March 16, 2023
Scanning an Amtrak train schedule to find the least expensive ticket can be a daunting task. Depending on the departure time, a base coach fare on the Northeast Regional line, from Philadelphia to Washington, ranges in price from as low as $25 to as much as $113.
Amtrak is now offering tickets to some of its Northeast corridor routes, including trains running through 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, for $5 to $20. But there is a catch: passengers must be willing to travel late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. And they must travel in coach.
The new Night Owl fares are available between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. on trains running between New York City and Washington. From Philadelphia, Night Owl fares to New York or Washington each cost $10. A trip to Baltimore is $5.
Amtrak is pitching them as "a great option for travelers returning from concerts, plays, sporting events or those who prefer later or earlier departures."
In December, the public-private train company unveiled renderings of new train cars that it expects to debut on 14 routes, including the Northeast Regional, in 2026. The train cars, which are more spacious, will replace a fleet that is 40-50 years old. They are being build by built by Siemens for $7.5 billion.
"As we invest in the future, Amtrak is leading the way with a new era of rail," Amtrak President Roger Harris said. "Our new trains will transform the Amtrak experience with significant environmental benefits, a progressive design, and world-class amenities."
Amtrak's Northeast Regional line runs from Boston, Massachusetts to Virginia Beach, Virginia.