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North America Rail Pass

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1. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 8y

Well, I just visited our Via Rail train site...Just like Amtrak only Canadian, eh...

Anyway, we have talked about buying the North America Rail Pass, good for 30 day's of unlimited rail travel in North America..All for one price!

So, FINALLY, we decide we want to go. Will buy the tickets for October....

WHAT??? The NARP offer ends in September.....THEY have cancelled the plan....Been waiting three years to go and they cancel it.....Well, not surprised....It's me, after all......

Just want to ask..Has anybody ever used the North America Rail Pass? Would like to know what we are going to miss.....

2. Posted by goglobalnz (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

I bought the combined VIA/Amtrak pass back in 2002 and went all over the place for a month. I can't remember how much it cost but seemed like a pretty good deal.
From Vancouver down to San Francisco and back (and they have amtrak buses that go to places like Yosemite). Then across to Toronto (during Sars so it was a ghost town). Down through Michigan to Chicago then on down to Memphis to see Graceland/Al Green/Sun Studios etc. A bit of a pilgrimmage. Up through that NE corridor DC, NYC, Quebec City and Montreal before getting the train all the way back to Vancouver.
Lots of sleeping in the seats which wasn't great but I was young:) Took along bread and peanut butter so made my own lunches aboard to save on buying from the restaurant car.
Met lots of nice people, Americans in general were incredibly curious about what I was up to. On the trans canada trips it was a bit harder, days upon days of prairie whiteness and most folks were either older retired couples or honeymooners. This was pre-ipod days too so I struggled at times. Luckily the stewards would run putting competitions down the aisles and come up with other distractions.
Great times. Trains were clean and comfortable and would arrive in the central city.
Bummer for you that they've pulled it. Perhaps they're revamping it and going to bring back something new & improved?

3. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 8y

Thanks for the information. I thought it would be a fun trip...Looked like it WOULD have been.

Can't understand why they cancelled it. Seemed to be very popular and the price was sure right. Maybe they heard I was interested.....

Oh, well......

4. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 8y

They probably cancelled it cause it was doing too well.

I took VIA once between Montreal and Quebec City and loved it. But it's too expensive, so we usually take the bus.

Also took Amtrack to Springfield, Mass. and it was horrible. Cheap, though.

5. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

Sigh. Yet another screw up by rail in North America. Sad to here the pass was cancelled. Living in Europe now only makes me more frustrated at the lack of support for passenger rail in North America. Hopefully high gas prices and the recent push for all things green will get putting decent rail links back on the agenda!

There are some really nice and scenic train trips in North America. I have heard that the trip from Los Angeles up the coast to Seattle is amazing. I think they call it the Zephyr.

6. Posted by goglobalnz (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

The Zephyr went horribly wrong for me - if I remember right there was some kind of landslide on the tracks meaning we were redirected to a bus. So instead of the scenic route I'd heard all about we were on the interstate all the way.
We did get to stop in at Portland train station though, which was very cute.

7. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

That sucks. The great things I heard about the Zephyr are that it passes through the middle of nowhere - no human settlements, just train tracks through the wilderness.

In other train news, Governor Arnie wants to build a high speed rail line from San Diego to San Francisco and Sacramento. San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2 hours and 38 minutes.

Less likely to get built is the Desert Express, running from Victoriaville (outside of LA) to Las Vegas. GAMBLIN' TRAIN! YEE-HAW!


8. Posted by MrsBB (Budding Member 19 posts) 8y

Hey you can still buy tickets!

The offer ends end Sept but you need to buy your ticket before then and travel is valid until Sept 09.

You can use your ticket anytime within the year and 30days travel commences on first day of travel.

Hurrah! You can still go!

Have fun!

9. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 8y

Thank You, MrsBB!! Great information!!! Just goes to prove, ya gotta read the WHOLE blurb...'course, I didn't and NOW I'm hearing about it....Good thing I've got ear plugs.....

So, we have a year to travel! This is really good news as we need to get away.
Been home too long! Need to hit the road, get away, vamoooooose....As Willy Nelson would sing..."On the road again"....

Thanks Again....

10. Posted by MrsBB (Budding Member 19 posts) 8y

Glad to help! Will be following in your footsteps next summer!