train from BWI to Philadelphia questions

Old Feb 1st, 2014, 11:41 AM
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train from BWI to Philadelphia questions

We are arriving BWI to attend a wedding on the Eastern shore, so we will rent a car. After the wedding, we will meet some friends in Philadelphia. As there is a $200 added expense for the rent car to Philadelphia, I thought maybe we should take the train BWi to Philadelphia and relax..
I've looked at the schedule. 2 of us can go on NE Regional for $78.20, or the Acela for $181.90.

1. Is there a big difference in comfort for that short a period of travel?
2. Is there a shuttle from rental car return to BWI train station or do we have to go to airport terminal and take the shuttle?
3. How flexible are the ticket times. if we should miss the 1:32 pm, are tickets usable on the 2:47 pm?
4. How busy are the trains on a Sunday in June, June 15?
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Old Feb 1st, 2014, 01:53 PM
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1. I'd go with the NE Regional. It does the trick generally almost as quickly as the Acela. There are a few benefits to the Acela, but nothing worth the extra expense for that short distance in my opinion.
4. I always found the Sunday trains busier the later the day goes. My theory is people visiting family & friends in DC for the weekend and heading back to NY and Philly tend to want to maximize their weekend and head back later on Sunday.
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Old Feb 1st, 2014, 04:57 PM
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What Daniel_Williams said. Also, you buy tickets for a specific time like a plane ticket. If you miss your train and there are seats on the next train, you can purchase those tickets and they *may* refund your first purchase but, then again, maybe not. I never pay extra for the Acela. Just not worth it to me. I find the regional trains to be very comfortable and efficient. If only plane seats were that roomy!
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Old Feb 1st, 2014, 05:09 PM
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I know that we took the shuttle from the airport to the train, went into DC and then came back and rented a car. I can't remember if the same shuttle stops at the rental facility. I know it stopped at the parking lots. If in doubt just ask the driver, the shuttles are frequent. I fly mostly in and out of Philly and everything is right there but at BWI the car rental place is ten min away.
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Old Feb 1st, 2014, 06:33 PM
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I just checked the Amtrak website. It looks like you can snag 2 tickets for $70 on 6/15.
At the top of the fare page are the different options Saver-Value-Flexable and Premium Service. Hover the cursor over the fare category for the rules.
Some tickets you can get a full refund others you pay a 10% fee to rebook for later travel. All seem to have a full value eVoucher for later Amtrak travel. If you think you might miss the earlier train you can use the QuikTrak machine with whatever card you used to reserve the tickets or you can go to the ticket window to get the tickets.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 05:18 AM
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The big question still remains: do we need to return the car, take a shuttle to the terminal, then another shuttle to the train?
I appreciate your input, s ounds like Acela is not worth the extra expense and I'll be careful about getting to train on time for ticketed time.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 05:39 AM
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Why don't you call the rental place and ask them?
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