What Senior Discounts are Available for Train Travel in North America?

Train Trip Through Mexico's Copper Canyon from Chihuahua to Los Mochis
••• Train Trip Through Mexico's Copper Canyon. 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 62 and older are eligible for a 15 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, but it will also be applied to 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. 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 no lockdown devices in the wheelchair spaces.

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

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 boarding if you contact them in advance.

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, first class and economy class. Trains leave both Los Mochis and Chihuahua at 6:00 a. m. daily and arrive at their final stop (Chihuahua and Los Mochis, respectively) just before 9:00 p. m. 365 days per year.

According to the Chepe train website's Spanish language home page, passengers who are completely blind or who are disabled and who are traveling alone or with one other person are entitled to a 50% discount on their ticket.

There are two types of Chepe train tickets. The more expensive Primera Express tickets allow you to make up to three overnight stopovers free of charge. 

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.

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 as of this writing.