These fares offer discounts of 25 percent off the regular one-way fare.
This week, you can find discounts on about a dozen classic train routes including the Maple Leaf from Utica, New York to Niagara Falls.
Also available this week: discounts on the Crescent line fromAtlanta to New Orleans;the Coast Starlight from Sacramento to Los Angeles; Lincoln Service, from St. Louis to Chicago; the Cascades, from Vancouver to Seattle; and several other regional routes.
I was married in Garratt Park, Maryland, a small railroad suburb of Washington, DC.
We wanted to flag down the train after the wedding, to begin our honeymoon in style:
To Niag’ra in a sleeper, There’s no honeymoon that’s cheaper, And the train goes slow. Ooh ooh ooh! Off, we’re gonna shuffle, Shuffle off to Buffalo.
There are some important rules and limitations on these SmartFares.
The most obvious things to watch out for are the advance purchase requirements, the inability to use the tickets for a weekend trip (no travel on Fridays or Sundays), and the fact that the fares are nonrefundable and non-changeable.
There will be dozens of exhibitors at the station, tours, entertainment on four stages, as well as free Metrolink rides, a guided bike tour, and discounts at museums, restaurants, and theaters in half a dozen nearby neighborhoods.
Events at Union Station
Events at the station will include:
Official ceremony to rededicate of the historic ticket concourse
Step aboard one-of-a-kind rail cars
Tour the Amtrak Exhibit Train
Self-guided architectural tours of Union Station’s architecture, embellishments and artworks
Watch model trains in action
Play in the Chuggington Kids Depot (a preschool television series)
Entertainment on Four Stages
There will be more than a dozen acts, from music to dance and children’s theater, performed on four stages throughout the station. Highlights include:
Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, an all-female mariachi ensemble
Las Cafeteras, Afro-Mexican Son Jarocho, Hip Hop, Folk and Native American sounds
Big Jay McNeely & The Hollywood Combo, a Rhythm & Blues band
The Ladd McIntosh Big Band plays Swing, Two-Beat, Latin, Funk
Dr. Pinch and the Pinchtones perform WWII-era swing music
Cava, sounds of Afro-Cuban Son, Cumbia, Ska, Salsa and Funk
East Wind Lion Dance Troupe performing a traditional Chinese lion dance
Choo Choo Bob, railroad-themed music
Los Angeles Muses, a cappella harmonies from groups like the Andrews Sisters
Vocalist Jennifer Keith leads a quintet in jazz, American roots and pop music
Free Metrolink Rides and Neighborhood Discounts
Step outside the station for fun-filled activities in all directions. See the full listing of rides and discounts online.
My daughter is a junior in high school and we have been bombarded with colorful brochures.
How to choose?
The best advice we have been given is to scope out several campuses this spring — a state school, a small college, a large urban campus.
Amtrak offers a buy one – get one 50% offcampus visit programto high school juniors and seniors and their parents. Children over age 13 must buy “adult” tickets on Amtrak, so this deal amounts to 25 percent off of two fares.
This seems like a good deal…but you won’t find it on Amtrak’s deal page!
The discount tickets must be purchased between December 17, 2013 – December 16, 2014, and are valid for travel from January 1 – December 19, 2014. There are a large number of blackout dates, though, include around spring break and other holidays.
There are some restrictions:
Tickets must be booked a minimum of 3 days in advance; no exceptions.
Students must travel with an adult, parent or guardian.