amtrak Posts

My Incredible Amtrak Guest Rewards Redemption

Amtrak is devaluing its Guest Rewards program tomorrow, so if you are sitting on any sizable quantity of Amtrak points and thinking about a long-distance journey in the next year, you need to call Guest Rewards at 1-800-307-5000 before midnight ET this evening to book.
Wanting ...

Final Hours to Transfer Chase Points to Amtrak

In just a few hours, the ability to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Amtrak Guest Rewards will no longer be possible. If you are considering an Amtrak redemption in the coming months, now is the final call to move your points over.
Amtrak is transforming its loyalty program in January ...
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Amtrak Train Derails in Philadelphia - 240 Onboard, 50 injured

While details are still sketchy at this time, an Amtrak train en route from Washington DC to New York City derailed 8-10 cars with approximately 240 passengers on board.  Aerial shots show the wreckage lit up by flashlights as rescuers pursue survivors.  

The accident happened near 2000 Wheatsheaf Lane and local trains have suspended service and been diverted for the time being.  Firefighters were seen moving victims on gurneys out of the train cars which appeared to be on their side.  

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this tragedy.  


National Train Day at Grand Central

National Train Day at Grand Central was well attended. In fact, it was packed on Saturday. I was surprised at the long line of people inside Grand Central waiting to go to the exhibit. I almost decided not to wait, but the line was moving quickly enough.
What I didn't realize was ...

It's National Train Day!

Grab your camera, check the website, and head to your closest National Train Day exhibit. I'll be headed to Grand Central Station at noon today for the Parade of Trains to view more than 20 classic trains including:

FL-9 Locamotive

20th Century Limited Hickory Creek ...

Amtrak Acela Business Class New York to Washington

On a recent trip from New York City to Washington, D.C. I opted to take Amtrak's Acela service in business class. I tend to fly this route, as often American Eagle has ~$80 one way fares that are cheaper and faster than Amtrak. But since I had never taken Acela before, and had an expiring $100 ...

Amtrak ClubAcela Lounge Access for United Club Members + Premium Passengers

I live just a flew blocks from Philadelphia's 30th Street Station when I am in Philadelphia and conveniently for me, United Airlines has codeshare service with Amtrak out of ZVF to Newark Airport, allowing me to easily make my connections west. Even better, when adding on a ZFV-EWR to just about ...

Amtrak 3-Day Sale New York-Philly/Wilmington with a Twist

Amtrak has just announced a 3 day sale for travel between New York and Philadelphia/Wilmington between April 9- May 2. The fares are $26 and $30, respectively.

I did a quick check and availability is wide open, but it's drying up quickly. Compare to flights and buses, Amtrak is the ...
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Escaping the Cold – Back to California

The last couple days have been cold, and I mean cold. As a California native who has spent a handful of winters on the East Coast (and Germany), I honestly cannot recall weather this cold before. It was 13ºF when I walked home from the gym last night and the high barely breached 20º today. ...

Megabus Wins Again

A quick update on my perpetual struggle of choosing between the value of Megabus or the comfort and convenience of Amtrak to get between Philadelphia and Washington.

Yesterday, I found I needed to get to Washington as soon as possible. I was hoping for a $51 Amtrak fare (thinking Megabus would be about $20).

Nope. Amtrak was $86 for Northeast Regional and Megabus was $5. Onboard Megabus, the internet didn't work, the bus left late and arrived even later, but what the heck—with my new iPhone tethered to my laptop I can stay quite productive.

So I'm going to keep score in 2013—Megabus jumps to an early 1-0 lead over Amtrak. May the best man win.


The Megabus Saga Continues...

First off, sorry I've been blogging about Megabus and Amtrak lately--it just so happens that traveling between Washington and Philadelphia has become a regular ritual and I still cannot make up my mind about which is the better option (being that I am a tightwad who still likes luxury). After ...

Sorry Megabus, I've Switched to Amtrak

For months I have been threatening to switch from Megbus to Amtrak for my frequent trips from Philadelphia to Washington. In the end, I always ended up booking with Megabus because tickets were always significantly cheaper. But after my Greyhound experience last month, I booked Amtrak this time. And ...

Was it the Way I Looked? Part III

Part I
Part II
Back in the United Club, I sat down to plot out how I would get back to Philadelphia. Flights were full--very full. Premium cabins were zeroed out ex-SFO through all legacy Untied hubs as well as Cleveland and Houston. That left Newark, where the late redeye was still ...

Last Day to Transfer Continental Miles to Amtrak

In early November, I blogged about Amtrak-Continental partnership changes set to take effect tomorrow, 01 January 2012.
As a friendly reminder, today is your last day to transfer Continental OnePass miles to Amtrak Guest Rewards and vice-versa.
Elite status on Amtrak or Continental is not ...

Amtrak Guest Rewards - United Airlines MileagePlus Partnership Changes

Not surprisingly, the Amtrak-Continental Airlines partnership will soon be scaled back. From 01 January 2012, you will no longer be able to transfer points between the two programs. Thankfully, it appears the train codeshares will remain and even after the United-Continental merger is complete, you ...

Lunch and Dinner on the Amtrak Coast Starlight

Amtrak Lunch After touring the Amtrak Coast Starlight I had worked up an appetite. Around 2pm I was called for lunch, although the reservation was for 1:30. I didn't mind, but I assume they generally run a little late with a full train like today. I was seated with two teenagers whose family was at ...

Amtrak Superliner, Parlour Car and Observation Car

Once onboard the train at Los Angeles Union Station, I took a quick tour of the train to explore the different types of cars on the train. This Coast Starlight train had three Superliner Sleeper Cars. The sleeping arrangements in these cars consisted of:
10 Roomettes

5 ...

Amtrak Coast Starlight: Los Angeles Union Station

After booking my Coast Starlight train ticket I flew to Los Angeles for my event. At the end of my trip I made my way from the LAX car rental counter to the train via the FlyAway bus service from LAX to Union Station. When taking the FlyAway you enter Union Station in the back then proceed past all ...

Amtrak Coast Starlight: Booking My Ticket

Last year I had to travel from the bay area to Los Angeles. Although my airfare from SFO-LAX was relatively cheap ($85 one way) the return airfare options were a little high ($200 plus). I kept waiting in the hopes of a VX last minute discounted price.
I also checked out Amtrak's prices on the ...

Amtrak Throws Out the TSA

Watch and weep:

Yes, that's the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) performing security checks at the Amtrak station in Savannah, Georgia. Never mind the fact that they were screening passengers as they got off a train. Never mind the fact that they showed up ...