Inside Tip: The secret to the best Amtrak Business Class seating

Amtrak is a convenient way of shuttling up and down the northeast corridor, with downtown to downtown service. While most trains offer a Business Class service, you should know that not all Amtrak business class services are the same.

Interestingly, Amtrak runs 3 types of Business Class services in the Northeast Corridor:

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  • Amtrak Acela Express Business Class
  • Amtrak’s Northeast Regional 2×2 Business Class
  • Amtrak’s Amfleet Dinette 2×1 Business Class

In this specific post, I’ll be covering what’s considered the best Amtrak seating layout: The Amfleet Dinette.

While the Acela Business Class and Northeast Regional Business class do have a bit of extra legroom, the Amulet Dinette is Amtrak’s little secret – and offered a totally different type of seat.

The Amfleet Dinette is only found on certain train numbers, and the concept is simple: Half of the Cafe car is used as Cafe seating, the other half is 2×1 Business Class seating.

Here, you’ll see the one half – Cafe car seating for use by the entire train.


On the other half, you’ll find Business Class.


Notice that these seats are in a 2×1 layout, halve more legroom, and also have footrests. In addition, the seats recline way more than the average seat, and an included leg rest pops out, nearly mimicking a angled flat business class seat on a major airline.

Included with your ticket is complimentary non-alcoholic beverages (which are steps away thanks to this seating being in the Cafe car) and newspaper. Sure, it’s not like an airline service, but for Amtrak, it’s the best of what’s there.

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You won’t find these on every Amtrak train, and certainly won’t find them on the pricier Acela Express.

What trains offer this deluxe business class?

  • 54/55-56/57 – the Vermonter, serving Washington DC to St. Albans, VT and intermediate stations
  • 66/67 – the overnight Northeast Regional, serving Newport News, VA to Boston, MA and intermediate stations
  • 42/43/44 – the Pennsylvanian, serving Pittsburgh, PA to New York, NY and intermediate stations
  • 89/90 – the Palmetto, serving Savannah, GA to New York, NY and intermediate stations

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  1. mr chu says

    Many mornings (read between 630AM and 9AM), the Amfleet Dinette shows up the NE Regional trains out of NY and its considered as coach class. So if you happen to be on those trains its a free perk and go ahead and enjoy yourself (although no free drinks are included). Most folks don’t know this and just walk by assuming it is First Class. Some of us daily commuters live it up!

  2. Dave says

    HI, I have traveled on 89/90 once a month for the last 4 years – in business class (sitting on 89 in business class as I write this) in business class for the last 4 years. In that time (Savannah to Richmond leg) I have not seen this “delux business class”. Maybe there was a change.

    • says

      Yeah, I believe they changed it. I used to take that train quite frequently and saw the deluxe one a lot. It was worth it to upgrade. Lately, I’ve only seen it about 30% of the time.

  3. Steven says

    I’m almost certain I traveled in an Amfleet car from Chicago to Michigan on the Wolverine. Very similar to what you discribed in this post.


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    Inside Tip: The secret to the best Amtrak Business Class seating – The Forward Cabin

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