100% necessary as prices jump as the date approaches.
Amtrak tickets are least expensive when purchased at least two weeks in advance.
Check out prices ow - there is no guarantee how long the discounted ticket prices will last - it's not a time frame - it's a number of tickets. And once they are gone your ticket prices can go sky high.
Thank you very much for the prompt replies!! Very helpful
And as Kaye_in_Astoria suggested, check out the plane fares. There are often extensive delays with Amtrak trains.