Amtrak cancels nonstop Acela service between DC, NYC due to coronavirus

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An Amtrak Acela passenger train departs Union Station in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amtrak is canceling its high-speed Acela nonstop service between Washington, D.C. and New York through late May as consumer demand weakens amid concern over the coronavirus outbreak. 

“As we are experiencing some reduced demand for our service, we are making temporary adjustments to our schedule, such as removing train cars or cancelling trains when there is a convenient alternative with a similar schedule that will have minimal impact to customers,” Amtrak said in a statement. 

The Acela nonstop service will be temporarily suspended starting Tuesday, March 10 until Tuesday, May 26. Passengers can still take Amtrak’s slower, northeast regional trains between the two cities. 

Amtrak has also waived change fees on all existing or new reservations made before April 30.

“While there are no current travel restrictions on Amtrak, we understand customers may have concerns,” the company said in a statement. “As a valued customer, we are waiving change fees on all existing or new reservations made before April 30, 2020.”

To change an Amtrak reservation, the company instructs passengers to go to Modify Trip on Amtrak.com or do so on the Amtrak app. If there is a fare difference when changing a reservations, passengers must pay it, the company says.

Amtrak also plans to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spread by “increasing the frequency of cleaning services to multiple times a day, and in some cases, on an hourly basis.” An increased supply of sanitizers and disinfectant wipes will be available for passengers and employees as well on trains and in stations. 

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