We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Taking Amtrak for a one-day excursion to Baltimore

Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
183 posts
32 reviews
Save Topic
Taking Amtrak for a one-day excursion to Baltimore

I will be spending a few days in Washington, DC later this month, and I plan to see and do alot in the city, but I was also wanting to be able to hop onto one of those Amtrak trains to Baltimore for a day excursion.

I must confess that I have never travelled Amtrak before, so I'm a bit uncertain whether I need to order my tickets in advance, or if it will be possible to buy at the station upon arrival. I would love to be able to "wing" it, and not commit myself to a certain hour to leave Washington for Baltimore, and vice-versa.

However, if this would be an exceedingly risky thing to wait til the last minute, I'll order in advance. Any advice would be most appreciated! Thanks!

Washington, DC
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
2,160 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Taking Amtrak for a one-day excursion to Baltimore

My cousin used to make that trip all the time, buying tickets at Union Station in DC and Penn Station in Baltimore - just keep in mind that Penn Station isn't exactly near the Inner Harbor, but you can take the light rail line directly from the station to the Inner Harbor (and onto BWI if the mood strikes!).

Speaking of BWI, you might be able to take a less expensive MARC commuter train from Union Station to Baltimore's Camden Station . Go to www.mtamaryland.com to see if their schedule meshes with yours.

Fishers, Indiana
Level Contributor
918 posts
105 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Taking Amtrak for a one-day excursion to Baltimore

I am currently in DC - my son and I went to Baltimore yesterday for an Orioles game on Amtrak.

We had advanced purchase tickets and the cost was considerably less than buying as you go, but buying tickets at the station would not seem to be a problem. We were on an early evening train Sunday coming back and while most seats were occupied, there were available seats. We tried to move up to an early train to come back, but the additional cost would have been two times the original cost of the ticket.

If you are a AAA member, you get a 10% discount on Amtrak.

I would point out a few things we learned yesterday:

Union Station in DC is considerably nicer and has more amenities than Penn Station in Baltimore. My son commented about Union Station "I didn't expect it to look like an airport" in the waiting area for the trains.

At Penn Station, to connect to the light rail you need to take what I would call a "light rail shuttle" - a train that makes a short trip to the Mt. Royal station on the light rail line. The light rail area at Penn Station was very poorly signed, made no announcements and was very confusing. The train parked at the very edge of the station, behind some concrete barriers. A group of 15 or so of us on the platform assumed it was waiting to pull in to the station. The doors were closed, no one was around, no announcements. The train simply pulled away at the scheduled time to Mount Royal with no one on it. When it came back 15 minutes later we found out not only did we have to walk to the edge of the platform to get on, we needed to push a button on the train to open the door. Maybe we just had a bad driver who did not want to be working on Sunday, but it was very different.

3. Re: Taking Amtrak for a one-day excursion to Baltimore

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 04 September 2009, 16:22