Washington to New York - easiest way ?

Feb 27th, 2000, 03:25 PM
  #1  
jacquie
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Washington to New York - easiest way ?

Can anyone tell me the easiest way to travel from Washington to New York ? Cost, time and convenience are all important.

Thanks for any help.
 
Feb 27th, 2000, 03:53 PM
  #2  
Neal
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J:

Without question, the train is the best way to get from DC to NY. Even if you find some cheap airfare that makes flying attractive, remember you have to get from the airport to town, which can add as much as $40 to your cost.
 
Feb 28th, 2000, 04:08 AM
  #3  
Owen O'Neill
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I second the motion for the train. The Metroliner is only $130 RT and takes (I think) either 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 hours. When you add the transport time required to get to and from airports at either end it's about the same amount of time as flying but waaaay cheaper with bigger more comfortable seats and the option of getting out of your seta and walking around to stretch. In addition, you'll be amazed at the look of Grand central, now that it's been renovated - truly a beautiful facility.
 
Feb 28th, 2000, 04:24 AM
  #4  
ilisa
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The metroliner from DC takes 3 hours. However, you will have to go out of your way to see Grand Central Station since the train goes to Penn Station.
 
Feb 28th, 2000, 04:26 AM
  #5  
ilisa
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Sorry, Owen, I didn't mean that to sound nasty in response to your answer.
 
Feb 28th, 2000, 09:27 AM
  #6  
lisa
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Definitely Amtrak is most convenient because you don't have to worry about getting to/from any airports. Leaves from Union Station right in the middle of DC (metro-accessible) and arrives in Penn Station right smack in the middle of midtown Manhattan which is also subway-accessible (I have, on occasion, walked the ten blocks from Penn Station to the theatre district pulling my rolling carryon suitcase and walked straight into the theatre where they checked my suitcase in their coatroom!). Can't beat the convenience of the train.

The cost of Amtrak is higher than it used to be though. Unreserved trains are closer to 4 hours and last time I took them they were close to $70 each way. The reserved Metroliner trains which are faster (around 3 hours) were almost $200 roundtrip last time I checked. It depends on when you're travelling though -- peak days and hours are higher. Metroliner seats are only marginally nicer than those on the unreserved trains. The cost and the time are the only major differences.
 
Feb 28th, 2000, 10:38 AM
  #7  
larry
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As a general rule--door to door it is quicker to fly. Depending on where you are in DC and what time you leave, National Airport is only about 5 minutes further than Union Station. Planes leave every 1/2 hour from 7AM until about 9PM. The flight is about 45 minutes. Depending on time of day and where you are going, it can be about 1/2 hour to either midtown or downtown. Unless you need to travel before or after the last shuttle, or the weather is such that it looks like air travel will be delayed, I suggest the air shuttle. Two general exceptions: 1) your destination is walking distance to Penn Station (NY Terminal) or 2) you are leaving from NYC on Friday night, when the shuttles fill up and long delays are common.
 
Feb 28th, 2000, 06:44 PM
  #8  
Owen O'Neill
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No offense taken Ilisa - it must be my age {;-) -- the brain occasionally doesn't connect as it should. That's a mistake I've made before and I should know better, especially since I dropped my daughter off at Penn Station on Sunday morning to catch an Amtrak train! Although the Amtrak trains don't go there (despite my wishes), I strongly encourage all who visit NYC to see the new face on Grand Central. Just one comment on Larry's post - the 30 minute drive from Newark airport to NYC is only when things are running well. I've gotten stuk in traffic going in and out of both the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels - if you catch it at the wrong time the trip from Newark airport can take well over an hour or longer (although this isn't typical, it's not unusual at morning rush going in or in late afternoon rush in either direction).
 
Feb 29th, 2000, 04:17 AM
  #9  
Susan
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RE your last response. Take the Airlink from Newark Airport to Newark Penn Station (Train) The cost is $4 for a twenty minute ride. Then take the train into New York Penn Station for about $2. This avoids all car traffic delays through the Lincoln Tunnel. It works great in reverse too but leave 40 minutes for the bus trip from Newark Penn to the airport just in case you miss one and have to wait 20 minutes for the next one to arrive.
 
May 6th, 2002, 02:30 PM
  #10  
Vita
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Topping because the thread is old and I'm curious if opinions have changed. I'll be doing a weekend trip in September from Washington to New York. I have easy metro access to Union Station and National Airport. What are the pluses and minuses in terms of cost and time?
 
