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, nearby, 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 by an hour, to 3½ hours. South Station and Back Bay Station are the two stops in Boston for Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited, which travels daily between Boston and Chicago by way of Albany, Rochester, Buffalo, and Cleveland. Amtrak tickets, schedules, and reservations are available at Amtrak stations, online, by telephone, and through travel agents. 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 will apply. Amtrak has both reserved and unreserved trains. During peak times, such as a Friday night, get a reservation and a ticket in advance (you may also save money by buying in advance). Trains at nonpeak times are unreserved, with seats assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
The MBTA runs commuter trains to nearby points south, west, and north. Trains 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 Middleboro/Lakeville, Kingston/Route 3, Plymouth, and Greenbush depart from South Station.
MBTA commuter-rail stations generally accept only cash. Buy your ticket at the window or in advance, or be ready to pay a $1–2 surcharge in cash when you're on board.
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 (700 Atlantic Ave., at Summer St., Downtown, Boston, MA, 02110. South Station.)