More spacious seating, complimentary Wi-Fi and soft drinks and other perks will be available to travelers using Amtrak’s Cardinal route, linking Charleston to New York, Washington, Cincinnati, Chicago and other cities along the line, with the inauguration of business-class service starting Jan. 20.
The new service, announced Monday, makes it possible to reserve seating in a business-class car equipped with spacious leather seats, free Wi-Fi access and unlimited online access to the digital editions of The New York Times and The Washington Post. Business-class travelers also will receive free nonalcoholic beverages, complimentary access to the Metropolitan Lounge at Chicago’s Union Station, and an access pass for Philadelphia’s ClubAcela lounge for $20 per day.
In addition to providing upgraded service to Charleston passengers, Amtrak’s addition of business-class cars to its Cardinal trains “means they’re not going to take Amtrak out of here,” said Charleston Mayor Danny Jones. Congress has eyed the Cardinal route for possible cutbacks, and even closure, several times over the years.
The Cardinal travels between Chicago and New York three times a week, with the route’s eastbound Train 50 scheduled to arrive in Charleston at 8:21 a.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Westbound Train 51 is scheduled to arrive in Charleston at 8:29 p.m. on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Other West Virginia cities served by the Cardinal include Huntington, Montgomery, Thurmond, Prince, Hinton, Alderson and White Sulphur Springs.
Reservations for business-class service, as well as existing coach service, are available now at www.amtrak.com, or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.