Amtrak handles the Thanksgiving travel onslaught

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NEW YORK CITY — While the light rain fell in the New York City area this morning, making commuting into city a little slower, many travelers were on the fast track to another Thanksgiving with family, friends, and others.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is typically THE peak travel holiday in the U.S., and anything that moves in Interstate commerce surely will be engaged making sure that all who want to be in place tomorrow all over the country are there.

Amtrak is a vital piece of this picture, especially. Moving over three-quarters of a million people within a week is a daunting task, with 47 years in the business they are up to the task. Trains News Wire was on the scene this morning at Penn Station New York, observing the outward exodus from the number one Amtrak Station. On a tour of the station, led by Amtrak Communication Lead, Jason Abrams, the crowds seemed well in check.

“Last year,” Abrams says “on Thanksgiving Sunday we handled 140,000 passengers — on one day, nationwide.”

And what better place to observe people traveling than Penn Station?

“In 2016,” he added,” New York’s Penn Station handled more than 10,000,000 passengers.”

Abrams tells Trains News Wire that upgraded security would be in place all over the system handled by Amtrak Police, working with local, federal and state police, who would be monitoring stations and rights of way, along with an on-board presence during Thanksgiving week.

And what awaits travelers this year for travel at this time?

“Some of the newly refurbished Amfleet coaches will be in service at this time, with new floors, lighting, restrooms, and the new seat cushions. There is a brand new Spotify playlist to be used with the Amtrak Connect on-board Wi-Fi,” he says, “and if you want to take your dog or cat onboard, as long as they are under 20 pounds, for a travel charge of $25, bring them along.”

And for the shoppers, Amtrak is competing for their dollars. Amtrak’s Track Friday Sale will start at 3 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 24, running through Cyber Monday, Nov. 27. Savings promise to be better than the usual ones that are offered during the year.

Along with the prospect of a Thanksgiving meal, and seeing family and friends, riding the intercity rails in the United States promises to be an even better experience for all travelers this year.
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