October 25, 2012 |
Every Tuesday, Amtrak rolls out SmartFares on selected routes and dates that offer a 25% savings on train tickets. Destinations and routes change weekly, and discounted prices are good for trips starting the following week. The deal: The discount applies to coach seats only for travel every day except Fridays and Sundays. The booking dates available for sale tickets vary by route, and sometimes SmartFares sell out. The window for travel lasts about three weeks. When: Sale tickets must be purchased Tuesdays-Fridays for future travel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2012 |
In unrelated accidents, two trains were struck by vehicles within 10 miles and a few hours of each other in the Central Valley on Monday, authorities said. In the first accident, dozens of passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries when a big rig carrying cotton gin trash collided with an Amtrak train. On what Amtrak calls the San Joaquin Route - which runs between the Bay Area and Bakersfield - a train carrying about 170 passengers had just left the Hanford station about 12:20 p.m. when the big rig heading west on Kansas Avenue failed to stop at the crossing and plowed into its side, said California Highway Patrol Officer Scott Jobinger.
September 30, 2012 |
This week's Culinary SOS request comes from Kathy McCarthy in Redondo Beach: "We recently traveled Amtrak 's Southwest Chief from L.A. to Chicago. The dining car served the most delicious lamb shanks with mushroom sauce. Could you see if you can get the recipe? Thanks. " Amtrak was happy to share its recipe with us, telling us that the lamb shanks are the creation of Seattle chef and cookbook author Tom Douglas, who is part of their culinary advisory team. Amtrak's executive chef, Daniel Malzhan, developed the recipe, using sous-vide cooking ("20 hours at a precise 160 degrees")
September 23, 2012 |
If you're worried about traffic problems during Carmegeddon II , hit the rails to get out of town. The Car Free Santa Barbara Project has a plan that will help you avoid the I-405 closure on Sept. 29-30. “We invite Los Angeles-area residents and visitors to use this freeway closure and traffic as a chance to think outside the car," said Mary Boyd, manager of the program, which is sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution District. "Take the train to Santa Barbara. Travel green and save some green.” The Deal: Save 20% on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin services and up to 50% at more than 65 hotels, activities and restaurants in Santa Barbara with “Cool Car Free Discounts.” In addition, there are several special discounts that are only available on Sept.
August 19, 2012 |
If you are flying with kids, you may be able to get a discount, depending on the children's ages and your destination. You can often find discounts on international routes of 10% to 25% off for kids ages 2 to 11. Note that the discount is on the base fare and generally not on such fees as the fuel surcharge, which can be hundreds of dollars on international flights. Note too that the airlines do not offer discounts on government taxes and fees. Airlines don't have control over those charges, unlike the fuel surcharge.
July 30, 2012 |
Amtrak is taking another step into the digital age. Following the lead of many airlines, Amtrak announced Monday that passengers can now skip the ticket counter by buying online electronic tickets that are sent as a printable document. Passengers on the government-owned train service can print the tickets at home or from a train station kiosk. Train riders can also show e-tickets to a conductor from the screen of a smartphone or a mobile device. "E-tickets deliver the convenience and flexibility expected by passengers and its innovative technology is transforming other aspects of how Amtrak does business," said President and Chief Executive Joe Boardman.
April 19, 2012 |
E-ticketing on Amtrak has finally arrived - sort of. As of this week, rail passengers on Northern California routes may print out their train tickets before heading to the station, Amtrak says in a statement. Electronic ticketing is scheduled to be available for Southern California routes such as the Pacific Surfliner and others by the end of summer, though no start date was specified. Electronic ticketing is now offered for one-way and round-trip travel on the Capitol Corridor (Auburn-Sacramento-Oakland-San Jose)
February 27, 2012 |
College-bound students can get a half-off deal on fares this year if they take the train to scope out campuses. But they'll need to read the footnotes on this Amtrak offer, which comes with restrictions. The deal: “ Buy One, Get One 50% Off with Campus Visit ” provides 50% off a companion Amtrak ticket with the purchase of a regular adult fare. The qualifying adult must be a junior- or senior high school student visiting a college or university, with one parent or guardian traveling as a companion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 2011 |
When the Obama administration gave California $3.4 billion in startup money for a high-speed rail system, it insisted on a guarantee that the project would not become a white elephant -- something critics could brand as a train to nowhere. The first section of track had to run down the spine of the Central Valley and have another use, should the rest of the bullet train project collapse. Those requirements are now at the center of an intensifying political battle, waged by critics who say the state's fallback plan to use a 130-mile stretch of track for slower Amtrak service is a sham because there's no guarantee the national rail service will ever use it. Amtrak said it has no agreement to operate on the track and has not analyzed the possible negative effects on one of its most successful rail lines.