One-way Acela for $20, anywhere — but act fast

Amtrak is marking the 20th anniversary of Acela service with a brief but deeply discounted sale on Acela travel.

The “Acela-brate” sale offers a one-way business class fare for $20 anywhere between D.C. and Boston. But tickets must be bought by Nov. 12, and you have to travel between Nov. 16 and Dec. 17.

There are blackout days, including Nov. 24-25 and Nov. 28-30, as well as Fridays and Sundays.

“For anyone who has been curious about the premium travel experience on our flagship product, this is your chance to ride Acela for a special, low fare that is only available for two days,” said Amtrak chief marketing and revenue officer Roger Harris.

Acela Express entered revenue service between D.C., New York and Boston on Dec. 11, 2000.

Amtrak is on track to put brand-new Acela train sets into service toward the end of 2022, and is already testing them. The new Acela trains will carry up to 386 passengers each, a 30% increase, and initially travel at speeds of up to 160 mph, though they will be capable of reaching 186 mph.

Amtrak is forecasting fiscal 2021 ridership of just 9 million passengers, down 72% from the record 32.5 million in fiscal 2019 after the COVID-19 pandemic dried up business and leisure travel demand.

In September, Amtrak furloughed 2,000 employees.

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