Trump inauguration helps Amtrak sell out trains this week

Trains to and from Washington will be packed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
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The main entrance hall at Washington Union Station.
Trains: Jim Wrinn
WASHINGTON — If you're planning to ride Amtrak Friday to see Donald J. Trump sworn in as the nation's 45th president, you're probably too late.

“We are sold out on Friday on southbound trains from New York Penn to Washington, 9:45 a.m. to 7:40 p.m.,” says Chelsea Koptka, an Amtrak representative. “We are sold out in both directions on Saturday, northbound all day on Sunday.”

A look at the railroad's online ticketing site shows all 13 Northeast Regional trains departing after 9 a.m. on Friday are sold out, with only a handful of seats remaining on premium-priced Acelas.

All told, Amtrak is expecting to carry 14,000 passengers on Friday, Koptka says. She says there's no exact comparison between the 2017 inauguration and previous events because of different schedules and security changes.

Amtrak is adding extra trains on Saturday and Sunday to cover transportation for other inaugural events, such as the Women's March on Saturday, which is expected to draw 200,000 people.

Amtrak is adding two Northeast Regional trains and one Acela southbound on Saturday, and the same number northbound to New York's Penn Station on Sunday. Kopta says three trains will run Friday as second sections of the Palmetto, Silver Star, and Silver Meteor, stopping at stations usually passed by the three long-distance trains.

Passengers can expect additional security, Kopta says, with behind-the-scenes security as well as additional policemen and canine units at stations and aboard trains. Passengers should also expect extra screening and identification and baggage checks.

Access to Washington Union Station was tightened beginning Wednesday. The three main entrance doors facing Massachusetts Avenue are closed, with two doors open on the building's south side.

Station platforms elsewhere are open, but Kopta says, “I would not encourage people to hang out on the platforms, because it's going to be packed.”

More detail of Amtrak's Inauguration Day plans may be found online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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