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Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

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Melbourne, Australia
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Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

On our last day in the US in Oct. we are scheduled to travel by train from Boston (departing at 9:15am) to New York to catch a flight home to Australia (departing 6:30pm).

I've read a number of comments referring to cancellations and poor reliability of the rail service and I'm starting to think that we should perhaps make the train trip the day before just to be safe.

I'd appreciate the comments of anyone who has experience with the "Acela Express" between Boston and New York.

Thank you .

Boston
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1. Re: Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

Well, they do run and get you there. The only time trains may be cancelled is due to snow in the winter. However, you have to understand that they can be late, so always figure adding in at least a half hour extra. Plus, they bring you to the city centers, which is not where the airports are located, so you'll have to add that time in as well. But leaving the day before is a little excessive unless your flight is early in the morning. Your scheduled 9:15 departure should leave you plenty of extra time.

Edited: 26 June 2013, 13:41
Boston, MA
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2. Re: Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

I too have seen complaints but they are usually from the same people. I have taken the between NY & Boston aboot 6 times in the past 3 years and have never been more than 10 minutes late.

I have taken the Acela once. The train is capable of high speeds but most of the track infrastructure here cannot support the high speeds. There are fewer stops than on the regional. It cuts some time off of your trip, but IMHO, not worth the extra cost.

Boston...
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3. Re: Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

For the most part it runs fine. There was accident a month ago which affected service for several days.

Baltimore, Maryland
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4. Re: Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

Even under the worst circumstances, you should be fine. Of course, who cares about 99.99% reliability if you are the .01%. And traffic on highways is reliably busy and fraught with danger from rush hours and accidents.

You could fly to NYC.

Winchester...
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5. Re: Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

My experience with the train to New York has always been bad, but enough people claim it has been known to be not always 4 hours late, that I believe them. People usually fly to LA to get to Australia from Boston, btw.

Boston
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6. Re: Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

I know someone who takes that train regularly with no problems. Of course, anything can happen, but usually the worst delays/cancellations happen in the winter -- an ice-laden tree falls on the tracks or something.

Dallas, Texas...
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7. Re: Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

I've never had problems and found it very reliable. But if you are ultimately headed to a NYC airport, it may make a lot more sense to simply fly from Boston to your departure airport. The Boston airport is very close to city center so it's easy to get there. In contrast, it's a bit of a hassle to get to the NYC airports from Penn Station.

Boston...
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8. Re: Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

Last I took it, our train broke down between stations in CT. We sat in the dark for awhile. No lights. No power. A young woman a few rows up took a panic attack. She eventually calmed down. Before long, the rescue train arrived. We evacuated the broken down train in an orderly fashion. Amtrak staff were great, providing information, acting with a lot of professionalism, getting us from one train to the other. It worked out, but we did get in late.

Edited: 26 June 2013, 21:10
Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

Thank you for all your responses. They are very helpful and much appreciated.

As a few of you suggested, I think it might just be easier to fly down to NY particularly given that we have to transfer to the airport once we get there for an international flight.

Thanks again for your help.

California
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10. Re: Reliability of rail travel between Boston and New York

Is there commercial shuttle bus service between Boston and the NY airports? Take too long?