A train station is simply a point where you get on or off a train. Train stations take many forms. Some are magnificent, massive, and historic buildings; others are cozy small-town stations; and still others are nothing but a shack or a roof by the rails. Some stations have restaurants, shopping, rental cars, and taxi stands within their walls. Most are downtown in the cities they serve, meaning that having a layover on Amtrak can be fun rather than tedious as it often is with airports.
Some stations have a large staff, ticketing kiosks, and checked luggage services. Some stations offer none of these, and may not even have an attendant; for travel from these unstaffed stations, you must have purchased your ticket in advance.
You can also call Amtrak directly at 1-800-USA-RAIL. They can help you find stations, describe the hours the stations are open, etc.
If you're booking online, a handy place to start is Amtrak's station finder. One hint: expand the 15-mile radius. Most large cities and a surprising number of small towns have Amtrak service. If the station finder doesn't help you, check out the list of stations by state.
Our Regional page has information on some -- but certainly not all -- stations. Where we have information, we try to provide insider's tips, dining options, and connections to other rail, car, or air transportation.
Amtrak also has information about each station, including its hours and the trains that it serves, on its website.