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coxst98 Mar 14th, 2010 06:20 AM

Baltimore to New York via Amtrack - What should I expect or be aware of?
My husband and I will be taking Amtrack for the first time. Our trip is Baltimore to New York in June. How is the food? Is it safe?

EmilyC Mar 14th, 2010 06:27 AM

The food on Amtrak, as a whole, is nothing to aspire to. This is a short trip.....bring your own!!

Vttraveler Mar 14th, 2010 06:54 AM

The food is probably safe but choices are limited and not very good. I agree it's better to take your own sandwiches, snacks, etc.

Daniel_Williams Mar 14th, 2010 07:09 AM

Hi coxst98

I've gone from Baltimore-NYC many times on Amtrak... business people are doing this ride every day, many times a day. I've never been concerned for my safety on these busy Amtrak routes. If you were asking about the safety of the food on these short hauls, while uninspiring, I've not yet been ill afterwards, so I guess the food's "safe". If you don't find the time to pick up food beforehand and are not vegetarian, the microwaved cheeseburger I find tastes better than the microwaved gardenburger ;).

Best wishes,


vjpblovesitaly Mar 14th, 2010 09:25 AM

Is the food safe? If you would even ask that, why would you consider eating on such a short trip anyway?

nytraveler Mar 14th, 2010 09:46 AM

Do you mean is the food safe (yes, but awful) or is the train safe (yes, of course).

You should be aware that trains on Friday and Sunday nights or even very early Mon AM are often packed (standing room) with young people going to/fro college or visiting friends for the weekend.

The train is usually on time (defined as within 15 minutes of schedule) but the torrential rains we had yesterday caused cancellations and schedule changes - so if really bad weather pops up do check before heading to the station.

Vttraveler Mar 14th, 2010 10:27 AM

The delays yesterday between NYC and Philadelphia due to rain and power outages were awful. Our son was stuck for hours in Penn Station on the Vermonter and did not get to Philly until 5 a.m. this morning. I was afraid to ask him whether he had had any food other than the remains of his lunch and the loaf of pumpkin bread he had with him.

Amtrak has a perky woman named "Julie" who is recorded for their automated information system. You can get train status updates from her by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL. In situations where there are major problems Julie can't get updated and the agents are overwhelmed with calls. During the (first) big snow storm in December when our older son was trying to get back from DC I was told my call would be answered in approximately 12 hours.

deb0402 Mar 14th, 2010 10:28 AM

I just took this trip last weekend....I would definitely plan ahead and bring your own sandwich...or wait until you arrive at Penn Station in NYC....
BTW...we sat in the "quiet car" ...what a pleasant experience. It is like the library. No cell phones and no loud talking. It is usually the second car of the train, if this interests you.

MikeT Mar 14th, 2010 10:44 AM

There should be no standing room concerns on the train since they all-reserved and they don't allow on more people than there are seats. The days of people standing on Amtrak are long gone.

The trip from Baltimore to NYC is pleasant, with the most scenic part of the trip between Baltimore and Wilmington. The food is expensive, but fine. You can, as others said, bring your own.

yestravel Mar 14th, 2010 11:18 AM

Standing room is not a common occurence, but it does happen on Amtrak. I travel Amtrak DC to NYC and back frequently. If there is a train cancelled or delayed, often the passengers on the problem train will pile onto another train. My last 2 trips from NYC to DC had that occur. In one case something happened on the Acela and those passengers got on my regular train. The other time there was some delay with my train and they put us on another train. Many people were stuck standing or sitting in the aisle and between cars. They were noting their tickets and told to contact Amtrak for a possilbe refund.

I find that Saturdays tend to be very busy on that route.

Daniel_Williams Mar 14th, 2010 11:50 AM

Not getting a seat is something that's only happened to me once in probably 100+ times travelling on Amtrak (over many years) in the Northeast Corridor. It was a holiday (Memorial Day?) weekend on Saturday morning around the year 2000, on I believe an unreserved train... luckily I was only going from Baltimore-Philadelphia and stood packed in with several others in the metal vestibule area between wagons (I felt like I was like riding the subway). I wouldn't worry too much about this very unlikely possibility.

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