Amtrak Preparing for Pope's Visit to Philadelphia in September
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
Philadelphia is preparing itself for the influx of people who will visit the city when Pope Francis makes his visit in September, and Amtrak is taking the necessary steps to handle a higher number of passengers.
In a statement from Amtrak, the company is looking to operate extra trains with added capacity in the Northeast Corridor to get people to papal events scheduled in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Amtrak is expecting more than a million people to attend an outdoor Mass and other events associated with the World Meeting of Families on Sept. 26 and 27, and the result should be a heavy increase in rail passengers.
Due to the preparations being made now by the company, Amtrak is expecting operations in and around New York and Washington to remain normal, but warns passengers that large crowds during the Pope’s scheduled events are expected.
Officials broke down what travelers can expect when the Pope comes to town, saying, “Amtrak service will operate on a normal weekday schedule Monday, Sept. 21 through Friday, Sept. 25, with extra coaches added to some trains to accommodate additional demand. Starting Friday, Sept. 25 through Monday, Sept. 28, reservations will be required on all Acela Express, Northeast Regional and Keystone Service trains.”
Keeping the trains operational will be key, but Amtrak is shutting down maintenance activities around the time of the pope’s visit. Instead, the company will pre-position rescue equipment to respond quickly to any disabled trains. Amtrak will also share real-time dispatching information with regional transit agency partners.
Travelers who will arrive at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station will endure the longest lines and most crowding. With Amtrak, New Jersey Transit trains and SEPTA operating out of the station during the Pope’s visit to the city, passengers should plan for major delays due to the sheer number of people.
To help ease the stress and confusion, Amtrak designed a page on its official website dedicated to the papal visit and helping customers navigate safely around the city in a timely fashion.
More by Donald Wood
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions
Airlines & Airports
Cruise Line & Cruise Ship