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Amtrak Expands Night Owl Fares to Boston [Starting at $5]

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James Larounis
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James Larounis

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...
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Nick Ellis

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If you’re a late-night rider on Amtrak in the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak has introduced a new way to save on fares for select departures. Amtrak’s new “Night Owl” program will reward travelers traveling at off-peak times with extraordinarily cheap tickets.

Here’s what you need to know!

Amtrak’s Night Owl Program

Amtrak’s Night Owl program offers tickets between $5 and $20 each way, depending on your route. When the program started, it was only available for Northeast Corridor service between New York’s Penn Station and Washington, D.C.’s Union Station.

However, Amtrak has announced that it would expand the program to Boston and stops in between. With this expansion, the Night Owl program now covers all of the Northeast Corridor.

These fares are cheap because you must depart between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. when ridership is usually down since it’s an off-peak travel time.

BOS Amtrak Night Owl
Image Credit: Amtrak

Some sample routes Amtrak has provided with pricing include:

  • Boston to Providence: $5
  • Boston to New York: $20
  • New York – Washington: $20
  • New York – Baltimore/BWI: $15
  • Washington – Newark/Newark Liberty: $15
  • New York – Philadelphia: $10
  • New York – Wilmington: $10
  • Philadelphia – Washington: $10
  • Washington – Wilmington: $10
  • Philadelphia – Baltimore/BWI: $5
  • New York – Newark/Newark Liberty: $5
  • Washington – Baltimore/BWI: $5

As you can see, these are some incredibly low fares, in many cases about 50% off what a regular ticket would cost. However, note that these prices are only available for coach class.

Hot Tip: If you’re interested in sitting in business class, you can either buy the non-sale, full-fare price or the Night Owl fare and then participate in Amtrak’s BidUp upgrade program, where you can bid what you’re willing to pay to sit in business class.

It’s worth noting that if you’re leaving from New York City, Moynihan Train Hall (where most Amtrak trains depart from) is closed from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily for cleaning. Amtrak passengers will board from the older Penn Station building across the street during that time. Only a very limited number of trains depart during these hours, so it shouldn’t impact most people.

The Night Owl fares are primarily available on Northeast Regional trains, though other select trains, like the Vermonter, that depart during those hours may offer discounted pricing, too. The Night Owl program is for any city between Boston and Washington, D.C. Still, you can depart and arrive from intermediary cities, too, such as Trenton, New Jersey, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Final Thoughts

This new Night Owl program provides some great discounted fares on otherwise unpopular trains. Be sure to book early as there’s a limited amount of fares on each train, though if you’re willing to depart late or super early, you might be able to save quite a bit of money.

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About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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