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CostHelper > Travel  > U.S. Train Travel

U.S. Train Travel Cost


How Much Does U.S. Train Travel Cost?

 
low costCity-to-City Tickets: $20-$400+ average costUSA Rail Passes: $389-$749high costTour Package: $1,200-$4,950
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Train travel between U.S. cities is operated by Amtrak[1] . Regular trains travel up to 90 mph, while Amtrak's Acela Express trains can travel up to 150 mph. Amtrak offers USA Rail passes for tourists wishing to save money, as well as a variety of commuter passes for students and business people. Amtrak tickets[2] are available on the company's website.

Typical costs:

  • City-to-city train tickets on Amtrak[3] typically cost $20-$400 one way, depending on total distance and how early tickets are booked. A short trip like Indianapolis to Chicago might cost $20 to $40 one way, while New Orleans to Los Angeles might cost $260 to $470 one-way (cheaper price reflects bookings at least three days in advance).
  • Amtrak's Acela Express Trains[4] operate between three major cities, New York, D.C. and Boston. An Acela Express trip from New York to Boston (3.5 hours) might cost $93 one way, whereas the standard train trip might cost $62 one way (this trip takes 30 to 60 minutes longer). A trip from Washington D.C. to Boston (7 hours) might cost $149 one way on the Acela Express trains and $87 on slower trains.
  • Amtrak's USA Rail passes[5] last either 15 days ($389), 30 days ($579) or 45 days ($749) for one adult traveling in coach class (child age 2-15 half price, under 2 free). Travel is limited to the assigned number of segments (or legs) of the trips (eight, 12 or 18 segments, increasing with the number of days purchased), and must be completed within 180 days of reserving the first travel segment. Amtrak offers a California Rail Pass[6] for $159, which is good for seven travel days within a 21-day travel period. These passes are designed for people traveling on vacation and are not suggested as a commuting pass. For more information on what constitutes a segment, visit Amtrak[7] .
  • Commuters may purchase Amtrak's multi-ride tickets[8] between select cities. For example, a 10-ride ticket from Chicago to Milwaukee costs $165 (all rides used within 60 days), and a monthly unlimited-ride pass costs $358. Individual tickets purchased in advance typically cost $22, so the customer can save $55 by buying a 10-ride pass or $82 on a monthly pass (based on 20 total commutes). All fares are for one-way travel and do not include a return ticket.
  • A train tour package typically costs $1,200-$4,950, averaging $140-$275 per person, per day.For example, the America the Beautiful West train tour (not run by Amtrak) starts at $2,795 per person (double occupancy).. The 14-day vacation package includes 20 meals and hotel or train accommodations for each night of the tour, and stops at The Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco and the Colorado Rockies.
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What should be included:
  • Acela Express trains include more luxuries than regular trains, including quiet cars, conference tables, power outlets and onboard bistros.
  • Train tours should include accommodations on or off the train and meal options.
  • Rail passes and commuter passes allow the passenger to travel within the given timeframe, but also require that each segment of the trip be booked in advance. A rail or commuter pass does not allow the passenger to get on any train at any time, as reservations must be secured first.
Additional costs:
  • Per night requested, add around $50 per person for a roomette[9] or $100 per person for a bedroom[10] on train tours.
Discounts:
  • Half-price tickets are available to children[11] 2-15 (two per paying adult). Infants under 2 ride free (one per paying adult).
  • Seniors[12] 62 years and older get 15%off regular adult fare.
  • Save 15%with a AAA card[13] , Student Advantage card[14] , ISIC card[15] , or a Veterans Advantage card[16] on tickets booked at least three days before travel. Save 10%with a NARP card[17] .
  • Active-duty members of the U.S. military[18] , as well as their spouses or dependents, can save 10%.
Shopping for u.s. train travel:
  • Amtrak offers a virtual preview[19] of a typical train cabin.
  • Independent Traveler lists train travel tips[20] on reservations, security and staying comfortable on the train.
  • USA Rail passes from Amtrak require reservations for each train trip. Passes can be purchased online or via a travel agent, and are not valid for Acela Express trains or select other trains.
  • Amtrak requires photo identification such as a valid passport or government-issued Photo ID. Lost or stolen USA Rail Passes are not refundable, but lost tickets may be replaced if the pass used to purchase them is still available.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.amtrak.com/home
  2.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/HomePage
  3.  tickets.amtrak.com/itd/amtrak
  4.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=AM_Route_C&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241245...
  5.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241305460725
  6.  www.amtrak.com/home/california-rail-pass
  7.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241305460725
  8.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&p=1237405732514&c...
  9.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=AM_Accommodation_C&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid...
  10.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=AM_Accommodation_C&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid...
  11.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241305459996
  12.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241305460008
  13.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241305460149
  14.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241305460134
  15.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241305460140
  16.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241305460011
  17.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241305460253
  18.  www.amtrak.com/home/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241305460146
  19.  www.amtrak.com/home/media/train_tour/viewliner/viewliner.html
  20.  www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/train-travel/u-s-train-travel
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