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Which Boston area Amtrak station?

Walnut Creek...
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Which Boston area Amtrak station?

Flying from Oakland to Boston, immediately renting car to visit a daughter in Northampton, MA, then returning car to airport or a drop near an Amtrak. Then we plan to take Amtrak to New York to visit my son and fly back to Oakland from NY. What would be the best Amtrak station to use to avoid extra driving or charges?

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1. Re: Which Boston area Amtrak station?

Well all the trains to New York start from Boston South station. If there is a drop off you can use nearby, then maybe that's the one. After leaving Boston South, they stop at Back Bay then at the Route 128 station.

Check the timetable at amtrak.com/ccurl/110/701/Northeast-Regional-…

Using the route 128 station stop would avoid any need to drive into Boston city centre, but I cannot help with possible car drop at that location.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Which Boston area Amtrak station?

You should post on the Boston Forum. South Station and Back Bay are only 6 minutes apart on the schedule but the ability to drop your car in either area may vary greatly. Kinda like Rockridge vs 12th St Oakland BART. A Bostonian will know the answers. In fact,your rental car provider will know where it is most convenient to drop your car. It might be different for different agencies. It might also help to check with Hertz since they have the national contract with Amtrak.

MaineUSA
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3. Re: Which Boston area Amtrak station?

Another possibility - Northam[pton is near Springfield MA. If you could find a place to drop the rental car in Springfield you could pick up the Amtrak Vermonter that leaves Springfield at 2:40 PM and gets you into NYC at 6:25 PM. Saves the time and hassle of going back to Boston.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Which Boston area Amtrak station?

Was in Boston a couple of weeks ago. It may be just as easy to drop off your rental car back at Logan Airport, then simply take the free Silver Line bus from the airport to South Station for Amtrak. Here's a link: www.mbta.com/riding_the_t/logan/#Silver

Edited: 28 July 2014, 22:42
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5. Re: Which Boston area Amtrak station?

Some thoughts - akin to the type you might get on a Boston forum:

1. If you travel to Boston, consider checking car rental rates at Logan airport, and also rates for off-airport locations. One location might get you a lower base rate. Another may have more fees. Off-airport sites have the downside to strangers of logistics of reaching the off-site location. So look at the total net rate, and compare with the convenience factor of on-site rentals. I check first with sites like Travelocity, which often find good options. I also check for promotions linked to airline frequent flier accounts, to see what those promotions might bring. I then book with the rental car company directly, or with Travelocity (keeping printed copies, and screenshots, of each step in the process).

You would then have a transfer to a train station after returning the car. Personally, I would probably use Back Bay Station over South Station - because I prefer the (Back Bay) area around that station. I would probably plan to arrive early by taxi or MBTA after dropping the car. (For you, I don't recommend MBTA with people and luggage unless you know the quirky MBTA system and know what you're getting into, or unless you feel adventurous despite whatever luggage you might have. I, personally, would take the MBTA and plan my luggage accordingly - which means as portable as possible.) I would arrive before noon, store my bags at the station, and spend a few hours over lunch, a walk in the Boston Public Garden and Commons, a stroll up streets like Newbury Street checking out the boutiques and galleries, a visit to the Gardner Museum, a cuppa, a pint, or whatever around Back Bay. If you took the Amtrak regional train at 1635-1640 or the Acela at 1710-1725 you could optimize your time in the Back Bay area, while also getting daylight views of the best parts of the train trip (sit on the left side of the train going to New York). Others would probably recommend departing from South Station, where trains to New York originate but IMHO the neighborhood is far less enjoyable. In the end, that's probably a secondary detail.

2. If you travel to Springfield as suggested by BluePhantom in response #3, you can do the same. Look for car rental rates at Bradley Field, and also for nearby locations in Springfield or Hartford - and go with what looks like the combination of best rate and convenience.

On your return to the train station, I would maximize my country drives in the Northampton - to Springfield Amtrak station route. I would worry less about views from the train on this route. But the trains at 1605/1610/1725 from Springfield would still get you most of the route in waning daylight.

3. With a car in the Northampton area, I hope you can get to take a day trip through western Massachusetts. Maybe from Northampton up route 5 to Greenfield, across Route 2 to Williamstown (with short stops in Shelbourne for the Bridge of Flowers, maybe a side trip to the heritage areas in Colrain, a stop in North Adams for historic mill-town architecture and an ice cream at Friendly's or the like, in Williamstown for the Williams College campus, down Route 7 to Pittsfield, and back to Northampton on Route 8-9 through Dalton. If there's something (music or drama) in the Lenox-Tanglewood area, an overnight to take in a concert or play may be worth considering. If you do the car trip, reading in advance, including on the Bridge of Flowers - and booking a Tanglewood or other concert/play in advance, might also be worth considering.

6. Re: Which Boston area Amtrak station?

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