I was looking for a train in a few weeks from Trenton to Alexandria, VA. One little “trick” to travel in the Northeast corridor on Amtrak is that you can take a sleeping car equipped train between Northeast Regional stations, and have the luxury of a private compartment, meals included and more space. Amtrak sleeper rooms are certainly the way to go, in comparison to all other options.
Interestingly, using Amtrak’s new Guest Rewards Program, which now prices award tickets based on the cash value of the train ticket, I found sleeping car trains that were cheaper than business class on a regular Northeast Region train (which isn’t anything special).
The Northeast Regional train at 4:04pm costs 6,969 points in Business Class, which is barely a step above coach on the same train. The Silver Meteor train at 4:18pm, just a few minutes later than the first train, costs 6,831 points in a Viewliner Roomette, which not only includes a private compartment with seats that turn into a bed, but also complimentary dinner in the onboard dining car. So, for less points you get a better accommodation and food. You practically arrive around the same time – with less than a half hour difference.
Keep this in mind when you’re looking to book trains on Amtrak using their points. It can often be cheaper to be in a sleeper car than the less than stellar seats on a Northeast Regional commuter train, so book wisely! Get the sleeper train when you can!
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