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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Amtrak celebrates 47 years and looks to the future



Numerous customer improvements completed, more underway

Amtrak celebrates 47 years of providing passenger rail service across the nation by looking ahead, continually improving the customer experience and making Amtrak the preferred choice of the 21stcentury for business and leisure travel.

“While we celebrate our history, we have a keen eye on the future and are making necessary changes to provide our customers with an unparalleled travel experience,” said Amtrak President & CEO Richard Anderson. “Many customers have already noticed these improvements, and can look forward to several more upgrades that are on the way.”

Some of the customer-focused improvements underway include:
  • Refreshed trains: Refurbishing the interiors of more than 450 coaches for trains serving the Northeast and Midwest – all by the end of this summer.
  • New Fares: Restructured fare discounts and expanded the use of targeted and flexible sales.
  • Upgraded connectivity: Enhancing Wi-Fi on Northeast Corridor (NEC) trains and at select stations.
  • On-time service: Improving on-time performance on the NEC, updating charter and private train guidelines to minimize impact on operations, and re-doubling our work with freight railroads hosting Amtrak on their lines.
  • Improving schedules: Working with our state partners, Amtrak is providing customers more flexibility and options for travel on the Piedmont, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin
  • Seat assignments: Introducing assigned seating on select routes to improve the boarding process and allow customers to select their preferred seat before traveling.
  • Improved facilities: Rehabilitating and improving the passenger areas of major stations and increasing staff on board trains to keep busy NEC trains clean.
  • Expanded communications: Offering real-time and frequent information via social media, specifically @AmtrakNEC.
  • Enhanced connectivity: Added Thruway connections and will continue to expand to more cities this summer. Amtrak is also working toward providing seamless ticketing for mass transit services and ride providers to make “last mile” connections.
  • Maximizing mobility options: In the last year, nearly 50,000 small pets and more than 55,000 bikes have traveled with customers, with additional options coming soon.
  • New Onboard Experience Options: Starting in June, Amtrak will offer contemporary and fresh dining choices and amenities for sleeping car customers on the Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited.
These immediate changes are occurring in advance of more long-term upgrades such as: buying modern train equipment, including Acela trainsets; ongoing Concourse Management Strategy studies of New York Penn Station and; further development of stations in Chicago Washington, D.C., Baltimore-Penn, Philadelphia 30th Street, and the new Moynihan Train Hall in New York.
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