May 6th, 2002, 02:45 PM
  #11  
Vita
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Sorry my question might not have been clear. What are the pluses and minuses of travel by air versus train from Washington to New York and back in terms of cost and time? This thread is two years old so I was curious about updated opinions.
 
May 6th, 2002, 03:07 PM
  #12  
xxx
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There might not be much of a time advantage for flying if you add in the early arrival rules for the airports and the possibility of slow traffic between midtown and Laguardia or Newark. The train always gets my vote because it is so much more relaxed -- I find airports places of great stress.
 
May 6th, 2002, 04:38 PM
  #13  
Suzy
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Another vote for the train. Cmpared to hte beginning of this thread, the airport has become a much bigger hassle and now you need those stupendous lead times in case you get bogged down in security. Traffic between the airport and the city is of course worse than it used to be.

And the new Acela trains are fater than the old Metroliner. They're more expensive, too, but I've found that a route with a couple of stops costs a lot less and doesn't take significantly longer.

The train is more comfortable, has better food (though you pay for it), bigger bathrooms, you can walk around at will, and you don't have to deal with airport security or ground transport. No contest, for me.
 
May 6th, 2002, 06:25 PM
  #14  
Lisa
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Just got back from a weekend in Washington and I opted for the plane. Got a great online rate on the US Air shuttle ($126 RT on Orbitz). The train was almost twice as much! (about $260 if you took Metroliner or Acela). Even with the cost to and from the airport, it was still cheaper and way faster if you don't check bags. No wonder Amtrak is going under!
 
May 6th, 2002, 06:40 PM
  #15  
suzanne
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IMO, the train is better! More legroom, more scenery, roughly the same cost, and the train takes about the same amount of time-maybe less- when you consider how early you have to be at the airport for flights...and THEN you still have to get into Manhattan from the airport, which can take 30 minutes to an hour and a half. The train takes you directly into midtown NYC.

If you take the non-Acela, non-Metroliner trains (called "Northeast Direct", I believe), it costs less (I'm paying $158 to go to Baltimore this weekend) and they take 1/2-1 hour longer than Acela. My train to Baltimore will be a little over 2.5 hours (Acela is 2 hours, and $258 - bah!). The Northeast Direct trains are just as comfortable as the Acela, they're just a little older.
 
May 6th, 2002, 07:58 PM
  #16  
FrugalFred
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Lisa said "No wonder Amtrak is going under!"

Well, Amtrak didn't get the big bailout that airlines got last year. Amtrak has to maintain tracks, airlines don't maintain "air". Amtrak must pay for most stations, but airlines enjoy airports primarily paid for by taxpayers. Amtrak pays for security, airports (read: taxpayers) again pay for security.

The CEO of CSX Railroads (freight) spoke recently of the need to put more freight and passengers onto rail, and get them off the roadways. While freight pays it's own way, even he stated that there's no passenger rail in the world that operates unsubsidized, and that Congress's mandate for Amtrak to become self-sufficent is pipedreams.

No wonder Amtrak is going under! When will airlines and private automobiles become self-sufficient?

 
May 7th, 2002, 07:38 AM
  #17  
Ann
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I've only take the train from DC to NYC once, but it was great. Only about $125 each, and we didn't have to pay for cabs to/from the airports. Particularly with the longer check-in times today at the airport, I'll probably stick to the trains.
 
May 7th, 2002, 07:58 AM
  #18  
amtrak
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amtrak is losing money on longer routes - it profits (i think all of its profits) are from the DC-NY-Boston line. In other words, DC-NY-Boston riders are overpaying to subsidize the longer routes around the rest of the country that are unprofitable.

and yes, w/o gov't money for rails (like the gov't money planes and roads get), amtrak will never survive

just the 2 cents of a fan of NY to DC train travel hoping it survives.
 
May 7th, 2002, 08:48 AM
  #19  
Chris
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Directly from May 2002 "Business Forward:" "Since Sept. 11, Amtrak has carried 53% of passengers between Washington and New York...a bigger market share than all the airlines servicing that route combined. In a region that has the third biggest traffic congestion problem in the country [DC], having Amtrak ... in Union Station cuts down some of the time otherwise spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

"Taking the train is also usually less expensive...and especially when you take into account the ramped-up airport security since 9/11, Amtrak is sometimes faster too.."

Says a frequent rider: "You're not schlepping to the airport, you get on the train and go."
 
May 7th, 2002, 10:18 AM
  #20  
Lisa
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FrugalFred wrote: "Amtrak pays for security." Er . . . uh. . . what security would that be, Fred??? Do they check baggage for bombs? Do they check passengers for guns? Do they even have friggin' seat belts?

Another reason I don't like the train.
 

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