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Luggage on metro to Union Station on weekday morning

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Apr 25th, 2012, 11:34 AM
  #1
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Luggage on metro to Union Station on weekday morning

We're staying at the Grand Hyatt, which has an entrance to the Metro Center stop in its lobby. We're taking the 7:30 a.m. Amtrak to Williamsburg on a Friday morning.

Since Union Station appears to be only a few stops down from our hotel on the red line, I was hoping we could just take the metro to Union Station. I figure that we'll try to leave the hotel around 6:15 - 6:30 a.m.

How feasible would it be for 4 people with luggage (each with a 24" suitcase and a carry on type bag) to manage the morning commute crowds? Is it better to just take a taxi?

Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Apr 25th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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You'll do fine on the metro.
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Apr 25th, 2012, 12:05 PM
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And you won't need an hour.
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Apr 25th, 2012, 01:02 PM
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Thanks for the advice - and I'm sure my daughter will be glad for even 15 minutes more sleep in the morning.

My parents are traveling with us and my mom tends to be somewhat poky, so I figured I'd rather get us there with plenty of time rather than rushing.
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Apr 25th, 2012, 01:52 PM
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Check out the metro site to figure out how much time u need. Its probably less than 10 minutes via the Red line to Union Station. http://www.wmata.com/index.cfm
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Apr 25th, 2012, 03:14 PM
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And another ten minutes within the station to the track.
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Apr 25th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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Amtrak is good about letting the old folks and people with young children through the gates first before the thundering herd of hustling humanity. Be at the gate at least 20 minutes before the scheduled leave time.
From the Metro you may want to try for an elevator instead of the escalator with parents and luggage.
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Apr 25th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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I had read on someone's recent DC trip report that they had used the Red Cap service for Amtrak - apparently they received luggage assistance and were able to board a bit earlier ahead of the herd.

I'm going to see if I can get more details on that when we're at Union Station for a moonlight monument tour at the beginning of our stay. There's no checked baggage for our train, so if I can get some luggage assistance it would be a big help for my mom.
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Apr 25th, 2012, 05:48 PM
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IMHO Red Caps are well worth the money. Not only do they haul your luggage onto the train, but they also get you on to the track (special keys) before other passengers - so you can get on as soon as the departing passengers leave - and have the best choice of seats and possibility of sitting together.
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Apr 26th, 2012, 10:02 AM
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For Metro with luggage, try to enter the train through the first or last door and scoot the bags toward the end of the car. There will be fewer commuters tripping over you than you would encounter if you board through the middle doors. Though you may be early enough to beat the morning rush, the advice holds for any time of day (and for strollers, and other bulky items too).
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Apr 26th, 2012, 10:13 AM
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There won't be a herd heading to Williamsburg. It's much less of an issue for trains heading south of DC than it is for trains on the Northeast Corridor between DC and Boston.
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Apr 26th, 2012, 10:45 AM
  #12
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Thanks for all of the advice. I live in a state where tourism is the #1 industry, so when I travel I try to be cognizant of situations where my actions may impede/irritate the local commuters.
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Apr 26th, 2012, 03:42 PM
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Yup, I had mentioned that we used the Red Caps in my report. Excellent use of money. Not only did we get seats with extra legroom due to the layout, we were the first ones on a full train.

I will say that, going from the metro station to Union Station was tricky only that the escalator wasn't working. We were only hauling carryons, so with more luggage, I'd suggest you find an elevator. Then you'd have no problem at all.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 05:44 PM
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Thanks for the info, it certainly sounds like using a Red Cap is the way to go but how much do you tip them?
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May 1st, 2012, 07:44 AM
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For Red Caps, I've given $10 for curb to train service; but would add to that if it takes more than 10 minutes.
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May 1st, 2012, 04:44 PM
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Thanks kayd, good to know.
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May 1st, 2012, 05:19 PM
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Depends on how many bags you have to haul. I would do at least $5 per sizable bag (not small carry-ons).
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May 1st, 2012, 06:09 PM
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We tipped $10 for two carryons, a camera bag, and my oversize purse. This was from inside the twrmianl, since we came by metro, to the train. Maybe too much? Regardless, well worth it to have a 3 1/2 hour ride with so much legroom. On one side of the aisle were tables with seats facing; the other side didn't, but offset seats to compensate--which is how we ended up with extra legroom, we were in the offset seats.
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May 2nd, 2012, 06:08 AM
  #19
 
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"to manage the morning commute crowds?..."

At 6:30 am the Metro train seats will be at least 1/2 empty - probably 2/3 empty.
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