Bring it or leave it: Alcohol on Amtrak

Chugging across 21,000 miles throughout 46 states, Amtrak provides service to more than 500 destinations. Whether you’re making a quick trek from New York City to Boston, or embarking on a long journey between Los Angeles and Chicago, you may want to unwind with a glass of wine or a cocktail during your trip. Although you are allowed to consume alcohol while on board, you should familiarize yourself with Amtrak’s strict policies before toasting to your adventure on the rails.

Q: Can you drink alcohol on an Amtrak train?

A: Alcoholic beverages, including spirits, cocktails, wine and beer, are served on board most Amtrak trains in the cafe, lounge and dining cars. Amtrak rules dictate, however, that you must enjoy your drink inside the car from which it was purchased. In other words, you can’t walk through the train with your alcoholic beverage or consume it in your seat or car.

Q: Can you BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage/Booze/Beer) on Amtrak?

A: You’re allowed to bring your own alcohol, such as a bottle of wine, onto an Amtrak train, but you can only drink it from the comfort of your own private sleeping car. You’re not allowed to drink outside alcohol in any public areas of the train, including the lounge or dining cars.

Q: Can I carry alcohol on board the train?

A: Yes, you can absolutely bring alcohol onto an Amtrak train as long as it remains unopened. Feel free to pack any bottles of alcohol safely and securely inside your allotted amount of luggage. Each passenger is allowed two 25-pound personal items and two 50-pound carry-on items on board. Fees are charged for bags that exceed the quantity and size requirements. Just make certain you keep your bags with you in the designated luggage areas. You may also check two bags, free of charge, if the service is available at your point of departure. In some locations, you may also buy shipping boxes to pack your checked baggage.

Q: Can I ship bottles of alcohol ahead to my final destination?

A: Some Amtrak train stations provide small package shipping services for items weighing no more than 50 pounds. The service could come in handy if you’d like to ship some bottles of liquor you purchased during your travels.

Q: What will get you kicked off Amtrak?

A: Obvious violations, such as non-payment of fares or brandishing weapons, could get you booted from an Amtrak train. However, Amtrak also has the right to eject you from the train if they catch you breaking any of their rules regarding alcohol consumption. They can also eject any passenger displaying signs of excessive drinking, including loud or belligerent behavior.