Amtrak California Prepares for Busy Thanksgiving Travel Week

OAKLAND – Amtrak, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) anticipating the busiest travel week of the year, are planning ahead for Thanksgiving by adding extra train cars and encouraging passengers traveling throughout California to make their reservations early.

The week of Thanksgiving — Tuesday, November 25 to Monday, December 1 — is typically Amtrak’s busiest travel period of the year, carrying more than 665,000 passengers last year systemwide. To accommodate more passengers traveling during this holiday week, more capacity will be added to the Amtrak San Joaquin, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and Capitol Corridor routes.

Six additional cars will be added to the San Joaquin service (Bakersfield – Oakland/Sacramento) beginning Wednesday, November 26 through Sunday, November 30. More than 700 seats will be added to Pacific Surfliner trains (San Luis Obispo – Santa Barbara – Los Angeles and San Diego). Reservations will also be required on all Pacific Surfliner trains. More than 500 seats will be added to the Capitol Corridor service on Wednesday, November 26, with trains 551 and 553 extending from Oakland to San Jose for that day only.

On what is anticipated to be the heaviest travel day of the year for Amtrak, Wednesday, November 26, the railroad expects ridership nationwide to reach nearly 128,000 passengers — a 65 percent increase over the 78,000 passengers Amtrak carries on an average Wednesday

Amtrak operates the Pacific Surfliner service, with 12 daily roundtrips between San Diego and Los Angeles, with five extending to Santa Barbara and two continuing to San Luis Obispo, under a contract with Caltrans.

Amtrak also operates the San Joaquin service under the same contract with Caltrans, with six daily round-trips to Bakersfield from Oakland or Sacramento.

The Capitol Corridor service operates 32 weekday trains and 22 weekend trains between Sacramento and the Bay Area, with direct service to San Jose and Auburn. For train schedules visit

Amtrak California Thruway motorcoaches provide service to over 150 additional destinations throughout California from the three major routes — the Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, and the Capitol Corridor.