Get On Board, “Membership & Media Outreach:” Train Boarding Process

Get On Board Campaign

What do I need to know about boarding a train?

The train boarding process isn’t hard, but here are some tips to help on your trip, beginning with what you need to know about boarding your train.

How do I know my boarding gate information?

Boarding gates are usually posted 15 minutes prior to a train’s departure.

Many stations have monitors and signs that display the boarding gate locations for each train. At many stations, customer service representatives will make announcements about boarding times and gate locations.

Get automatic boarding gate notifications in some branded phone apps. You’ll automatically receive gate and track notifications right on your phone if you’re departing from select stations. If downloading the app make sure “Trip Updates & Status” is enabled in the settings. To see if a station has enabled notifications, look up your departure station by city or station code.

What about non-staffed stations?

Be sure to look for signs and kiosks that give instructions for what to expect and where to board at unstaffed stations. Check Train Status on travel websites before arriving at your station. Train crews will direct you to the appropriate car and will help with luggage.

When should I arrive at the station?

Unless you’re taking an Auto Train, plan to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled departure. If you need assistance with baggage and/or ticketing, it’s recommended that you arrive 60 minutes early.

There are special boarding procedures and check-in times for Auto Train, so passengers should arrive at the station at least two hours prior to departure.

Priority boarding

At Boston – South Station and Albany, select passengers are asked to move from the waiting area to the platform first. If you’re in one of these groups, your eligibility for early boarding must be verified, so be sure to have your eTicket open on and your device screen or printed ticket handy while waiting to board.

*Guest Rewards Select Executive and Select Plus members

*Passengers traveling in Sleeping Car accommodations

*Passengers traveling in First class

*Passengers traveling in non-Business class

*Senior citizens aged 65 and over

*Active duty military personnel

*Families with young children

*Anyone needing assistance to board

At some stations it may be necessary to close boarding gates three to ten minutes prior to train departure to make sure you can board your train safely.

Checking tickets at the gate

Reserved seating is available when booking a ticket on Fist-class trains and in Business class on Northeast Regional trains so you can select your preferred seat prior to boarding the train.

In Seattle, Portland, or and for long distance service originating in Los Angeles and Albuquerque assigned seating is available at the station, so if you’re traveling from these stations you’ll need to show your ticket to an employee at the gate prior to boarding.

Safety first

Always remain behind the yellow line and safety strip on the platform while waiting for trains; trains stop very close to the edge of the platform. In some stations, not all trains stop at the platform while continuing through, so stay clear of these moving trains.

When boarding a train, be mindful of the gap between the platform and the train, always hold handrails for support and hold small children by the hand.

Guest Rewards

Every ride counts as an Guest Rewards member. Earn points toward reward travel, upgrades and more.

Gift Cards

Buy Gift Cards or download the mobile app.


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