Plan Ahead for Busy Holiday Travel Season

November 13, 2019
Rensselaer Rail Station

Thanksgiving Holiday Week Busiest Travel Time of the Year

ALBANY, NY (November 14, 2019) The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA), owner and operator of the Rensselaer Rail Station, has made some enhancements to improve the customer experience and provide a reminder for passengers to allow extra time while traveling during the busy holiday season.

Parking at the CDTA Rail station facilities are expected to be at or near capacity with space at a premium leading up to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Parking is also at a premium Wednesday-Saturday during the entire holiday season and throughout the year.

Rail customers will have a new transportation choice with the addition of Tech Valley Hospitality Shuttle service available between 9am - 9pm from Monday through Friday with late night and weekend service hours, train schedule-dependent. The pilot service will provide transportation to a variety of Downtown Albany hotels and landmarks for $7 per person.

Customers will also notice a dedicated pickup location for Lyft rideshare services via a branded waiting shelter on the top deck. This will help with traffic flow and customer information along with other ground transportation options available at the Rensselaer Rail Station.  

To help enhance the passenger travel experience, CDTA and Amtrak would like to encourage travelers to prepare for an easy and safe trip by using the following guidelines: 

  • Buy tickets early: Tickets will sell out quickly. Travelers can easily purchase tickets using, or on the Amtrak mobile app.


  • Avoid the Rush, Arrive Early: Customers are encouraged to arrive 45 minutes before departure.


  • Enhanced Experience: Most trains feature free Wi-Fi, the freedom to use electronic devices (no “airplane mode”), large spacious seats, ample leg room and no middle seat.


  • 2+2 = Free: Amtrak has the friendliest baggage policy in the travel industry. Customers can bring two bags and two carry-ons, up to 150 pounds for free!


  • Travel with Your Furry Friend: For only $26, cats and small dogs (20 pounds or less) are welcome for trips up to seven hours on most routes.


  • Check Train Schedules: Check holiday train schedules and status before arriving at the station on com, Track Your Train (on, or using the Amtrak mobile app.


  • Carry Photo ID: Customers are required to show travel documents and a valid photo ID.


  • Safety First: If you see something, say something. Report any suspicious activity or unattended items to an Amtrak employee or member of the Amtrak Police Department at (800) 331-0008, by calling 911, or by sending a text to APD11 from a smartphone, or 27311 from a standard cell phone.

Additional security personnel and local law enforcement will be present at the station throughout the holiday season to help monitor the increased traffic at the station.

Last year during the Thanksgiving travel period, Amtrak had its highest ever ridership during Thanksgiving week with over 846,000 riders across the country and over 160,000 customers the Sunday following Thanksgiving.