Amtrak Is Reducing Service on Some of Its Iconic Long-haul Train Rides

Amtrak will operate its New York City to Miami service three or four times a week instead of every day.

Amtrak is cutting service on several routes across the country over the coming months.

This week, the company announced cuts on its long-haul service between New York and Florida starting July 6. Amtrak will only operate its Silver Star and Silver Meteor service from New York City to Miami three or four times a week instead of every day.

The Silver Star and the Silver Meteor regularly take, respectively, 30 and 27 hours to complete their journeys. On the days that the Silver Star does not run, Amtrak will offer a bus connection from Orlando to Tampa but the other parts of the route will be serviced on other train routes, according to USA Today. Amtrak’s Palmetto will run from New York to Savannah, the Carolinian will run from New York to Raleigh and the Auto Train will run from Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida.

“Due to the long term impact of Covid-19 on ridership, Amtrak has made the decision to operate with reduced capacity through FY21,” an Amtrak spokesperson confirmed to Travel + Leisure on Tuesday. "Our goal is to restore daily service on these routes as demand warrants, potentially by the summer of 2021.”

Amtrak station in Roanoke, Virginia
Courtesy of Amtrak

In a message sent to employees this month, per USA Today, Amtrak said that more cuts to service across the nation are coming on October 1 and service on several other long-distance routes will be cut back to three days a week. Affected routes include the Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, the Southwest Chief from Chicago to Los Angeles, the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Seattle, and the Crescent from New York to New Orleans.

Earlier this year, Amtrak already cut service on the Northeast Corridor, which connects Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

As part of Amtrak’s approach to combating coronavirus, the train line will limit bookings to allow for social distancing. Amtrak will also waive all change and cancellation fees on reservations made by August 31, 2020. Both passengers and employees must wear face masks while on trains or thruway buses.

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