Effective July 1, 2015, Amtrak will no longer provide pass privileges to Union Pacific Railroad (freight railroad) pass riders hired between May 1, 1971 and April 27, 1981. Their pass files in Amtrak’s reservation system will be inactivated on that date.
Those freight railroad employees, active or retired, who were hired on or before April 30, 1971 (one day before Amtrak began operations), and were working for a railroad or terminal company that was operating rail passenger service on that date, will continue to have the same pass privileges they have now, as long as they have continuous employment with the railroad until retirement. If the employee resigned or was terminated from the railroad before their retirement, they are no longer eligible for an Amtrak pass unless he/she started receiving their disability annuity from Railroad Retirement within a six-month period from the date of leaving the railroad.
Employees hired on or before May 1, 1952, with nineteen (19) or more years continuous service on April 30, 1971, are entitled to unlimited free transportation on their home road, 50% reduction in fare on the balance of the Amtrak system and an unlimited 50% reduction in fare on sleeping accommodations. The spouse is entitled to the same reduction as the pass holder. Dependents receive the same benefits as the pass holder except home road travel is limited to twelve (12) annual free round-trips. Dependents are allowed a 50% reduction in fare on the home road after the (12) free trips have been utilized.
Dependents must be the natural or legally adopted child or stepchild of the applicant and qualify as a dependent under the IRS regulations for the current tax year. Dependents of employees are eligible for the Amtrak pass until their 26th birthday if they are attending college with at least 12 credits. Pass privileges end at the student’s 26th Birthday. If not attending college, the dependent’s eligibility ends at the age of 18 yrs.
Employees hired on May 1, 1951, through April 30, 1962, with nine (9) or more years continuous service on April 30, 1971, are entitled to unlimited free transportation on his/her home road and 50% reduction in fare over balance of the Amtrak System. They are allowed a 50% reduction in fare on sleeping accommodations. The spouse is entitled to the same benefits as the pass holder except home road travel is limited to twelve (12) annual free round-trips and 50% reduction on their home road when the (12) free trips have been utilized.
The deceased employee of a surviving spouse must have been hired on or before May 1, 1952, in order for the surviving spouse to be eligible for an Amtrak pass. If the employee resigned or was terminated from the railroad, neither they nor the surviving spouse are eligible for Amtrak privileges. If the spouse remarries, they are no longer eligible for the pass privilege.
Employees hired on May 1, 1962, through April 30, 1971, with less than nine (9) years continuous service on April 30, 1971, are entitled to twelve (12) annual free round trips on their home road and 50% reduction on the balance of the Amtrak System and sleeping accommodations. They receive 50% reduction on the home road when the (12) free trips have been utilized. Their spouse is entitled to unlimited system-wide half-fare transportation and sleeping accommodations. Dependents receive same as spouse except ages 2-11 receive 75 percent discount on coach transportation.
When utilizing the Amtrak pass, reservations can only be made 24 hours in advance for a one-way ticket.
When Amtrak passenger train service began on May 1, 1971, Amtrak did not run on the Chicago North Western lines. Therefore, employees hired with the Chicago North Western Railroad are not eligible for an Amtrak pass.
The Western Pacific Railroad and Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad did not have travel privileges prior to the merger, therefore, employees hired with the WPRR and MKT are not eligible for an Amtrak pass as a result of the merger.
Employees of the following companies are not eligible for Amtrak privileges:
- Union Pacific Fruit Express Company
- Pacific Fruit Express Company
- Missouri Pacific Truck Lines/Union Pacific Truck Lines/Pacific Motor Trucking (SPRR)
- MP and UP Hospital Association, UP Technologies
- Trailer Container Operations (Employees who work at the ramps and do not pay railroad retirement taxes).
To request an Amtrak pass, please fully fill out the Amtrak application and email the completed application to PassBureau@amtrak.com or fax to 202-906-3192. The application will be reviewed by Amtrak's Pass Bureau, and you will be notified of your application status via email within 10 business days.