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Amtrak train in Windsor, CT
Photograph: courtesy of AmTrak

Get $4 one-way tickets with Amtrak’s winter sale

Certain routes are ridiculously cheap right now

Erika Mailman
Written by
Erika Mailman

Winter + trains = wonderland, if we’re doing our math right. And Amtrak’s making the sweetness even sweeter with a winter flash sale. You can save big on travel from December 4 to March 15, so long as you book by November 15. That gives you a week to research and find the best rails to sigh and dream on. Can we recommend the California Zephyr, which travels between Chicago and Emeryville, CA, just across the bay from San Francisco? Along the way, you’ll see incredible landscapes in Nevada and Utah and travel through snowsheds in the Sierra range and train your way over the dramatic Colorado Rockies.

This winter sale doesn’t have a specific percentage off but offers “ultra-low fares” for most routes for coach and Acela business class seats.

For example, if you want to travel from Baltimore up to Boston to see it in its winter finery, you can do that for as low as $28 coach or $62 Acela business class, one way. That makes it possible to do a relaxed jaunt, whereas the same trip in a car would last about seven hours and have you gripping the steering wheel and worrying about ice on the road. The train ride is usually six hours but can be seven, depending on delays.

If you’re a New Yorker longing to go to Washington, D.C. for a trip, it can be as low as $17 for coach or $59 Acela business class, one way. That’s a fabulous weekend journey for hardly any money!

On the West Coast, go from Sacramento to Seattle for $70—or start your trip at the very bottom of California in Los Angeles, traveling up to Portland for a mere $82.

That Zephyr ride we mentioned? You can do part of its route, from Chicago to Sacramento, for $119.

You’re probably noticing that some of these are multi-day trips. Is it possible to sleep overnight in a coach seat? Yeah—it’s about the same as reclining on an airline seat. It’s doable, and there’s no middle seat.

Now we get to the really good part. The lowest fare we saw on the schedule with this flash sale? Get ready—grab your wallet—it’s a mere $4 to travel coach if your ride is one of these routes: Baltimore to Philadelphia, Baltimore to Washington, D.C. and Boston to Providence.

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