After doing a search, I saw that while this was mentioned in some threads in the past, there was no single thread that was all about the Amtrak Railpass. So I decided that I should make one to do so. Note that this information is current at the time of writing, but this is a general overview, and much of the specific information is liable to change. Obviously, consult Amtrak to see if things have changed. This is the current URL for the program: https://www.amtrak.com/take-the-trains-across-america-with-usa-rail-pass The Amtrak Railpass is a way to take a variety of different train rides in the Amtrak system, within a set amount of time. Currently, this is in the form of 15, 30 and 45 day passes, which currently come at prices of 459, 689, and 899 dollars. Railpasses do not, however, function as "hop on, hop off" passes that can be used however and whenever you want in the designated time. Along with the time restriction, there is also a "segment" restriction, which is currently 8, 12 and 18 segments. "Segments" are just another way to say "Tickets". Anytime you board or get off a train, you use up a segment. So basically, the pass is a way that you get a set amount of tickets that can all be used together in the allotted amount of time. And, you have to make reservations, just like for any other ticket. You call up the Amtrak number, give them your railpass number, and get reservations, and then pick up your ticket(s) at the station. But, just like with any Amtrak ticket, you have to buy your tickets while they are still available. If the train is sold out, the railpass won't help you. You don't have to select your entire itinerary before travel begins, but in general, you want a few days before ordering tickets. The railpass also only pays for coach seats, although you can upgrade to a higher level seat. As I understand it, you just pay the difference between coach and business, or coach and a roomette. Currently, the railpass is not valid for tickets on the Autotrain, the Acela, and some Amtrak routes in Canada, and a few thruway connections. Basically, all of the above means: the Amtrak railpass can be very useful, but people who want to use it should understand it is not a carte blanche where you show up on the platform, flash it at the conductor, and then choose your favorite seat on the train. Another important thing to remember about that trip is that your segments count the same whether you are travelling from Chicago to Springfield or Chicago to Los Angeles. This includes connecting service or shuttle service. I wanted to go from Dallas to Oakland/Emeryville, and that necessitated taking a shuttle van from Springfield to Galesburg. And that two hours in a van counts equally as a "segment" to the trip on the California Zephyr from Galesburg to the West Coast. Of course, as a rider, you can also buy Amtrak tickets, or other transportation tickets, even while your pass is active. I did this on my trip: I was going from Boston to Portland, Maine, and decided to spend 25 dollars on bus tickets each way, rather than ride the Amtrak both ways and lose 2 segments. The railpass isn't for everyone, and it involves some planning, but there are some things you can do with a railpass that you can't really do with anything else. With the 14 day railpass, it is quite feasible to circle the entire United States and see all the major Amtrak lines. It doesn't even take that long: 10 days, for less than 500 dollars! It is an incredible bargain. I myself used the 30 day railpass, and, counting some time spent with friends in New York, Maine, and Texas, managed to pass through 38 states and take almost every major Amtrak route, in 30 days. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but it is an incredible bargain. Like, my trip across the US, even with hotels and food, averaged out to probably a little more than 30 dollars a day. I say pretty much the entire United States, and the daily cost was a little more than the average price of lunch at a mid-range chain restaurant! Anyway, I have more to say about the railpass, but that should be enough to get started. Feel free to ask me technical and non-technical questions about the railpass. And, of course, if you have experienced it, share your experiences.