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Amtrak, rush hour?

Atlanta, GA
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96 posts
8 reviews
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Amtrak, rush hour?

We will be leaving NYC by Amtrak to Wilmington, DE on a Friday (Aug 2). As I prepare to buy our tickets, I was wondering how crowded the afternoon and evening trains are. We would like to make the most of the day and take a 5-7 pm train, however we have a child in a wheelchair and will have a fair amount of luggage. If it will be really crazy at that time, we may leave earlier.

Thoughts?

New York City, New...
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for New York City
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1. Re: Amtrak, rush hour?

It is not bad at all. Usually it is the NJ Transit trains that are the most crowded.

Boston, MA
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for Boston
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2. Re: Amtrak, rush hour?

Each ticket guarantees a seat. Go into the Amtrak waiting area that is for ticketed passengers only. Explain your situation to the desk attendant ( and the will see the wheelchair) and they will arrange for preboarding of all of you and luggage. General boarding is via stairs and escalator(eek!!). the "redcaps" (porters) work for tips, so if you have a lot of luggage, tip accordingly.

You should be fine c

Boston...
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3. Re: Amtrak, rush hour?

I've yet to be in Penn Station at a time that wasn't hectic. Near midnight can be hectic when trains are boarding. This is not to put you off but to say that it can be crowded anytime and yet it's possible to survive the place.Enlisting the aid of a Redcap will help lessen the chaos.

Queens, NY
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4. Re: Amtrak, rush hour?

It is very difficult to get down to track level with a wheelchair, without a Redcap. The elevators are distant and poorly signed. You MUST get a Redcap or the passenger area desk attendant to help you, and they will prioritize and preboard you because of the wheelchair situation.

Atlanta, GA
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96 posts
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5. Re: Amtrak, rush hour?

Thank you all so much for the replies! How early should we arrive and enlist a Recap?

New York City, New...
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for Yucatan Peninsula
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6. Re: Amtrak, rush hour?

Get there at least a half hour early - more if you need to get your tickets out of the machine (there could be slow moving lines for both the machines or the humans).

The train should be called 10-15 minutes before it departs. The Redcaps will have a couple minutes advance knowledge of where the track is, so they can get you down there before the hoards.

Anyone who doesn't think Amtrak is a crazy scene on Friday afternoon/evening hasn't been near the Amtrak section of Penn Station. I've had trouble finding my own mother in the crowds.

suitcaseready.com

7. Re: Amtrak, rush hour?

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