PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Amtrak has announced that it is adding extra trains with more seats to help handle the increase in riders during the pope's visit to the United States in September.
Heavy demand is expected as Pope Francis travels from Washington to New York then Philadelphia.
Amtrak outlined the following plans:
With some minor exceptions, operations in and around New York and Washington will be normal, although passengers should expect large crowds during the Pope's scheduled events. Amtrak service will operate on a normal weekday schedule Monday, September 21 through Friday, September 25, with extra coaches added to some trains to accommodate additional demand.
Starting Friday, September 25, through Monday, September 28, reservations will be required on all Acela Express, Northeast Regional and Keystone Service trains. As outlined in the timetable at Amtrak.com/PapalVisit, Amtrak will operate Philadelphia-centric "Event Extra" service on Saturday, September 26, and Sunday, September 27, in some cases utilizing equipment from our commuter partners.
To better ensure efficient train movements for all users of the NEC, Amtrak will suspend maintenance activities, pre-position rescue equipment to quickly respond to any disabled trains, and continuously share real-time dispatching information with our regional transit agency partners.
30th Street Station
To ensure public safety and aid in crowd control, some special procedures will be implemented at Philadelphia 30th Street Station during the weekend of the papal visit. In addition to Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains, SEPTA service to/from Levittown, Marcus Hook, Wilmington, Croydon and Cornwells Heights, will operate from the lower-level/main concourse. Specific boarding procedures and recommended points of entry will be announced at a later date. Additional station personnel and ambassadors will be on hand to assist, but passengers should expect long lines and crowded conditions.
Taxi service and rental cars will not be available to/from 30th Street Station Friday, September 25 through Sunday, September 27. Station restrooms will be closed to the public but facilities will be available outside. Food court eateries will be open and accessible from the Market Street entrance.
Tickets for all Amtrak trains are available now at Amtrak.com. Passengers are advised to book as early as possible to ensure availability. Additional announcements with more detailed information will be made in the weeks to come and posted to our custom web page, Amtrak.com/papalvisit, which will be updated regularly.