Canadian VIA Rail shares passenger cars with Amtrak to accommodate Thanksgiving travel
Amtrak passes through Gardner, Illinois. Michael Miley / Flickr.com
It appears more passengers are turning to Amtrak as replacement for air travel as it provides a stable Wi-Fi connection and fewer security hassles than the airport.
Amtrak reached its peak passenger volume last year when over 724,000 riders boarded the trains during the week surrounding Thanksgiving. Passenger load has stayed consistent throughout the year and is on track to meet or exceed last year’s numbers.
Additional seats will now be available on Amtrak’s busiest routes through the Northeast Corridor through a partnership between Canadian VIA Rail and Amtrak. VIA originally reached out to Amtrak to offer cars in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, but none of Amtrak’s passenger cars were damaged and service returned relatively quickly.
Instead ten coach cars from VIA Rail’s fleet will be used on New York’s state-supported Adirondack service, which frees up 300 additional seats to be reassigned to busier routes.
“Loaning Amtrak trains from the Adirondack service makes up for some damaged by Hurricane Sandy and helps Amtrak meet its increased ridership levels,’ says New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald
Extra Amtrak trains have also been scheduled to handle high passenger numbers in the Chicago hub, the Pacific Northwest and in California.