AmtrakAmtrak Tips

Amtrak Routes With Observation Cars

1.1kviews
Grounded Life Travel is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Amtrak observation cars are the best way to see the country on long distance Amtrak trains. They provide a view from both sides of the car through domed floor to ceiling windows. There are 8 Amtrak routes with observation cars. Amtrak observation cars are open to passengers in coach and sleeper accommodations at no additional cost.

Routes with observation cars include:

If you are on a beautiful route, such as the California Zephyr or Coast Starlight, you’ll want to head to the observation car early as it will fill up.

Sunset Limited Observation Car
Sunset Limited Observation Car – Crossing The Mississippi

Observation cars are often called sightseer lounges for the incredible views they provide. There is no assigned seating so you’ll be able to sit wherever you like. You can choose from a single seat, family seat, or booth. There are outlets to charge your phone at each seat.

On the bottom level of the observation car is the Amtrak cafe. You can bring food purchased in the cafe up to the observation car to eat at a seat or a table. A bathroom is located on the lower level in the cafe.

Amtrak Observation Car
Amtrak Observation Car

Seats are available that face straight out of the car or are angled for a better view and to more easily have a conversation. These seats have small tables between them to hold a meal or your drink. On the lower level of the observation car you’ll find the cafe, which sells snacks and drinks to all passengers.

Amtrak observation car seats
Window seats in the observation car
Robert Marmion
Rob is married to Allie and together they have been traveling the world for the past 2 years. Rob is one of the most published photographers in the world, having published over 750,000 images in the last 15 years. He enjoys doing landscape and astrophotography while on the road.