From Birmingham to New Orleans + New York, ride the rails of the Amtrak Crescent—everything you need to know

Train
Amtrak Crescent rolling through Birmingham. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Did you know you can take a train from Birmingham to New Orleans, Atlanta and even New York? Get ready to pack your bags for enchanting travels, here’s everything you need to know about riding the rails of Amtrak’s Crescent to and from Birmingham Station. Choo choo!

Where is Birmingham Station located and when is it open?

Where: 1801 Morris Ave, Birmingham, AL 35203
Hours: Ticket Station, Passenger Assistance + Checked Baggage Storage, 10AM-5:45PM daily
Parking Hours: Daily, 24 hours

Where can you travel via train from Birmingham?

The answer is lots of places! Here are just a few:

  • Atlanta: 4 hours, 36 minutes
  • New Orleans: 7 hours, 59 minutes
  • New York: 23 hours, 44 minutes

View AmTrack’s Network/Routes.

Train
Fun travels await. (Amtrak / Facebook)

What do train tickets cost?

It depends on your destination, of course, but overall, you are sure to save money when choosing to ride the rails. The price for a coach train ticket from Birmingham to New Orleans, for example, starts at just $25. 

Amtrak also offers ticket discounts for kids, seniors and military, so be sure to check available discounts before you book your ticket.

How do I purchase tickets?

It’s simple. Just follow once of these steps:

  1. Go to Amtrak’s website to book online.
  2. Call 1.800.872.7245 and speak to an agent.
  3. Visit Birmingham Station’s ticket booth in person at 1801 Morris Ave, Birmingham, AL 35203.
Train
All aboard! (Amtrak / Facebook)

Is food or drinks available?

Bring your appetite, Amtrak’s Crescent offers exclusive and complimentary Flexible Dining for private room ticket holders. This includes:

  • A menu with hot, ready-to-serve choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • A wide selection of wine, beer and spirits (the first one’s on them during dinner!), plus unlimited soft drinks throughout the journey
  • Exclusive onboard lounge to dine and socialize
  • Complimentary room service provided by your attendant
  • Flexible dining times without the need for reservations

Most Amtrak routes also offer CafĂ© service, which includes a selection of meals, snacks and beverages for sale.

Travel tip: It’s always a good idea to bring personal snacks with you just in case!

What about alcohol?

Amtrak serves alcoholic beverages on board many of its trains, so ask an attendant during food and beverage service during your trip.

What do I do with my bags?

As with other travel services, you can check your bag at the check-in desk when you arrive, or bring your luggage on board with you.

Checked baggage includes:

  • 2 Bags Free up to 50 lbs. and 75 linear inches
  • 2 Additional Bags for $20 each
  • Oversized Baggage (76-100 linear inches) for $20 each

Here’s what carry-on baggage is allowed:

  • 2 Personal Items up to 25 pounds and 14 x 11 x 7 inches each
  • 2 Carry-On Bags up to 50 pounds and 28 x 22 x 14 inches each

Find info on special baggage items + restrictions here.

Can I park my car at the station?

Yes! Parking is available 24 hours a day. Same-day and overnight parking is also available for free!

How early should I arrive before departure?

Here’s what Amtrak suggests:

  • Arrive at least 60 minutes prior to departure if you need to check baggage or need ticketing/passenger assistance.
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure if you are NOT checking baggage or do NOT need assistance.

As good travelers know, it’s always wise to show up too early than too late.

Can my pet travel with me?

Dog
Who said your pet has to stay at home? (@Zoro_the_cavapoos / Facebook)

Don’t want to leave home without your pet in tow? Good thing Amtrak lets small dogs and cats travel onboard for $26. There are some stipulations, though.

  • Pet must equal no more than 20 pounds—this includes your pet and their pet carrier. 
  • Train travel must be under seven hours total.
  • Pet must be at least eight weeks old, orderless, harmless, non disruptive and require no attention during travel.
  • Pet must be up to date on all vaccinations.
  • Reservations are limited to one pet per customer.

Reserve your pet’s seat (in its carrier, of course!) here.

Make your train travels even easier—download Amtrak’s app

Train
Amtrak’s app makes travel more efficient. (Amtrak / Facebook)

There’s an app for that. Download the Amtrak mobile app for Apple or Android to:

  • Purchase one-way, roundtrip, multi-ride and monthly tickets with dollars or Amtrak Guest Rewards points.
  • Modify or cancel when your plans change.
  • Change your seat assignment.
  • Check your train status in seconds.
  • Get gate and track boarding information.
  • Get notifications if your train gets delayed.
  • Find station hours and addresses to help you get to, from and around your departure and arrival stations.
  • And more!

Have you traveled on the Birmingham Crescent? Let us know how it was on social @thebamabuzz.

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Patience Itson
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