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The Best Ways to Book Your Amtrak Maple Leaf Tickets from New York to Toronto!

The fall season is one of the most beautiful times of year in much of the country. 

Niagara Falls
Photo by Catrina Carrigan on Unsplash / Niagara Falls

From Utah to New England, there are a variety of stunning colors that appear as summer gives way to autumn. 

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where there are plenty of trees and foliage, you might even be able to take a drive and get a glimpse at the changing leaves yourself. 

In many parts of the country, autumn also means one thing: 

The return of the iconic Amtrak train known as the Maple Leaf. 

This historic train has been running between New York City and Toronto for more than 150 years, returning every October for its annual excursion.

Brings with it hundreds or thousands of visitors from Canada who want to catch a glimpse of all that America has to offer.

If you’re a frequent traveler, you likely have your travel routine down pat. You know when and where to book flights or book a hotel. 

You know when and where to book cars to get from point A to point B. But what about trains? 

Do you know how, when, and where to book your Maple Leaf tickets from New York City to Toronto? 

Depending on the time of year and availability, it is not as easy as booking flights or hotels. 

However, with the right information, it’s not overly complicated either. 

The Amtrak Maple Leaf is a beautiful train ride in the fall, especially for those who live in the northern part of the United States. 

Not only does this train offer passengers stunning views of the changing leaves along the way, but it can also help you avoid traffic during peak season. 

Plus, if you’re traveling from one city to another, there’s no need to rent a car and pay for gas. 

You can just hop on the Maple Leaf and be good to go! 

So how do you book your very own Amtrak ticket? Let us tell you all about it!

Here are some tips on how to buy your Amtrak tickets for the Maple Leaf train in less than 30 minutes!

What is the Amtrak Maple Leaf?

The Amtrak Maple Leaf is a New York City-Toronto passenger train operated jointly by Amtrak and Via Rail. 

It runs six times a week from mid-October through mid-April. 

Trains depart New York City’s Penn Station on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday. 

Trains from Toronto arrive at Penn Station on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. 

The Maple Leaf is one of Amtrak’s most famous trains, and it’s also Amtrak’s busiest. 

It brings thousands of passengers from Canada to the United States each year. 

The train is hugely popular with both tourists and regular commuters who use it to travel between the two countries.

When Does the Train Run?

The exact dates and times of the train will depend on when you plan to travel. 

The fall season is the busiest time of the year for the Maple Leaf, so train tickets will sell out quickly. Obviously, October is the end of the fall season. 

You can expect the weather to be cool, but not cold. 

If you’re planning to visit during the fall, you’ll need to plan ahead. 

You’ll need to book your tickets at least a month or two in advance if you want to get the dates and times you want. 

However, the train is so popular in October that it’s often difficult to get a reservation unless you book a ticket well in advance.

Tips for Riding the Amtrak Maple Leaf

If you’re new to Amtrak, there are a few things you should know about riding the Maple Leaf. 

First, you’ll want to know that there are three different train cars. 

At the very front of the train is a First Class car, but you’ll have to pay extra for a ticket. 

In the middle of the train, you’ll find the standard Business Class car, which is what most people will ride. 

At the very back of the train are the Economy Class cars. All cars are wheelchair accessible. 

Inside the train car, you’ll find comfortable seats that have plenty of legroom. 

You’ll have plenty of storage space for your bags, and you can easily plug your phone into an outlet if you need to charge it. 

There are also plenty of bathrooms on board, and they’re stocked with toilet paper and paper towels. 

The train will have a dining car where you can purchase food and drinks. 

The dining car will probably be open for a few hours during each leg of the journey, depending on how long the trip is. 

You can also bring your own food and drinks on the train.

But you’ll have to store them in a special refrigerator car that’s available for all passengers.

Where Does the Train Go?

If you’re booking a ticket for the fall, know that the Amtrak Maple Leaf doesn’t go to all the same places it goes in the summer. 

For example, there are no Maple Leaf trains to New England this time of year. 

If you want to visit New England in the fall, you’ll have to find another way to travel between New York City and Boston. 

The Maple Leaf travels between Toronto, Ontario, and New York City, New York. 

It stops in Buffalo, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; and Detroit, Michigan on the way. 

The train also passes through Albany, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Booking Your Ticket

Depending on when you plan to travel, you can book your ticket online, or you can call Amtrak directly at 1-800-USA-RAIL. 

You can also visit Amtrak’s ticket office in New York City. 

When you’re booking your ticket, you’ll have to choose between two different types of tickets: coach or business class. 

You’ll want to book a coach ticket if you’re on a budget. 

If you have a little bit more cash to spend, you can book a business class ticket, which offers additional legroom and a nicer setting. 

It’s important to note that you can’t choose a specific seat when you book a ticket. 

The Amtrak ticketing system randomly assigns seats, so you’ll want to arrive at the train station early so you can sit where you want.

What to Expect When You’re Boarding the Maple Leaf

You’ll want to arrive at Penn Station at least an hour before the train leaves. 

You’ll go through security, just like you do when you fly, and then you’ll wait in a boarding area where you’ll be given a printed boarding pass. 

You’ll want to make sure you bring your printed boarding pass with you. 

It’s how Amtrak staff will know that you have a reservation and how they’ll be able to assign you a seat. 

There are two tracks at Penn Station where the Maple Leaf will be picked up, so you’ll need to be sure to go to the right track. 

When the train comes, there usually won’t be any announcements or bells or whistles. 

In fact, the train car doors don’t open automatically. 

You’ll have to push a button to open the doors, and you’ll have to climb up a small set of stairs to get to your seat.

Tips for Enjoying Your Train Ride

If you’re not used to taking long train rides, you may find a lengthy train ride like this somewhat boring. 

To make your trip more enjoyable, bring a book, an e-reader, or an MP3 player so you can pass the time. 

You can also bring snacks and beverages on the train, and you’ll have plenty of room to store them in the refrigerator car. 

Another thing you can do is get to know your fellow passengers. 

Amtrak trains are often filled with interesting people, and it can be fun to strike up a conversation with someone from a different part of the country.

FAQ

What is the Maple Leaf train like? The Maple Leaf is a historic train that runs between New York City and Toronto. 

It’s Amtrak’s most popular train, and it travels during the fall when the leaves change colors. What time does the train leave? 

The train leaves every day in October, but the times depend on the day. 

You’ll have to check the schedule online to find out when the train leaves. 

Where does the train go? 

The train goes between Toronto and New York City. 

It passes through multiple cities in the United States, including Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit. 

What time does the train leave? 

The train leaves every day in October, but the times depend on the day. 

You’ll have to check the schedule online to find out when the train leaves.

Conclusion

The Amtrak Maple Leaf is one of America’s most famous trains, and it offers a unique way to experience the fall season. 

If you’re visiting New York in the fall, you should try to take the Maple Leaf, even if it’s only for one day. 

You’ll get a chance to see everything that fall has to offer in the city, and you’ll get a chance to visit Toronto, a city that’s often overlooked by American tourists. 

The train leaves daily in October, and it’s a great way to experience a more laidback style of travel than you’d get on a plane. 

Whether you’re a tourist or a local who wants to explore a different side of New York, the Amtrak Maple Leaf is a must-do experience for fall.