Well folks I am finally taking my cross country trip. I am using the Amtrak 8 segment 15 day rail pass. In This blog i am going to tell you about the planning and ordering of the pass.
I first came up with the idea of taking this trip a couple years back. I have always liked trains as some of you may know. I was watching some you tube videos one day and saw that someone was using what they called a “Rail pass” and i had no idea what it was. So i did some research and found out that it is a pass that basically gives you a huge discount on your tickets. I saw that they had 3 different choices. 15 day 30 day and 45 day. All three with different amounts of segments. A segment being each time you get on a train and then off it to get onto a different one. I will map out an example later on.
So once i saw that one rail pass was around $460 for 8 segments and i had 15 days to do it in. I thought of some places i wanted to see. Then from there i found the trains that went to those places. And planned out my route. Of course it took some time because i had to make sure i gave myself some time in between trains due to delays and boarding and such.
Once i had the times and trains figured out I read some reviews and got a little more information on peoples experiences using this method. Life got a little busy and months went by but finally money was available and life was calm enough for me to go. So i called Amtrak customer service (very helpful). You can not get the rail pass and schedule your segments online. You have to call. Calling was painless and pretty quick. I was amazed.(and I HATE talking on the phone) do not call unless you know exactly what you need for segments. I got very lucky i was able to get onto each train with such a short notice. Ya see each train is only allotted a certain amount of rail pass passengers and they usually have to reserve 6 months or more in advance.
I then had to get the tickets printed at a staffed station. As some might know i live in Brattleboro Vermont. We have a station but it is not staffed for ticketing. This meant i had to drive to Springfield Mass to get them. Which is fine because it was not all that far. I then returned home and went thru all the tickets (1 for each segment) luckily i reviewed them because 1 of them was not for the correct train. So i called customer service back and they fixed the issue. I just have to get the corrected ticket once i get to new York city. I am now on my first train and chugging along. Continue to watch my posts for more updates along the way. Next i will show you a map of what i am doing and also my route written out. Visuals will help show you all what I’m talking about.