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.

Philly to DC on Amtrak -- need reservations?

Which Philadelphia hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
l.a.
Level Contributor
48 posts
Save Topic
Philly to DC on Amtrak -- need reservations?

Hi. My family hopes to take Amtrak from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, in July. Do these trains fill up? Do we need reservations?

Philadelphia...
Destination Expert
for Philadelphia
Level Contributor
3,351 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Philly to DC on Amtrak -- need reservations?

Yes, you need reservations. It's often possible to get a ticket at the last minute, but some trains at peak times do sell out. Ticket prices also rise closer to the travel date.

When you make your reservations, indicate that you want to pick up the tickets at the station. Generally, you can change your reservations without penalty as long as the tickets haven't been printed.

www.amtrak.com

Dearborn, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Mont Tremblant
Level Contributor
4,050 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Philly to DC on Amtrak -- need reservations?

Short answers are "yes" and "yes".

There are 37 trains every week day between Philadelphia and Washington. Even with that frequency of service, some of the trains do get crowded.

If you have some flexibility re departure times, it certainly would not be impossible to find seats even at the last minute, but if you are a family traveling, it really is preferable to book your tickets in advance. . . .online at www.amtrak.com. That way, there will be certainty about seats and about traveling together. Please note that a "reserved seat" on these trains (unless traveling first class on the premium Acela service) does NOT mean that you have a specific seat assignment, only that you will have a seat on the train. If the train is crowded, family members could wind up seated some distance from one another, even in a separate car.

Cherry Hill, NJ
Destination Expert
for Philadelphia
Level Contributor
8,047 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Philly to DC on Amtrak -- need reservations?

Also note that the prices tend to go up the closer you get to the travel date, at the gate tickets are often 20 percent more than early purchase

Charlottesville
Level Contributor
333 posts
264 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Philly to DC on Amtrak -- need reservations?

definitely get your tickets in advance and get them as far in advance as possible. ticket prices can rise way, way up as you get closer to your travel dates. i've often found that a ticket bought 2 months out can more than double in price once you get within a couple weeks of your travel dates. and like the other posters said, you can usually get a full refund for your tickets put right back on your credit card if you decide you don't want to use them after all, as long as you haven't yet printed out your actual tickets. (when you book online, you get a bar code/confirmation number which they email to you, which you then have to later use to print out your actual ticket at the train station, typically the day of or a few days before your travel date.) just make sure to read the fine print re: the cancellation policies before buying your tickets to make sure you can cancel it. otherwise the best you'll get is a credit towards a later train trip.

Edited: 16 June 2012, 03:14
5. Re: Philly to DC on Amtrak -- need reservations?

-:- 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: 17 June 2013, 10:17