Amtrak Reveals Acela, Long-Distance Train Upgrades

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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Recline away on Amtrak's new seats.

Amtrak recently announced new amenities to its Acela Nonstop trains, as well as upgrades to its long-distance trains.

First, Amtrak announced the changes to its Acela Nonstop train—which begins its inaugural trip on Monday, Sept. 23—including upgrades such as complimentary coffee, tea water and a light snack; “at seat” cashless cart service offering a limited menu of snacks and beverages; and onboard phone charging kits for sale.

Acela service will continue to offer its current features, including the full menu in the Café Car, as well as access to the Quiet Car.

The Acela Nonstop schedule is one southbound (NYP-WAS) train in the morning and one northbound train (WAS-NYP) in the afternoon, with an approximate trip time of two hours and 35 minutes. The southbound train will depart NYP at 6:35 a.m. and is scheduled to arrive at WAS around 9:10 a.m. The northbound train will depart WAS at 4:30 p.m., and arrive at NYP around 7:05 p.m.

“Train travel offers a number of advantages over other modes of transportation, and with the new amenities offered on Acela Nonstop, we are raising the bar even higher to enhance the journey,” said Vice President of Amtrak Northeast Corridor Service Line Caroline Decker. “On the Northeast Corridor, Acela’s savvy, sophisticated customers expect a premium experience when they board our trains, and that’s what they will be getting with these new amenities and with nonstop service.”

In addition, Amtrak’s long-distance trains now include a new, flexible dining service for Sleeping Car customers traveling on the Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Crescent and Silver Meteor starting on Oct. 1 and the Silver Star in 2020.

Sleeping Car customers aboard these routes will “enjoy more choice in onboard dining and can expect the following enhancements to the complimentary meal service: 

  • A new dining menu with hot, ready-to-serve choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • A selection of wine, beer and spirits, plus unlimited soft drinks throughout the trip.
  • Complimentary room service provided by the Sleeping Car attendant.
  • Exclusive onboard lounge space for Sleeping Car customers to dine and socialize throughout the entire trip.
  • Flexible dining times without the need for reservations.

“The new flexible dining menu offers entrees such as: 

  • Lunch and Dinner: Asian Noodle Bowl, Red Wine Braised Beef, Chicken Fettuccini with Broccoli, Creole Shrimp and Andouille. Pasta and meatballs option available for children.
  • Breakfast: Deluxe Continental Breakfast will be served buffet-style from a selection of muffins, yogurt, fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, cereal, oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches.
  • Dessert: Blondies and brownies.”

More information and sample menus can be found at Amtrak.com/flexdining. 

In the coming months, Amtrak noted, customers can also expect:

  • Fully-refreshed Amfleet II cars for Coach class along the East Coast, including new seating cushions, carpets, curtains and LED reading lights—projected to be completed by the end of this year.
  • Upgraded bedding, towels and linens for sleeping cars—beginning with the Auto Train.
  • The debut of new Viewliner II Sleeping cars for trains on the East Coast—the first addition to the Amtrak sleeper fleet in more than 25 years.

“Traveling on one of our trains has never been just about the destination—the journey is part of the adventure,” Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson said. “We continue to evolve our onboard accommodations and dining experience to meet the needs of today’s customers.”

Amtrak’s new long-distance cars.
Amtrak’s new sleeper cars.
Amtrak VP, Product Development and Customer Experience, Peter Wilander introduces some of the new food choices.

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