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The Bargain Corner

All Aboard for Savings

November 08, 1987|JACK ADLER

Amtrak revised some of its special "All Aboard America" fares.

It divided the nation into Western, Central and Eastern regions. You can travel round trip throughout any one region for $138, two regions for $188 or all three regions--coast to coast--for $238.

Two stopovers are permitted, whether you travel through one, two or all three regions. First-class (sleeping car accommodations) is available at extra charges.

The Western region covers 11 states from the Pacific Coast to a line roughly from El Paso, Albuquerque and Lamy, N.M., and Denver and Wolf Point, Mont.

There are no advance-purchase restrictions, but space can be limited. Travel has to be completed within 45 days of ticket purchase.

Amtrak also has a $7 return fare whereby the round-trip price is $7 above any one-way fare that is more than $60 and doesn't involve a change of trains.

However, Amtrak is continuing the same $7 offer on some lower-priced routes such as Los Angeles-San Diego. The one-way Los Angeles-San Diego rail rate is $20.50. You can get your return fare for $7, making the round-trip tab $27.50.

The same $7 offer applies to service from Los Angeles/Bakersfield to Oakland/San Francisco (fare includes bus service from Los Angeles to Bakersfield to pick up the train and then a bus ride from Oakland into San Francisco).

One-way fare on this route is $59, so you can ride for $66 round trip. The coastal Los Angeles-San Francisco route costs $64 one way; the total round-trip tab is $71.

Another possibility is the Los Angeles-Las Vegas route. If you pay the one-way fare of $60 you can get a return fare for $7, a round-trip rate of $67.

These special fares have to be booked by April 11, 1988 with all travel completed by May 26, 1988.

Children younger than 12 pay half fare on all these discounts. But Amtrak also has a family fare. Under this plan, which can't be combined with any other discount, the head of the family pays full fare but the spouse and all children 12 to 21 pay half fare. Children from 2 to 11 pay a quarter of the fare, with infants riding free.

There is a $5 penalty if you don't cancel at least half an hour before departure.

Information: Amtrak at (800) USA-RAIL.

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