3 Popular Train Routes Amtrak Is Resuming This Spring
Forget crowded planes and tiring road trips: This spring and summer, our favorite way to travel is by train, thanks in part to the return of scenic Amtrak routes to sought-after destinations. Specifically, Amtrak is resuming three notable, passenger-favorite routes—each one snaking its way through picturesque landscape, including mountains, lakes, rivers, and seashores—and into cities in Quebec, the Pacific Northwest, and the Berkshires.
Aside from the scenery, Amtrak journeys offer spacious seats, free Wi-Fi, and are generally less stressful than flying. Here are three newly restored train routes we can't wait to hop on when the weather gets warm.
Adirondack line to Montreal resumes for first time since 2020
On pause for nearly three years due to the pandemic, Amtrak's Adirondack route from New York City to Montreal is finally returning to service on April 3. Passengers and politicians alike—including U.S. senators Chuck Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand—had long been pushing for the beloved route's resumption.
The full route is a 10-hour journey from New York Penn-Moynihan Station that weaves through the Hudson River Valley, along Lake Champlain, and into Quebec, making a total of 17 stops before arriving at Montreal's Central Station.
“From Plattsburgh to Poughkeepsie and into Penn Station, the Adirondack Line runs through some of the most beautiful parts of Upstate New York and resumption of this service will help pump vital tourism dollars into Main Streets across Upstate NY,” Schumer said in a statement.
Tickets don't yet appear to be on sale on Amtrak's site.
Berkshires Flyer train returning this summer
Following the introductory year of a pilot program last summer that won over travelers, the new Berkshires Flyer train is back for another season. The route was conceptualized as an alternative to the traffic-choked roads between New York City and the Berkshires, and it runs from New York Penn-Moynihan Station with six stops—including Poughkeepsie, Hudson, and Albany—before arriving in charming Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Tickets for summer 2023 go on sale in early April. One piece of advice: book as early as possible. Many trains sold out last summer, especially on 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 May 26 to October 8 and only on weekends. Last year, the Berkshires Flyer departed New York Penn-Moynihan Fridays at 3:16 p.m. and arrived at Pittsfield's Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center at 7:12 p.m. On the southbound leg, the train departed Pittsfield on Sundays at 3 p.m. and arrived in New York at 7:05 p.m.
In 2022, round-trip fares in coach were typically about $90, while business-class tickets were closer to $250. Along the four-hour journey from New York to Pittsfield, passengers will be treated to views of the Catskills and Hudson River Valley.
The full Cascades route resumes service to Portland, Oregon
A portion of Amtrak's scenic Pacific Northwest route, the Cascades train, resumed in fall 2022. At that time, passengers were once again able to travel from Seattle onward to Vancouver, British Columbia.
As of March 6, however, the full route has been restored for the first time since the pandemic began, all the way from Portland, Oregon, to Vancouver. "By adding staffing and equipment to the region, we can once again offer customers a direct connection between Portland and Canada,” Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said in a statement.
The Portland-to-Seattle leg of the journey offers some of the route's most beautiful vistas, including sweeping views of Mount St. Helen's snow-capped peaks and pine-laden cliffs as the train crosses the Columbia River Gorge.
Round-trip fares start at about $50 in coach and about $100 in business class. Passengers who spring for business class will also have access to Amtrak's newly refurbished Metropolitan Lounge inside the Portland Union Station.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler