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Boston to NY - Acela or NorthEast regional

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We are making our first trip to the States at the end of December, and will be in Boston from 2 Jan to 5 Jan, and will then be travelling to NY by train. The Acela seems to be 45 mins quicker, but much more expensive than the North East regional. Is it worth the premium ? On the North East regional is there a significant difference between "economy" and "business class".

As a second question, are there any areas that are more suitable to stay at the time of year (winter). We are not really used to the cold, and I am a little worried that I'm going to hate it because of the weather, but we won't visit the States for a while yet and Boston is definitely on my must see list ....

Thanks for the help.

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