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Train Discounts in the U.S., Europe, and Canada

I like trains. They’re not as fast as airplanes, and not as practical for long distances, but they’re a wonderful way to observe the passing landscape, the seats are generally more comfortable than those you’d find in coach class, and there’s often an entire car devoted to eating.

Trains have been on my mind lately. I’ve been seeing news about station refurbishments and rail infrastructure improvements funded by the stimulus package. I’ve also been squirreling away information about rail sales, and now have enough to pass along to you.

  • BritRail: BritRail is offering a free extra day of travel on BritRail Passes purchased between April 15 and June 1. The pass must be used within six months of the purchase date. You can use the offer in conjunction with other BritRail promotional passes to save more.
  • Rail Europe: This one is only available for bookings made through April 11 (for travel through the end of August). The Eurostar High Speed Savings Plan from Eurail offers tickets from $81 one-way. To compare, the lowest rate I found directly through Eurostar was $98 one-way.
  • Amtrak: Frommer’s has rounded up a gaggle of Amtrak discounts and reports that train fares have been discounted nationwide to boot. We’re talking high-speed service between New York and Boston from $79, 20 percent off train travel to Vermont, and 50 percent off a ticket for parents accompanying kids visiting college campuses.
  • Via Rail: Via, Canada’s railway, has a bunch of deals for upcoming travel. For instance, travelers 60 and older can receive a free ticket for a travel companion, and discounted fares put the cost of travel between Toronto and Montreal at $69 each way.

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