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train between DC and NYC

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Maryville, Tennessee
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train between DC and NYC

I am planning a trip for my mom and aunt and uncle. They want to spend about 5 days in DC and then about 5 days in NYC. They plan on flying into Dulles and want to take the train between the 2 cities. I know nothing about the "commuter" train, cost, length, etc., and whether it is cheaper than flying.

Can anyone help me?

Washington DC...
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1. Re: train between DC and NYC

It might not be cheaper than flying, but it is certainly more convenient. Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) runs the train service between DC and NY. It runs frequently and goes from Union Station in DC (near Capitol Hill) to Penn Station in NY (in Midtown Manhattan in the low 30s). For that reason, many people prefer the train as you don't have to worry about transportation to the airport (or waiting for your flight, or TSA security checks).

See what flights costs and compare them with Amtrak (who does have a AAA discount, if you buy your tickets enough in advance).

dctravel

DC
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2. Re: train between DC and NYC

It's not a "commuter" train, it's Amtrak. And it's generally not cheaper than flying, unless you count the cost of getting to and from the airports.

I take the train over flying from DC to NYC. I usually go for the Acela, which is a bit faster. It's also more expensive, but not much if you buy in advance and travel off-peak. The other Amtrak option, the Regional train, is fine, but it is more prone to delays than the Acela. You really can't go wrong on either choice.

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: train between DC and NYC

If budget is a concern, then your family members might want to look at taking the bus between DC and NYC. With the arrival of several quality, but low-cost, bus lines in recent years, this has become a popular way to travel between these two cities. A couple of these bus lines are Megabus and Bolt Bus with tickets as low as $1.00 one way. My daughter took Megabus to NYC this summer and said it was great.

For more info, here's a link to an article in the Washington Post: washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20…

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4. Re: train between DC and NYC

I just spoke with our concierge at The Sofitel and she recommended Acela over the bus. It gets to NYC in 3 hours and the tickets are around $130/pp. She told me that she has been on the bus and it sometimes takes 5 hours or even longer. The regular Amtrack train is just a few dollars less expensive and she said the seats are much more comfy on Acela. :)

Washington DC...
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5. Re: train between DC and NYC

Seats ib the regular Amtrak trains are fine and quite comfortable. And sometimes the regular train is a lot cheaper than Acela. Prices vary by demand, so it is difficult to compare. But Acela is very nice if you are willing to pay the price.

Maryville, Tennessee
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6. Re: train between DC and NYC

Thanks so much for the help! I'll work on that!

Laurel, Maryland
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7. Re: train between DC and NYC

Amtrak fares can vary widely, with prices usually increasing the closer you are to your travel date. I've traveled on the Acela, but didn't really think it was worth the sometimes substantial extra cost since the travel time is not much different than the regular regional train.

California
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8. Re: train between DC and NYC

The Acela is a high speed train but the prices will run you about the same amount you would pay for plane tickets. Amtrak is is probably your best bet you can always upgrade to business class and also it depends on when you are booking. But I would definitely recommend Amtrak.

McLean, Virginia
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9. Re: train between DC and NYC

I have become a big fan of the Bolt Bus due to the price. Some train fares have come down in response to competition from the buses. The last time I went to NYC, I paid $22 each way on the bus.

New Hampshire
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10. Re: train between DC and NYC

Much depends on how far in advance you book, how diligently you shop, the dates/times of travel, and also whether it might not be more practical/convenient/economical to fly to DC and home from NYC rather than return to DC to fly home, if you haven't already booked flights. Also check flights/prices for going to NYC then DC (along with hotel rates).

Acela is more reliable than the regular trains, but the buses are subject to significant traffic delays, all depending. And, you cannot get up and move around on a bus during the trip as you can on a train.