Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Amtrak offers national rail pass

Perhaps some very smart reader can recall the history on this, but there was some sort of national plan back in the 70’s or 80’s, right?

Well, I am a bit mystified why, with rising passenger loads, this is being offered now, but here is the latest news. Your reactions welcomed, of course.

Amtrak offers USA Rail Pass to US Residents 

WASHINGTON – Amtrak’s USA Rail Pass is now available for purchase in the U.S.
Until recently, the pass could only be bought by travelers who lived outside the country.
The passes are available for 15, 30 and 45 days of travel. The 15-day pass offers eight segments of travel for $389. The 30-day pass offers 12 segments of travel for $579. The 45-day pass offers 18 segments of travel for $749.
Amtrak counts a segment of travel each time a passenger boards a train or connecting Amtrak Thruway bus.
The passes are priced the same regardless of when you travel, but you must begin your travel within 180 days of purchase.
Also note that the pass is not a ticket. Passengers must also have a ticket and reservation for each train they board.
If your travels are likely to take you to multiple points in California, you might be better off with Amtrak’s California Rail Pass, which offers seven days of travel in a 21-day period for $159.
The USA Rail Pass is not valid for travel on Amtrak’s Auto Train or Acela Express. Some other restrictions apply. Details at 800-872-7245 or for more information.


Filed under: Amtrak, Regional USA Passenger Rail

FRA will assist Maglev studies

I will be moving a few items to the front page today. Thanks for your input. The local and regional stories are appreciated.

Beginning October 20, 2008, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will accept applications from states or state designated authorities for $45 million in grant funding for proposed magnetic levitation (maglev) projects located east of the Mississippi River. The SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008 limits the eligible projects to those in or between: Pittsburgh, Baltimore-Washington, and Atlanta-Chattanooga. FRA may award one or more grants which can be used for preconstruction planning activities and the capital costs of the fixed guideway infrastructure.

Internet article is at this link.

For your convenience I have attached the PDF version of the Federal Register “Notice of Funding Availability” which is referenced in the FRA press release.  It can be found at this link.

This money was called out originally in the summer of 2005 when the SAFETEA-LU bill was enacted, but has just become available now.  Needless to say this is a boost for the current high-speed maglev projects around the USA.

Filed under: Uncategorized

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October 2008