Senior Discounts for Train Travel in North America

Train Trip Through Mexico's Copper Canyon from Chihuahua to Los Mochis
Roman Adams / Getty Images

In the United States and Canada, seniors traveling by train can take advantage of discounts on Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada. Train travel in Mexico is extremely limited, and senior discounts are not available unless you are a person with a disability.

United States Senior Train Travel Discounts

In the US, passenger train service is provided by Amtrak. Passengers age 65 and older are eligible for a 10 percent discount on train tickets. In most cases, the discount is applied to the lowest available fare. If your train journey takes you across the border into Canada, you will receive a 10 percent discount on your VIA Rail Canada travel. Cross-border discounts apply to seniors age 60 and older.

Of course, some restrictions apply. Senior travelers cannot receive discounts on weekday Acela Express train travel, saver fares, Auto Train trips, business class, first class, Amtrak Thruway or sleeper car tickets. The senior discount cannot be combined with other Amtrak discounts. Be ready to supply proof of age in order to buy discounted tickets. Your rail car attendant may also ask you to provide proof of age. Passengers with disabilities should contact Amtrak as early as possible to request assistance, especially if their itinerary includes use of Thruway Bus Service.

If you must travel with a companion, be sure to ask about Amtrak's discounted companion fare.

In general, seating on Amtrak trains is first come, first served. Accessible seats for persons who use mobility aids are available in coach class, and wheelchair space is also available. There are tiedown devices in the wheelchair spaces of some Amtrak rail cars, but Amtrak recommends that you apply your wheelchair brakes while the train is moving.

Amtrak can help you store medications that need to be refrigerated.

For all accessible travel services, Amtrak recommends that passengers provide at least 72 hours' notice.

Canada Senior Train Travel Discounts

VIA Rail Canada offers seniors age 60 and older a 10 percent discount on train travel. This discount applies to the Economy Class full adult fare as well as the regular Touring, Sleeper and Sleeper Plus fares. You can buy senior discount tickets online after you create a VIA Rail Canada profile. Senior discount tickets are also available by phone, at VIA Rail Canada ticket counters and from your travel agent.

VIA Rail can help you with your luggage and assist you with priority boarding if you contact them in advance. Arrive at the train station early if you have requested these services. VIA Rail cars have wheelchair tiedowns. Wheelchair and scooter storage varies by type of rail car.

If you need to travel with a support person, your support person may qualify for a free VIA Rail ticket. You will need to visit the VIA Rail website and provide documentation of your need for assistance to VIA Rail at least 48 hours before your trip.

Mexico Senior Train Travel Discounts

Routine passenger train travel in Mexico is restricted to one train line, the Chepe train, or Copper Canyon train, between Chihuahua and Los Mochis. According to the Chepe train website, senior discounts are not available on the Chepe route. You can choose between two classes of rail service. Trains leave Chihuahua at 6:00 a. m. Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrive at Los Mochis just before 9:30 p. m. Trains from Los Mochis to Chihuahua depart at 6:00 a. m. on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The Chepe Express train travels from Creel to Los Mochis and back on the same day. You can spend as many nights as you like in either Creel or Los Mochis before making the return trip.

You cannot get to the Chepe train's terminal stations from the United States by train. There is a bus from Tucson, Arizona, to Los Mochis, Mexico, where you can board the Chepe train. You can also fly to either Chihuahua or Los Mochis.

The Jose Cuervo Express®, a tourist-oriented experience that connects Tequila and Guadalajara, combines train and bus travel with a tour of the Jose Cuervo® distillery, a tequila tasting and a Mexican cultural show. One leg of your trip will be a train journey, and the other leg will be a bus trip. Senior discounts are not offered on the Jose Cuervo® Express.