For detailed information, Amtrak maintains a collection of sites under the rubric Planning & Booking. Here’s my quick take.

Service levels

Amtrak operates four different types of services:

  1. Acela Express. The only high-speed train in North America. Oddly enough I’ve never ridden it. It’s fast and offers amenities not found anywhere elsewhere on the system. It operates only between Washington, New York and Boston with intermediate stops.
  2. Corridor services. Coach-only day trains. This encompasses numerous trains throughout the United States. These trains carry cafe cars, which Amtrak characterizes as “a variety of carry-out style foods, including sandwiches, pizza, snacks, and beverages including liquor, wine and beer.”
  3. Long-distance trains. Overnight services which run across the country. In addition to the cafe includes a full-service dining car with sit-down meal service. Amtrak does vary menus regionally and these can be viewed online. Coach seating tends to be more spacious on long-distance trains than on corridor services. Long-distance trains feature sleeping accommodations.
  4. Thruway motorcoach. Connecting bus services. These often contracted with regional bus operators such as Greyhound or Trailways. It’s a bus.