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Amtrak suspends nonstop Acela service between DC and New York due to coronavirus

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

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amtrak has cancelled its Acela nonstop service between Washington, D.C. and New York as one of its safety measures amid concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus. 

“The safety of Amtrak’s customers and employees is our top priority,” the company said in a release. “We are closely monitoring the coronavirus and are taking action based on guidance from public health experts.”

The Acela nonstop service will be temporarily suspended starting Tuesday, March 10 until Tuesday, May 26.

Amtrak said it would remove train cars or cancel trains altogether when other alternatives are available for customers. The company cited reduced demand for train service. 

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 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.