Amtrak Plans to Upgrade Its Overnight Train Cars on 14 Routes Across the Country

Amtrak is giving its overnight trains an overhaul and making plans to replace its long-distance train cars with newer versions. 

The company will reequip its Amtrak Long Distance Network, considering ideas from as many as 10 manufacturers, according to Amtrak. The new train cars will be rolled out on popular routes like the California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, and Southwest Chief.

An illustration of an orange train with cartoon "Z's" coming out, signifying someone is sleeping

CSA Images/Getty Images; Taras Dubov/Getty Images

“Purchasing new long-distance train cars will allow Amtrak to upgrade and modernize the iconic and vital overnight services that link our nation’s major regions,” Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia said in a statement. “We are looking for new trains that improve safety, reliability, accessibility, and efficiency while offering the features our customers believe are most important to modernizing overnight train travel for the 21st century.” 

In addition to new cars, Amtrak said it was researching which customer amenities to add to its overnight and long-distance trains. Currently, most of the equipment in the company’s overnight fleet “will approach the end of its service life after the next decade.”

These are not the first train cars Amtrak is upgrading. In December, the company said it was introducing new amenities for travelers (think: dedicated individual outlets and USB ports), better seats, and large panoramic windows on its brand-new Amtrak Airo trains, which will start to roll out in 2026 on routes across the country. 

Amtrak is also working on new Acela trains on the Northeast Corridor featuring things like contactless storage for luggage and winged headrests.

Overnight trains are a great way to see the country and travel long distances, viewing everything from bustling cities to deserts, oceans, and pine forests all from the comfort of the train.

Amtrak’s private rooms also offer several perks with different configurations available from "roomettes" to family bedrooms. Private rooms each come with free Wi-Fi, complimentary meals and lounge access, and turn-down service for a comfy night’s rest.

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