Amtrak expects packed trains Thanksgiving week

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wwltv.com

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 6:40 PM

Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- Over 100 passengers boarded a train Monday before it left New Orleans for Chicago, including the Givens family.

"I've been watching the Saints since I was a little boy, and we're from Memphis, and this is the first game we've all been to," said Kevin Givens.

It's been a record-setting fiscal year for Amtrak, with over 31 million passengers.

"It's really relaxing to be able to take the train, and not have to worry about pit stops," said Givens. "We have our two years old girls with us, twin girls."

"We have set record ridership numbers 10 out of the last 11 years, and as you know, Thanksgiving weekend is always Amtrak's busiest weekend," said Todd Stennis of Amtrak.

Over 700,000 passengers took trains last Thanksgiving week, a record that they know could be broken this year.

They plan to have every available passenger car in service.

"The seats are actually, and bedrooms, and roomettes are starting to fill up, so if you're looking for space, and you're looking to travel Thanksgiving weekend by rail, you need to book your travel as soon as possible, as we are starting to max out," said Stennis.

"I'll be back in two weeks, Thanksgiving, definitely," said Gale Duplessis of Durant, Mississippi.

Now the busiest travel days are the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the Sunday after.

But while you're at it, it's not too early, Amtrak agents say, to start making plans for Christmas vacation.

 

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