Ready to create your own adventure? Taking the train across America with the USA Rail Pass is an excellent way to see the United States from a different point of view. There are over 500 destinations in the Amtrak system and all you have to do is choose how long you want to travel.
Sounds great, doesn't it. Let's get started with the basics. Read on for all the details.
The USA Rail Pass is not intended for use as a commuting pass.
Yes. Your USA Rail Pass is not a ticket. When traveling on a USA Rail Pass, you must have a ticket and a reservation for each train you board. You must make reservations and pick up your ticket(s) before boarding any train.
Reservations for train travel should be made as far in advance as possible; seats available for USA Rail Pass passengers are limited on each train. We do not recommend waiting until the day of departure to make your reservations since there is a greater chance that seats allocated for the USA Rail Pass may not be available on your desired train. If your plans are not flexible, non-USA Rail Pass seats may be available at an additional cost.
Pass prices are subject to change and are not guaranteed until actual travel reservations are made.
Travel on Amtrak requires full identification. A valid passport or US issued identification card, such as a driver's license or picture ID card, is required. Learn more about Passenger Identification requirements.
Amtrak considers a travel segment any time you get on and then get off a vehicle (train, bus, ferry or other allowable leg) regardless of length.
Because we don't have a direct route from Washington, DC to Oklahoma, City, OK, you could ride the Capitol Limited train from Washington to Chicago (segment 1), then ride the Texas Eagle train from Chicago to Fort Worth (segment 2) and finally ride the Heartland Flyer train from Fort Worth to Oklahoma, City (segment 3). This journey from Washington to Oklahoma City would use three of your allowable segments.
To travel from Spokane, WA to Portland OR, you could ride the Empire Builder train directly to Portland using one segment or you could ride the Empire Builder train to Seattle (segment 1) and then ride the Amtrak Cascades train from Seattle to Portland (segment 2). Both journeys take you to Portland but use a different number of your allowable segments.
Each segment booked counts toward the total number of segments permitted for the pass.
The USA Rail Pass is only refundable before travel begins. The pass, and all tickets issued with the pass, must be turned into an Amtrak ticket agent no later than the day before the date of the first use written on the pass. A cancellation fee may apply. Substantial cancellation fees apply when sleeping accommodations are canceled less than 15 days in advance.
Lost or stolen USA Rail Passes are not refundable or replaceable after travel begins. All tickets already issued against the pass become invalid if the pass is lost, even if the tickets are not lost. If only tickets are lost (but not the pass), then new Amtrak tickets may be issued using the pass. If the tickets have a dollar value, then they must be repurchased.
The USA Rail Pass entitles you to travel in regular Coach class seats. On some trains, you can upgrade your Coach seat to Business class or Sleeping Car accommodations for the appropriate surcharge.
The USA Rail Pass is valid for travel on all Amtrak trains except:
Travel is restricted to four one-way trips between two cities, and to all cities in between, over the same route. For example, the following trips would use up the four trips over the Washington, DC to New York route segment:
If you are already in the United States or Canada and need more information, call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245). Travelers outside of the United States or Canada, call (001) 215-856-7953.