Amtrak - Passes and Groups
When looking for a way to save money on your Amtrak travels, there are plenty of opportunities to invest in an Amtrak rail pass or group travel that significantly reduces your overall cost.
Whether you plan on touring an abundance of states throughout the United States or you’d rather spend your time exploring the ins and outs of California, there is a rail pass for you.
Group discounts are also offered for groups of more than 20 passengers traveling to the same destination.
North American Rail Pass
For the cost of $709 during the off-peak season (mid-October to mid-May) and $999 during peak travel times (mid-May to mid-October), the North America Rail Pass allows 30 days of consecutive travel throughout the United States and Canada on a Coach travel level. With unlimited rides and stopovers, passengers can travel across more than 28,000 miles to more than 900 locations. With the pass, tickets are required to board, which can be obtained through mail, by travel agent, or at the station.
USA Rail Passes
When it comes to seeing the sights of the United States, only international visitors have the option of purchasing the USA Rail Pass. The pass offers unlimited rail travel in increments of 5 days, 15 days, and 30 days. As the pass only lasts for one year from the date of purchase, it shouldn’t be used for commuting. Every time you intend on using the USA Rail Pass, you should know that tickets and reservations are a must before boarding a train. Non-immigrant visas, passports, and proof of residency are needed to take advantage of this type of pass.
Rail 2 Rail
If you reside in Southern California, the Rail 2 Rail program was established to provide easy linking and access to the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink, and Coaster. A wide range of benefits is offered through Rail 2 Rail, such as the Bob Hope Airport Service that brings passengers between L.A. Union Station and Burbank. The tickets for Metrolink and Amtrak are also interchangable.
State Rail Passes
For $159, seven days of travel on the California rail are provided over a 21-day period of time when purchasing the California Rail Pass. Children between the ages of 2 and 17 will pay $80 for the discounted service. The pass does not work for long-distance travel and can only be used on the following trains: Capitols, San Joaquin, connecting Thruway services, Coast Starlight between Los Angeles and Dunsmuir, and the Pacific Surfliner corridor trains. This type of pass is available through a travel agent or Amtrak station.
In Florida, the same offer is given, but extends to one year of unlimited travel throughout the state for the low price of $249. This luxury is offered only for residents of the Florida area, and requires no reservations for travel. All you have to do is show your pass and board.
A variety of benefits await passengers who travel in packs. Depending on the train involved and the time of year, Amtrak might be able to accommodate groups totaling more than 100 passengers. When it comes to group discounts, savings as much as 20% can be enjoyed. For some, senior and children discounted rates (15% for senior citizens and half-fares for younger passengers) may also apply to group rates.
It is important to know that not all trains provide these types of savings so it is essential to inquire directly with Amtrak for current fares before making definite plans. When traveling as a group, there are a few responsibilities to adhere to. For example, for every six minors under the age of 18, there should be at least one designated chaperone. Arriving early for departure is also a responsibility for groups.
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