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U.S.-Canada Train Pass Going on Sale

January 25, 1998

A new 30-day North America Rail Pass, allowing unlimited train travel in the U.S. and Canada, goes on sale Tuesday for the first time. Offered by Amtrak and Via Rail Canada, it costs $450 through May 31, the off-peak season; from June 1 to Oct. 15, it will cost $645.

The pass covers coach/economy class only; sleepers are not included. The itinerary must be specified when buying the pass--unlike similar European passes--although changes can be made en route without an extra charge. Because some trains sell out early, "the key is to plan months in advance. You can't just hop on the train . . . like a hobo," Amtrak spokeswoman Mary Anne Reynolds emphasized.

Still, the pass offers more travel and more flexibility than Amtrak's Explore America Fares, which are good for 45 days but restrict holders to three stops en route and are not good in Canada. For information or to order the pass, call (800) USA-RAIL or contact a travel agent.

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