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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Amtrak rolls back coach fares

Amtrak strategists may be waiting for Congress and the Bush Administration to address the national passenger railroad’s funding crisis, but David Gunn & Co. continue to implement plans to boost ridership and revenue.

On Jan. 7, Amtrak rolled back coach fares on many of its routes as much as 25 percent.

"With this rollback in fares, we hope to not only stimulate interest in rail travel, but also to provide a draw for the travel industry as a whole," said Amtrak Vice President of Marketing and Sales Barbara Richardson in a prepared statement.

The fare rollback is available for coach travel on most long-distance routes, excluding travel between cities in the Northeast Corridor. On some routes, fares for sleeping accommodations also have been discounted.

The new fares are available on the following Amtrak routes: Carolinian, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star and Auto Train (auto fees not discounted) in the East; City of New Orleans, Crescent, Heartland Flyer, Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle in the South; Ann Rutledge, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, International, Lake Shore Limited, Mules, Pennsylvanian, Pere Marquette, State House and Three Rivers in the Midwest; and California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder and Southwest Chief in the West.

Also on Jan. 7, Amtrak launched its "Winter Promotion," which enables companions to travel for free and a 25 percent discount for individuals traveling alone. Up to two children, ages 2 to 15, can accompany each fare-paying adult at half off.

The promotion, which may be combined with the new fare rollback, runs Jan. 7 through Feb. 15 for travel Jan. 10 through Aug. 28.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/8/2003