Amtrak’s U.S.A. Rail Pass was supposed to provide a small discount to people who wanted to travel from, say, Los Angeles to New York and back. In 1976, when this brochure was issued, a 14-day pass was $165; 21 days was $220; and 30 days was $275. Anyone with a pass could go to any station and get a ticket on any train within that time period.
A few people, such as yours truly, took advantage of the pass to ride trains almost continuously all over the country. On one memorable trip, I had a 30-day Amtrak pass and a 22-day VIA pass that slightly overlapped allowing me to ride almost every Amtrak and VIA route in 49 days. Amtrak rail passes today allow riders just 8 segments in 15 days, 12 segments in 30 days, or 18 segments in 45 days, thus spoiling my fun.
This particular brochure describes the 1976 pass. But most of the brochure is used to advertise a special deal in which people could rent a car from Hertz and spend a night at Holiday Inn for as little as $35 a day.