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Philly to DC on Amtrak -- need reservations?

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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?

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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.


Dearborn, Michigan
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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
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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

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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?

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