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Boston is served by Amtrak at North Station, South Station, and Back Bay Station. North Station is the terminus for Amtrak's Downeaster service from Boston to New Hampshire and Maine. South Station and Back Bay Station accommodate frequent Northeast Corridor departures to and arrivals from New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.; Amtrak's pricey high-speed Acela train cuts the travel time between Boston and New York from 4½ hours to 3½ hours. Boston is also the eastern terminus of Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited, which travels daily between Boston and Chicago by way of Albany, Rochester, Buffalo, and Cleveland (trains travel to South Station and Back Bay Station). The MBTA runs commuter trains to points south, west, and north. Those bound for Worcester, Needham, Forge Park, Providence, Rhode Island, and Stoughton leave from South Station and Back Bay Station; those to Fitchburg, Lowell, Haverhill, Newburyport, and Rockport operate out of North Station; those to Middleborough/Lakeville, Kingston/Route 3, Plymouth, and Greenbush depart from South Station.
Amtrak tickets, schedules, and reservations are available at Amtrak stations, by telephone, through travel agents, or online. Free maps are available at the MBTA's Park Street Station information stand.
Amtrak ticket offices accept all major credit cards, cash, traveler's checks, and personal checks when accompanied by a valid photo ID and a major credit card. You may pay on board with cash or a major credit card, but a surcharge may apply. MBTA commuter-rail stations generally accept only cash. You may also pay in cash on board commuter trains, but there may be a $1-$2 surcharge.
Amtrak has both reserved and unreserved trains. During peak times, such as a Friday night, get a reservation and a ticket in advance. Trains at nonpeak times are unreserved, with seats assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Amtrak (800/872-7245. www.amtrak.com.)
Back Bay Station (145 Dartmouth St., Back Bay, Boston, MA, 02116.)
North Station (100 Legends Way, Causeway and Friend Sts., North End, Boston, MA, 02114.)
South Station (2 South Station, Atlantic Ave. and Summer St., Downtown, Boston, MA, 02110. South Station.)
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