The “To Trains” sign in the Great Hall of Chicago Union Station directs passengers to loading platforms. (Paul Davenport/AP)

Amtrak is now allowing some Acela passengers to choose where they sit, the railroad announced this week.

The move comes in response to internal marketing studies and informal polls suggesting a majority of passengers prefer being able to select seats, a spokesman said. First-class passengers will be able to choose a single seat or a double seat, whether on an aisle or at a window, or seats configured around a conference table, on some Acela routes. If all goes well, Amtrak will expand assigned seating to more Acela destinations.

“Customers have long requested assigned seats on trains, allowing families, friends and colleagues to sit together,” Amtrak Chief Marketing Officer Tim Griffin said in a written statement.

Seats are assigned at the time the reservation is made. To select a preferred seat, customers can see a ticket agent or use Amtrak’s mobile app or go online at Amtrak.com to choose or modify a seat assignment, free of charge.