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Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

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Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

I always like to investigate other options instead of flying. Maybe there's a train forum around here, but I couldn't find it.

I don't want to take the train all the way from Memphis, TN because that would indeed be so long!

So, I'm considering driving to DC from Memphis and taking the train from there into Penn Station in NYC.

Why on earth would I do that? Because I've been to DC several times and have family there, and the train ride from DC to NYC is short, I hear. The drive to DC is about 14 hours (not fun, but shorter than the long train ride). I've made the trip by car before.

Also, because my husband isn't intimidated to drive in DC but is scared to drive in NYC. So, we don't want to take the car all the way to NYC.

All this because I get anxious flying. Yes, I got on a plane and flew to Europe and back in May, but I hated the plane ride. It wasn't possible to really get there any other acceptable way, but for NYC I keep thinking I can do this without flying. I've told myself that the more times I fly, the better it will be. Instead, it gets worse each time I fly. I nearly lose my mind on take off and landings and turbulence.

So.... Any other ideas on how to get to NYC? Would another train station make more sense instead of the one in DC? I don't have to stop to visit with family. Either way, if they want, they can take the train into NYC to meet us there.

Another option is to drive to a city outside of NYC and leave the car there with cheaper parking and take some kind of transport into the city (cab or subway?). Just trying to avoid having a car in NYC because of not wanting to drive there and because of the high parking rates and traffic.

I'm open to any ideas on good ways to get to NYC from Memphis without flying or driving straight into NYC. Please don't reply with stats about how flying is safe. I've heard it all. Even still, there's a 777 missing out there and no one knows why it went down or where. Very alarming for us fearful flying folks.

This trip is for two adults in October (don't have exact dates, but can probably add a few extra days to account for the driving). This trip is for fun. Second visit to NYC. First visit was years ago in July and the return trip had the worst turbulence I've ever experienced. People were screaming and wine that people were drinking behind us flew on our faces, so bad memories there.... But this isn't where my fear developed.

Thanks for nice replies.

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Memphis
Memphis
Tennessee
West Windsor...
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for Newark, New Jersey, Binghamton
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1. Re: Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

Driving in DC is just as bad if not worse than driving in NYC IMO

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Loch Arbour, New...
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2. Re: Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

Agree, NYC is much easier to drive in than DC. Most of Manhattan is a grid and that makes it a lot easier than those crazy circles and streets with four different locations as in DC.

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3. Re: Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

Ah, well. I'll have to share your thoughts on driving in NYC versus DC. I think it's the faster pace of NYC traffic, the crazy cab drivers that worry. It just seems like a whole different animal. But I agree that DC drivers and traffic are legendary!

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Boston
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4. Re: Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

Probably best to just drive to DC and take the NE Regional from there (Acela isn't worth the extra cost in my opinion). That puts you at the origin station of the train so it will be easier to get 2 seats together.

Here's a link to the train forum on TA. tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12483-Train_Tr…

And a link to the road trip forum. tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri…

Bergen County, New...
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5. Re: Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

This is not the DC forum, but I've been there twice this year. I noticed that a lot of commercial garages aren't open on the weekends because you can park on the street then. Make sure you have a secure parking space for the duration of your trip, and that there's nothing about your car that could provoke a break-in. You need to plan well in advance (just like a plane) to get a low, non-changeable train ticket. Penn Station NY is one of the least attractive modern train stations in the civilized world, but at least it's safe and well-lit, like the city. Do check on whether your train seat locations are reserved or not - I haven't been on that trip in a long time. If comfort is important, pay extra for the Acela.

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6. Re: Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

>>You need to plan well in advance (just like a plane) to get a low, non-changeable train ticket. <<

All Amtrak tickets are changeable, but if fares have risen since you bought the original ticket, you have to pay the difference. Amtrak fares start at their lowest levels and rise as more tickets are sold for a given train. There's also a discount if you buy at least two weeks in advance.

>>Do check on whether your train seat locations are reserved or not<<

Amtrak doesn't assign seats. Trains along the Northeast corridor are all-reserved, which means everyone on the train will get a seat in the class of service they paid for. But no one is guaranteed a specific seat.

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7. Re: Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

One option I'm considering is driving into New Jersey (avoiding traffic and tolls on the DC route) and parking at a commuter rail lot and taking the train into NYC. Also, avoiding Amtrak.

Has anyone done this? Which station did you use in NJ? Where does it connect in NYC?

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New Jersey
New Jersey
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Queens, NY
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8. Re: Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

The Metropark station in Iselin, NJ allows you to leave your car for up to 21 days at $9/day. Direct trains go into New York's Penn Station hourly, with no advance purchase required.

www.njtransit.com/rg/rg_servlet.srv…

https:/…metropark-parking-facility.cfm

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

Boston driver here: DC is worse to drive in than NYC. I've driven in both and DC has way more reckless crazy drivers.

Edited: 02 September 2014, 22:17
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Boston
Boston
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10. Re: Combined Driving and Train Transport into NYC

Hi jhwanderer,

I'm not seeing Iselin on the train schedule at the NJ transit website. Is it called something else?