desertjets
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Service

Mon Apr 16, 2001 3:02 pm

Happy Easter and Tax day to everyone.

This summer I will be in DC for a week or so. And to make that time productive, other than playing with my brother's dog, I am going to be doing some grad school hunting. So I figured I should take the train up to Philly and check out some of the schools up there.

Now none of this is set in stone but I'd be leaving from Alexandria or Washington Union Station and going to 30th Street Station in Philly. I want to know what type of service to expect... on the Northeast Direct trains in coach and business, Acela Regional and Express in coach (on regional only) and business, and Metroliner in business (no coach on metroliner either). I'd want to be up in Philly by 10am or so, and leave around 5 or 6pm. So depending on when exactly I would leave I'd have my choice of all three services. Prices range from about $85 on Northeast Direct Coach to nearly $200 in business on Acela Express. What should I pick, bearing in mind money does matter, but so does time.

BTW... I priced a one day trip in July between DCA and PHL and it cost $525 on USAirways... the train is the way to go!

Thanks for your help.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Guest

RE: Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Service

Tue Apr 17, 2001 5:45 am

If your leaving around 10am from D.C. and want to be in Philly by 5 or 6pm via good old Amtrak, then you have plenty of time. I have never experienced Acela yet, but I have taken Northeast Direct, which was a great ride. You would be fine if you take Northeast Direct, you would get in on time. I guess it's up to you how much you want to spend. I have never experienced 1st Class on anything for that matter (Aircraft or Train) and I find Coach to be just fine, and the higher classes a waste of money. I would have to dig out all my Amtrak timetables, which I cannot currently locate right now, but it will take a few hours. I took Northeast Direct from NYC to D.C.

Have a good one,
Tom
 
Guest

RE: Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Service

Tue Apr 17, 2001 5:58 am

I've done the Washington-Philadelphia run on Northeast Direct coach -- actually I also went to PHL in the morning and back to WAS the same evening. It's not that much slower than the faster, more expensive services since the distance isn't all that great. You'd probably save 20 minutes tops on Acela Express. Acela Express is probably only worth it if you're going all the way to NY or further (and if you're rich and don't like planes). There's not all that much to say about the service on NE Direct coach. You get on, you pick a seat, and you sit. If you get hungry you can walk down to the cafe car and buy a sandwich and drinks. That's about it. The seats are decent (much better than airline coach seats) -- they're probably comparable to domestic first class airline seats in width and legroom. All of the NE Direct trains I've been on have been at least half empty. I've never taken NE Direct Business, since I've never found it to be worth it. Hope this is helpful.
 
USAFHummer
Posts: 10261
Joined: Thu May 18, 2000 12:22 pm

RE: Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Service

Tue Apr 17, 2001 6:46 am

I've done Philadelphia-Washington-Philadelphia on NE direct coach and I found it to be very comfortable. Dont expect any service though...the snack bar is very overpriced as well!

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
USAFHummer
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Joined: Thu May 18, 2000 12:22 pm

RE: Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Service

Tue Apr 17, 2001 8:15 am

I've done Philadelphia-Washington-Philadelphia on NE direct coach and I found it to be very comfortable. Dont expect any service though...the snack bar is very overpriced as well!

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
desertjets
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Service

Tue Apr 17, 2001 9:24 am

Actually Metroliner or Acela Express service is significantly faster than Northeast Direct. It is almost 3 hours from DC to Philly on NE Direct and 1h 40m on Metroliner and 1h 30m on Acela. But then they only stop at BWI, Baltimore-Penn, and Wilmington on the way to Philly. Unfortunately the Amtrak website no longer gives station stops on their timetables. But really the train seems to work nicely... get into Philly by 11, without leaving at some godawful hour. I still need to get a ride into the city in the first place.

But thanks for your help guys, happy rail riding.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Guest

RE: Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Service

Tue Apr 17, 2001 10:07 am

Actually, DesertJets -- do you want to double-check your times on NE Direct? I think it's actually just shy of 2 hrs from WAS to PHL.
 
desertjets
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Service

Tue Apr 17, 2001 11:00 am

Here we go, the timetable check.
These trains are for July 16, 2001.

Train 84, NE Direct.
lv Union Station 8.40am
ar 30th St. Station 10.24am
Ok, so that is an hour 55... my bad!
And just to check
Train 104, Metroliner
lv. Union Station 8.00am
ar. 30th St. Station 9.40am
an hour 40.
Train 2180, Acela Express
lv. Union Station 7.20am
ar. 30th St. Station 8.45am
an hour 25

I guess that half an hour is not really worth the extra hundred bucks... or 30 bucks if I take Business on NE Direct.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Bove
Posts: 248
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2001 10:32 am

RE: Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Service

Tue Apr 17, 2001 2:24 pm

Acela has got PTV's, chairside meal service, and a better first class seat than any major US airline flying today.

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