Rail transportation is permitted when it meets mission requirements and is the most cost-effective mode, taking into consideration best value, such as travel time, per diem, and miscellaneous expenses.

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) is the only approved DoD rail passenger carrier in the Continental United States. In overseas areas, standards are established in accordance with host country agreements and conventions.

Ticket Class

Travelers must use economy or coach accommodations when booking travel by rail. AMTRAK Acela Express and extra fare trains are considered business class and require the order-issuing authorizing official's approval before travel begins.

Refer to Table 2-4, of paragraph 020206 of the Joint Travel Regulations [PDF] for further guidance on cost comparison and changing class of service.

Regulatory guidance can be found in Chapter 105, Rail Transportation, of the Defense Transportation Regulation, Part 1, Passenger Movements [PDF, 2 pages].


Travelers should use the Defense Travel System or a Travel Management Company to book rail accommodations.

See the Defense Transportation Regulation [PDF, 2 pages] for information on booking group travel using rail.