Hidden Gems: Amtrak Station

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Nick Smallwood | The Daily Wildcat

For those looking for a more romantic means of transit, Tucson's Amtrak train station offers travelers a true taste of transportation. Located on 400 N. Toole Ave., Amtrak is the only passenger train depot in Tucson.

Traveling the country can get pretty costly when it seems like the only two options are flying or driving. Fear not, this goal is still in reach thanks to Tucson’s very own Amtrak train station.

Located on 400 N. Toole Ave., the station was built in 1907 by the Southern Pacific Railroad and has provided an alternative mode of transportation ever since.

The biggest reason why people travel by train is the low cost. A one-way ticket from Tucson to Los Angeles costs as little as $45. Prices and departures vary by destination, but compared to other modes of transportation, taking a train can be exponentially more affordable for college students and ambitious travelers.

“The train is a great alternative for people who don’t like airplanes and the limited carry-on rules. We have very few restrictions here,” station agent Ron Strong said. “Of course, people always ask why it takes so long, and that can turn people off. The train is more for sightseeing and making multiple stops.”

For college students, taking the train can provide a much cheaper alternative for going home for the holidays or for just visiting on the weekends or breaks. 

Not many people are aware of this gem of a transportation service in Tucson. 

“People know more about us now than before, but the biggest reason why people still don’t know about us is, of course, the money,” Strong said. “We haven’t had the funds to put up advertisements.”

In addition to its basic transportation fares, Amtrak also offers affordable vacation packages including multiple-location destinations with hotel accommodations and free admission to certain attractions. Prices start from about $130 for the cheapest vacation and about $2,000 for the most expensive vacation.

According to Amtrak’s website, Amtrak trains travel through over 500 destinations in 46 states on a 21,000-mile route system. Chances are, there’s a route for wherever you need to go.

While waiting for your train to arrive, there’s still plenty to do. Downtown Tucson is full of eateries and attractions to see before you leave. Maynards Market is conveniently located next door to grab a quick snack. There’s also a seating area near the loading dock to relax.

For more information on Amtrak’s services or to book a train ride, visit the website or call Amtrak’s office.

Business hours are Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1:45 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


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