Why Is Amtrak So Expensive?

If you are a resident in either the United Nations of America or Canada, you must have traveled by Amtrak at least once! It is the largest railway network connecting every state in the United Nations, along with providing transport services to nine cities in Canada. Amtrak stands for American Track and is a passenger railroad service that connects virtually every place in the United Nations of America plus nine cities in the neighboring country of Canada. It has a solid 44 routes and 623 miles of laid railway tracks.Why Is Amtrak So Expensive?keep reading.

Why Is Amtrak So Expensive?

Generally, train tickets are cheaper than air tickets, but in the case of Amtrak, the prices are at par with flight tickets. Read on to know why, especially if you are an ardent traveler! 

What Is Amtrak?

As mentioned above, Amtrak is the largest railway service provider in the United Nations of America. It was founded in 1971 after the then-President Richard Nixon signed the permission for the same, and currently operates approximately 300 trains on its routes. It serves more than 500 destinations overall. By the 1940s, Americans had started traveling less by trains and more by other means of transport like buses, private vehicles, and planes. By the 1960s, several railway services had been discontinued, and that is when the then-President Richard Nixon stepped up to establish Amtrak.

Salient Features Of Amtrak:

More often than not, people book Amtrak tickets just for the experience- to see for themselves the unique features that all Amtrak trains offer. Some of these tourist-attracting features are as follows:


If you are traveling alone and need a bit of time off from the chaos outside, you can book the private rooms on Amtrak. They are spacious, clean, and comfortable plus come in several room choices so as to cater to everyone’s budgets and preferences. Private rooms are categorized as such: Roomettes, Bedrooms, Bedroom Suite, Family Bedroom, and Accessible Bedroom. They all have their own perks including complimentary lounge access at stations, food in the coach, and car assistants! Please visit https://www.amtrak.com/onboard/onboard-accommodations-for-all-your-needs/sleeper-car-accommodations.html for more details. 


Amtrak trains provide state-of-the-art dining facilities on board, which include traditional dining, Flexible dining, Acela dining, Special menus, etc. You can view their menus online- they provide clear food ingredient information to help people with allergies and restrictive diets, and also are inclusive of the diets of specially-abled people. To know more, head over to https://www.amtrak.com/onboard/meals-dining.html. Sub-links are provided on this page itself.


If you are on a workcation, you will need a stable internet connection throughout your traveling time, and Amtrak provides exactly that! Plus, it helps you stay connected with your family and friends and enables you to share locations and carry out other online safety measures. 

NOTE: Only select Amtrak trains and stations have WIFI. You will find the list at https://www.amtrak.com/onboard/journey-with-wi-fi-train-station.html.

PETS AND YOUR BICYCLE ON TRAIN:  Yes, you have read that right! Amtrak allows you to travel with your dogs and cats- restricted to animals only up to twenty pounds- and even carry your bikes- weighing up to fifty pounds- for easy and free navigation at your destination stop. 

For more details on the bike carriage allowance, you might want to visit https://www.amtrak.com/onboard/bring-your-bicycle-onboard.html.

For more details on the pet part, head over to https://www.amtrak.com/onboard/carry-on-pets.html.

Why Is Amtrak So Expensive?

Here are some of the major reasons why Amtrak is so expensive:

Rail maintenance cost:

Railway lines all over the nation- in fact, that can be said of the world as well- have been laid hundreds of years back. So they too, like all public places need regular care and cleaning, the cost of which boils down to huge amounts. Trains cover a large travel route and therefore railway tracks have been laid even in remote areas and are subjected to harsh conditions on a daily basis, which only ever adds to ever-mounting costs. In an attempt to cover these costs, Amtrak has priced its tickets so high.

Better or faster transport facilities:

With the introduction of buses and cars in the market, travel time has cut down significantly. A train will take longer to travel from Place A to Place B than by road or air. Since Amtrak tickets are usually more expensive than even flights, flying seems like a win-win option. This preference for travel by cars or planes has led to a decline in the purchase of Amtrak tickets, which in turn led to an increase in prices to compensate for lost passengers. 

Increment in employee expenditure:

Amtrak is known to not make profits, but regardless of that, their countless employees need to be paid which takes away a significant part of their earnings. Both the skilled and unskilled sectors of their employment spectrum need to be paid at the end of the month, notwithstanding the number of ticket sales that respective month, because they still have put in their work. As a consequence, Amtrak tries to further increase prices to cover the losses incurred by empty trains traveling bound by a schedule. 

Amtrak is severely underfunded:

Most of its revenue is generated by the sale of tickets, as the government’s funding does not really do much. For reasons stated above, the number of passengers keeps declining, and to keep up with their functioning costs, Amtrak is compelled to price its tickets above average. 


Amtrak is an expensive but enjoyable mode of transport covering the entirety of the United Nations of America and nine cities of Canada. The rates for its tickets are generally higher than even air tickets, and the reasons are that it is severely underfunded and has high maintenance costs. Regardless, it might be worth splurging once in a while to experience the American landscape close by.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):

  • How much luggage are you allowed to take on Amtrak?

Any item should not exceed fifty pounds. You are allowed to take two free carry-ons. 

  • Can you bring your own food on Amtrak?


Why Is Amtrak So Expensive?

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