Amtrak Says “Thank You” to America’s Passengers for Best Year Ever

What’s the best way to celebrate a record year of train ridership in the U.S.?  Riding more trains, of course.

Amtrak is thanking the passengers that helped set a record ridership of 31.6 million trips in Fiscal Year 2013 by offering a 31% discount on companion rail travel:

To take advantage of this discount, passengers must purchase tickets between Oct. 15 through Oct. 21, for travel Oct. 22 through Dec. 12.

The discount is available on regular full adult fares with qualifying adult companion traveling on the same itinerary with tickets issued together. This offer is valid on coach seats on select trains. Blackout dates of Nov. 26, 27, 30 and Dec. 1 apply. Other restrictions apply. For promotion details, visit

Now, if only Congress could see its way to passing a transportation funding bill so we could order some more equipment…


0 #12 2014-03-24 20:59
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0 #11 http://www. 2014-03-08 21:15
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thank you once again.
0 #10 Joe Versaggi 2013-10-18 19:54
3 highest endpoint permutations in Downeaster are Boston - Portland, and to each from Exeter.

Amtrak and Senator Lautenberg were in favor of PRIAA. They likely hit upon the 750 mile figure to include trains like the Carolinian, but exclude the Capitol Ltd and Palmetto. There are also some other clauses that are beneficial.
0 #9 Harvey I Kahler 2013-10-18 19:04
With respect to Maine, two factors in any public demand for rail service may be the crazy traffic and parking cost around Boston as a major destination.
0 #8 Harvey I Kahler 2013-10-18 18:53
I have little knowledge if the political situation or proportion of population effected in Maine. At the least, Maine seems more enlightened than Wisconsin in taking the leap of faith in the ridership forecast that passenger service will be worthwhile.
0 #7 Joe Versaggi 2013-10-18 18:43
Maine had 0% served by rail passengers service, yet started Downeaster. That is not a valid excuse.
0 #6 Harvey I Kahler 2013-10-18 18:36
Population was not the only factor; but even with the additional 16% with a Madison extension, 58% still "had no skin in the game" that enabled the state government to kill the extension with little political jeopardy.
0 #5 Joe Versaggi 2013-10-18 17:01
The Hiawathas run with both Illinois and Wisconsin contributing. The 26% of the population in Wisconsin served did NOT explain the difficulty in extending to Madison, as more than that would have been served as a result, but due to the anti-rail/pro-h ighway agenda of Wisconsin's state government. They turned down $800M federal money, yet went into debt to build more roads in the hinterlands.

As for the C-L's PIP, the trans-dorms were always for crews, does not complicate matters, and worked fine for 10 months in 1996 when NY coaches did run through. We run trains for the convenience of passengers, not crews. makes it quite clear that it is doable. It can also be done without a switch added in the station with a little thought.
0 #4 Harvey I Kahler 2013-10-18 15:23
Whether it's Section 403(b) in the USC or its modification in PRIAA 209, the situation facing corridor development is worse than before. The primary niche for rail passenger service is in the short and medium distance corridors serving small and medium-size markets with poor bus and air service.

The state-support mandate for routes under 750 miles, except for the NEC (!), removes the imperative to form a multi-state majority to advocate for expanding needed rail passenger services. NARP's primary concern for long-distance trains is out of step with the need for regional and corridor trains; and failure to oppose the mandate for state support limits the ability to use long-distance trains to incubate corridor development. Roughly 65% of Illinois' population is served by long-distance routes; and the relevance of that service produced the political support for State-supported corridors. Only 26% of the population in Wisconsin is served which explains the difficulty in extending a state-supported service to Madison, let alone to the Twin Cities and Green Bay. Given the middle-of-the-n ight schedules, Amtrak long-distance service in Ohio is mostly irrelevant and generates little political support for corridor services.

Adding single level through cars off the Pennsylvanian to a Superliner Capitol is no simple matter, especially when it seems that the transition sleepers have been converted in part to crew quarters.
-1 #3 Joe Versaggi 2013-10-18 12:45
It's called PRIAA 209, not 403b. It has its flaws, but so did the status quo. Whether a state paid for a corridor or not was a function of whether it had service in May, 1971. When it's 42 years later, it's meaningless, and comes off as arbitrary and discriminatory.

I am far more frustrated at Amtrak's lack of initiative at implementing some of the LD train Performance Improvement Plans, especially the cheap and doable ones like Pennsylvanian thru cars and Reno cut cars on the California Zephyr. It seems they are more interested in replacing coach pillows with $8 "comfort kits" than anything to improve service and increase capacity through efficiency.

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