Train Travel w/in US East Coast: Tips & Info

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Mykolant, Aug 16, 2019 at 6:22 AM.

  1. Mykolant

    Mykolant PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Hi!

    Planning to go around the US East Coast next month from NJ-NYC to DC, Boston and nearby cities (within 3 to 5 hrs travel) via Amtrak.

    Hope you well-travelled Muggers can share any tips and advice/recos.

    Cheers!!!
     
  2. opd

    opd Member

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    Took Amtrak to travel from Washington DC to Boston - though back in 2010, I had a lot of fun even if I was alone. Very comfy. I just regret not buying food before boarding the train. It was definitely way better than a bus ride, which already had wifi which I think I took from Boston back to New York.
     
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  3. hitme64

    hitme64 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Be early at the depot because unlike MRT/LRT these trains are on time.

    Bring handy luggage, one you can get on and off with ease.

    Buy your tix online. Or look for promos and discount fares. DC and NYC have an all-day, all-week, all-month train pass so check on that.

    There’s not much to see along the way, unless hills, plain fields, grassy lands and rundown places are of great interests. Sometimes you get a balladeer on board who will sing the entire stretch and get pretty annoying. Usually everyone will go to sleep, eat at the bar, or just sulk in their seats. You’ll see the difference in people coming from each of the states the train passes: courteous ones from DC, rowdy ones from
    Boston, and loud and crass ones from NYC.

    By all accounts, it’s a better experience than on a Greyhound. But don’t expect first class accommodations.
     
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  4. GilGrissom

    GilGrissom Well-Known Member

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    Tip:
    • If you plan a nice relaxing trip there are quiet cars that have first come first serve seats.
    • Bring your own food. Diner car food is mediocre at best.
    • Amtrak trains are very dated. Don't expect too much.
    Amtrak is bleeding money right now especially when tickets almost cost the same as flights. Nice to experience it at least once though.
     
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  5. hitme64

    hitme64 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Take the train if you’re not hurrying up to your destination. I actually didn’t enjoy my train ride because I waited nearly 3 hours (you know, be early) and then endured a rather bumpy 6-hr ride from DC to Virginia. Then I had to take an Uber from the station to the in-laws 45 minutes away. Also it’s expensive buying train food aside from its less choices and bland fare. Should’ve taken an Uber, spent $100 more, but arrived earlier than 12MN.
     
  6. Mykolant

    Mykolant PhilMUG Addict Member

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    many thanks for your inputs!!!

    I do agree that a train ride is much more efficient and comfortable than a bus ride. We recently rode on ViaRail to travel from Moncton, New Brunswick to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Took about 4.5 hours, not too bad since we got to use the onboard wifi. It would have taken half the time but 3x the cost if we drove a rental car.

    Looking to do something similar stateside with NJ as our base. Time is what we have a lot of; budget is tight and hoping for relatives to offset lodging costs.
     
  7. bus

    bus Member

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    If travelling next month, take advantage of the Amtrak 50% off flash sale, ends today (Aug 17). Looks like your route is included.

    https://www.amtrak.com/septembersale

    Hope it helps.
     
  8. hitme64

    hitme64 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    A last word: bring your own tissue or wet wipes, just in case you have to go. Train toilets aren’t like airplanes where the crew cleans them up at intervals. I had the misfortune of going through different cars looking for a clean restroom because they wasn’t any bidet (there’s none actually stateside), no tissue roll, wet tissue roll, no water, or just someone didn’t flush that turd at all.

    Enjoy!
     
  9. Mykolant

    Mykolant PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Thanks! Too late though.

    But it's all good. Might forego traveling to DC and instead will fly to Tampa, FL, to spend time with college friends.
     

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