Amtrak is fully resuming 3 popular routes for spring and summer travel
- March 18, 2023
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Forget crowded planes and tedious car journeys: this spring and summer, our favorite way to travel is by train, thanks in part to the return of scenic Amtrak routes to desirable destinations. Specifically, Amtrak is resuming three notable routes popular with passengers – each winding through scenic landscapes including mountains, lakes, rivers and seashores – and to cities in Quebec, the Pacific Northwest and the Berkshires.
Aside from the scenery, Amtrak trips offer roomy seats, free Wi-Fi, and are generally less stressful than flying. Here are three newly restored train routes that we can’t wait to see when the weather warms up.
The Adirondack line to Montreal will resume for the first time since 2020
Amtrak’s Adirondack route from New York City to Montreal, which has been paused for nearly three years due to the pandemic, will finally resume service on April 3. Passengers and politicians alike — including U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand — had long pushed for the beloved route’s resumption.
The full route is a 10-hour journey from New York’s Penn-Moynihan Station, meandering through the Hudson River Valley along Lake Champlain and into Quebec, making a total of 17 stops before arriving at Montreal Central Station.
“From Plattsburgh to Poughkeepsie and into Penn Station, the Adirondack line travels through some of the most beautiful parts of upstate New York, and the resumption of this service will help pump important tourism dollars into upstate NY’s main streets,” Schumer said in one Explanation.
Tickets don’t appear to be available on Amtrak’s website yet.
The Berkshires Flyer train returns this summer
After last summer’s inaugural year of a pilot program that wowed travelers, the new Berkshires Flyer train is back for another season. Designed as an alternative to the busy roads between New York City and the Berkshires, the route runs from New York’s Penn-Moynihan Station with six stops — including Poughkeepsie, Hudson, and Albany — before arriving in charming Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Tickets for summer 2023 go on sale on March 20th. A tip: book as early as possible. Many trains were sold out last summer, especially on bank holiday weekends. Amtrak is still considering the 2023 season as part of the route’s pilot program, so the train’s popularity this summer could determine whether it becomes a permanent offering.
Service on the seasonal route operates from July to September and only on weekends. Last year, the Berkshires Flyer left New York Penn-Moynihan at 3:16 p.m. on Fridays and arrived at the Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center in Pittsfield at 7:12 p.m. On the southern route, the train left Pittsfield at 3:00 p.m. on Sundays and arrived in New York at 7:05 p.m
In 2022, round-trip bus fares were typically around $90, while business class tickets were closer to $250. On the 4.5-hour journey from New York to Pittsfield, passengers are treated to views of the Catskills and the Hudson River Valley.
The full Cascades route will resume service to Portland, Oregon
A portion of Amtrak’s scenic Pacific Northwest route, the Cascades train, resumed service in the fall of 2022. At this point, passengers could once again travel from Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia.
However, as of March 6, full route from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver has been restored for the first time since the pandemic began. “By adding personnel and equipment to the region, we can once again offer our customers direct connectivity between Portland and Canada,” Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said in a statement.
The Portland to Seattle portion of the journey offers some of the route’s finest views, including sweeping views of the snow-capped peaks of Mount St. Helens and pine-clad cliffs as the train crosses the Columbia River Gorge.
Round-trip fares start at around $50 on the bus and around $100 in business class. Passengers who upgrade to Business Class also have access to Amtrak’s newly renovated Metropolitan Lounge at Portland Union Station.