In most circumstances, you must purchase a ticket before you board a train. Most trains require reservations and you should not board reserved trains without a reservation. Passengers who do so are not guaranteed a seat and may be instructed to get off the train at the next station stop.
In those limited circumstances when you are permitted to purchase your tickets onboard, you may pay with cash. Only passengers traveling on Capitol Corridor trains may pay with a credit card. Customers boarding at unstaffed stations who want to buy tickets with their credit card can do so on Amtrak.com or on their mobile phone prior to boarding.
On most Amtrak trains, only the full, undiscounted, unrestricted fare will be available for purchase onboard the train. This is regardless of reservations made or fares previously quoted by ticket agents, Amtrak.com or elsewhere. Higher fares usually apply when purchasing onboard the train.
To avoid any onboard ticketing problems, please call us at 1-800-USA-RAIL before you travel if you're planning to purchase your tickets onboard.
You can only pick up your tickets from a conductor in limited circumstances. For example, when you pay for your tickets in advance of travel and your departure station is closed at the time of departure and no other delivery option exists.
Based on your itinerary, our online booking system will determine your eligibility for onboard pick-up. If you are eligible, you will be presented with the option to pick up your tickets onboard in Step 4 of the booking process. When making reservations by phone, your reservation agent will tell you whether you are eligible for this service.