general knowledge and links for additional details.

But in a nutshell, you cannot smoke or vape on Amtrak trains or in stations.

So, let’s learn about smoking on Amtrak.

Smoking On Amtrak Overview

Amtrak prohibits smoking products or vaping on trains, connecting services, or stations. In 2019, Congress banned smoking and vaping on all Amtrak trains. A prior smoking ban on Amtrak trains applied to shorter regional trains.

At one point, Amtrak long-distance trains had a smoking room, but from second-hand information, I learned these rooms were ineffective at exchanging air. The accommodations were bare of hard surface seats with washable services.

Alpine Texas
Amtrak Superliner Sleeper car on the Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited stopped in Alpine. Texas.

Smoking On Amtrak: Marijuana

While marijuana is legal in many states, you should know this section before taking it on your next Amatrak adventure.

The use or transportation of marijuana in any form for any purpose is prohibited, even in states or countries where recreational use is legal or permitted medically.

Amtrak trains are considered federal property.

Federal agencies, such as the DEA, can sweep the train at any time, as can Amtrak police and state and local authorities.

So, do not transport or consume pot on Amtrak trains to avoid trouble.

Can I Bring Medical Marijuana Aboard Amtrak?

At this point, you cannot bring marijuana on Amtrak trains, even with a card.

It would require an act of Congress to change this policy, which is out of Amtrak’s hands.

Vape And Smoking On Amtrak

A photo of a guy who was smoking on Amtrak and got kicked off the train.
The guy by the poll decided to make this stop his stop by smoking on the train.

I am putting these two together because Amtrak treats them the same, but I know they are not.

If a conductor or other staff finds you smoking or vaping on the train, you may receive federal fines and get escorted off the train at the next station stop or sooner.

Vaping is often less evident than smoking, but the scent can travel, and people can see the cloud.

Don’t Try To Outsmart The System.

Amtrak hiawatha in SVT

Everyone will know if you smoke on the train because the smell quickly fills the car, despite how well you think you can hide it.

Do not open the conductor window in the door while the train is going or at any other time. The engineers can see you doing so and will alert the conductors. You can get kicked off the train just for opening that window in itself, let alone doing it to smoke. If you get kicked off the train, your ticket is canceled and is not refundable.

Are there smoke breaks on Amtrak trains?

Yes and no, long-distance trains have smoke breaks, but not always on regional routes. There are a few things to remember:

Not all station stops are smoke stops!

However, passengers may smoke on the station platforms during longer stops if the time and conditions allow. Please listen carefully for instructions on where to smoke. Before arriving at the station, the crew will inform you if it is a designated “smoke stop.”

Passengers must stay trainside and ready to board again when they hear the locomotive horn and the “all aboard” calls from Amtrak employees. Your fellow passengers would appreciate it if you could refrain from smoking near the door and train vents, as this can cause discomfort to your fellow passengers. Many are not aware that smoking next to the car causes the smoke smell to fill the car, so please avoid doing so.

State or local laws may prohibit smoking on station platforms, and Amtrak may shorten or eliminate smoking breaks when train runs late.

Amtrak Card
Conductors helping passengers board Amtrak’s Cardinal – Photo courtesy of Amtrak

If you plan on being on the train for a while, try to devise alternatives to smoking. If you look at timetables or schedules and see stops that are five minutes or more, those stops are often the smoke stops.

Smoking On Amtrak Wrap-up

Amtrak in Emeryville, CA.

Knowing that you cannot smoke, vape, or use pot on the train before you go will help you prepare for your next trip and set expectations. I have been on the train where people smoked, and everyone knew, and conductors came quickly!

During the return section of my first cross-country trip with Amtrak, I witnessed a woman smoking out of the conductor’s window. As I walked past her to go to the restroom, she nodded as if to indicate that everything was okay. However, the conductor spoke with her when I returned from the restroom. It seemed that her nod was overconfidence, and not everything was alright. Nonetheless, I hope she learned from the experience.

When I returned from the restroom, the conductor was chatting with her, for her nod was overconfidence. I guess not everything was not okay, but she learned.

Reminder: Amtrak is federal property; you face federal fines and removal from the train if you smoke or vape. If you transport or smoke pot, you could meet some DEA agents. There are random stops where law enforcement may walk through looking for drugs.

If you are a smoker, remember to bring something to help with the cravings.

Thanks for reading and doing your research, and remember that if I can travel, you can too!

Safe Travels,


Kevin Monteith

Kev Monteith has been traveling on Amtrak since 2012. With over a decade of experience, he has been on over 800 trains, covering over 200k miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by providing support and information. Outside of travel, Kev enjoys making music as an organist and outings with family.

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