and Happy Holidays
Our lives can get so busy during the holidays,
and traveling at this time of year can be hectic.
Our aim is to take the hassle out of travel, and
to provide you a pleasant journey. Please take
the time aboard the train to relax, read, watch
a movie on your laptop, catch up on work or
simply watch the world go by as you rest comfortably in your seat.
To accommodate the heavy demand during
the week of Thanksgiving—our busiest week
of the year—we will be adding departures and
extra cars. Last year, we carried nearly 686,000
passengers that week, and we hope to be the
provider of choice for many more this year.
Please keep in mind that our busiest travel days
are the Wednesday before and Sunday after
Thanksgiving. We sell out fast, so I recommend
that you book your reservations early, and
allow plenty of time at stations prior to your
We make the best use of our equipment
during this busy travel season. It’s no secret
that our fleet is aging and we run our fleet very
hard compared with others in the transit and
railroad industry. That, combined with the
growth in demand for passenger rail, makes
equipment procurement one of Amtrak’s
most urgent needs.
To that end, this summer we announced
that we have begun the process to purchase
new equipment, with an order for 130 new
single-level rail cars to support national long-distance service. This new equipment—the
first of which we’ll start to see in service in late
2012—will replace equipment that is more
than 60 years old. We also plan to acquire new
electric locomotives, which we utilize on the
Northeast Corridor. These are the first steps
in a long-term, comprehensive fleet renewal
plan for the next 30 years that will significantly
improve service while also helping support a
domestic rail manufacturing industry.
New equipment will go a long way toward
better serving you. It will also improve Amtrak’s
ability to help our nation reduce its dependence on foreign oil, strengthen America’s rail
transportation network and provide millions
of Americans a more robust energy-e;cient
I wish you and your family safe and happy
holidays—may there be another Amtrak trip
in your stocking this year. I thank you, and the
more than 28 million passengers who choose
Amtrak, for riding with us today.
In the meantime, if there’s anything we can
do to make your trip better, please don’t hesitate to ask a member of our crew.
JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN