Train travel is getting more affordable this season.VIA Rail, the Canadian rail company, is offering travelers ages 12 to 25 an additional 15 percent off of the lowest available fare for travel December 15 to May 16. You must make your reservation no later than December 16. That makes the popular Windsor to Toronto route less than US$50. To take advantage of this deal, visit the VIA Rail Web site.
VIA Rail also offers year-round discounts. If you’ll be traveling in Canada this year, be sure to ask for the following discount fares:
- Seniors – Those age 60 and older are offered a 10 percent discount
- Youth – Discount varies by route
- Children – Discount varies by route
- Groups – Via Rail offers one free ticket to groups of 20 paid passengers or more
Amtrak offers an additional 25 percent discount on one of its route systems each month. This month, the discount applies to “The Pennsylvanian,” which travels between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Check back in January for a new discount. For more information on this, visit the Amtrak Web site.
In addition to these seasonal discounts, Amtrak offers the following discounts year round:
- Children – Children ages 2-15 pay half fare; infants (under age 2) travel for free
- Seniors – Seniors (age 62 and older) enjoy a 15 percent discount on most routes
- AAA Members – American Automobile Association members get a 10 percent discount
- NARP Members – National Association of Railroad Passengers members also get a 10 percent discount
- Students – Student Advantage and International Student ID Card holders get a 15 percent discount
- Military – US active military personnel, their spouses and their dependents get a 10 percent discount on most fares
- Veterans – Veterans advantage card holders get a 15 percent discount
- Groups – Groups of 20 persons or more traveling together can get up to 20 percent off of their fare plus other amenities in certain cases
Amtrak also offers a variety of rail passes, including 15, 30 and 45-day system passes (starting at $459 per person) and seven-day California passes (starting at $159.)
In addition to saving money, train stations are generally less congested than airports and are centrally located, often within walking distance of attractions and downtown hotels. Traveling by train also gives you a chance to get out of the cities and see the vast American and Canadian countryside, truly one of North America’s greatest assets.
Have you traveled by rail recently?