To make Amtrak reservations by phone, call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245), and follow the specific prompts for making a new reservation. The prompts ultimately lead you to a reservation agent.
Once you call Amtrak's official number, a reservation agent asks you the dates you want to travel and your destination/departure cities. The agent also asks if you would like an economy or business class seat, and may ask where on the train you prefer to sit. Longer train routes also offer a range of sleeper cars for an extra charge.
Amtrak also allows reservations thorough their official website at amtrak.com, if you do not want to make a reservation by phone. Additionally, a travel agent can plan your trip for you.
Amtrak offers discounts for students, ISIC members, AAA members and seniors, so be sure to mention if you are a member of one of those groups. Amtrak also often has discounts on last minute fares between certain cities. Amtrak also offers a rewards program called Amtrak Guest Rewards, which works in a similar manner to airline miles programs. If you plan on using Amtrak often, you might want to ask about the benefits of joining this program, which can include free travel and upgrades.