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WAS [Rockville]-NYP-BOS [South Station]- BOS [North]-POR

WAS [Rockville]-NYP-BOS [South Station]- BOS [North]-POR

Old Mar 1, 18, 3:04 pm
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Question WAS [Rockville]-NYP-BOS [South Station]- BOS [North]-POR

I haven't taken Amtrak in well over a decade. I have to believe it has changed a lot. I don't even have a AGR account anymore - I had the old one where I would use my old Diners Club to dump into Amtrak and then move those out to an airline FF program way back when. Do I/Should I even bother to sign up again, is there any advantage too? I likely won't be taking another Amtrak trip in the next 36 months before they expire. The 175 points hardly seem worth the effort.

So as the subject title states ideally I'd like to go from Rockville to NY Penn [stay 2 days in NYC] then go to Boston [stay one night in BOS] and then go to Portland Maine [end of trip] - side note, I was all set to drive but the other half wants the train. So the train it is. We will fly back.

There are four of us - all adults according to Amtrak

I don't see where any of the discounts apply at least as shown on the website.

First issue - it doesn't seem to price this out of Rockville but it does out of WAS. Why can't I price this Rockville to WAS union station and north but only from Union Station? I just don't want to drive to DC. I have a place near Rockville to leave the car.

I threw in estimated dates in July for this trip including the stopovers. It appears that I can do this trip for $696 in total for the four of us if I purchase by segment. I found this to be less than I thought so right there I'm happy.

On that note, it appears I must buy by the segment vs one ticket straight through where we all get on and off at the stops listed in the title. Would that be true?

Business Class vs Reserved Coach - looks like these are the same seats just a separate car and maybe a few free soft drinks. I'd upsell if the seats were bigger but not if its the same as a coach seat. Is it the same seat as in coach?

Having Wifi is crucial with two teens on the trip as well. I presume all trains have wifi?

Any other hints on making this trip more fun/enjoyable - referring to the train part - ha
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Old Mar 1, 18, 3:48 pm
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There is one Amtrak train a day that travels from RKV to WAS, and it's a long-distance train that's frequently late. If your goal is to avoid driving into DC and paying for parking at Union Station, you're going to be better off 1) taking Metrorail from Rockville to Union Station and starting your Amtrak journey there or 2) finding somewhere to park in Alexandria, Virginia, and starting your Amtrak journey at ALX, which has regular northbound service through to NYP. (Starting your trip at New Carrollton in Maryland would also work, but I realize that's a longer schlep for you from Potomac Falls, and also the parking options are better around ALX.)

Alternatively, if you're flying back anyway, why not use BWI Amtrak/BWI airport, stash your car in long-term parking, and not have to worry about the logistics of reuniting with it later?

To answer your other questions:

Yes, you must buy by segment.
No, there's no real benefit to buying Business if you're riding the Northeast Regional. (I don't know what the rolling stock on the BON to POR bit looks like.)
Yes, all the trains will have Wi-Fi, although don't expect consistent signal strength or connection.

Last edited by ambyr; Mar 1, 18 at 3:54 pm
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Old Mar 1, 18, 4:17 pm
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The OP should not overlook potential discounts available on the various legs of the trip. Details here:

https://www.railserve.com/amtrak_coupons.html
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Old Mar 1, 18, 7:02 pm
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[QUOTE=TrojanHorse;29474513]I haven't taken Amtrak in well over a decade. I have to believe it has changed a lot. I don't even have a AGR account anymore - I had the old one where I would use my old Diners Club to dump into Amtrak and then move those out to an airline FF program way back when. Do I/Should I even bother to sign up again, is there any advantage too? I likely won't be taking another Amtrak trip in the next 36 months before they expire. The 175 points hardly seem worth the effort.

So as the subject title states ideally I'd like to go from Rockville to NY Penn [stay 2 days in NYC] then go to Boston [stay one night in BOS] and then go to Portland Maine [end of trip] - side note, I was all set to drive but the other half wants the train. So the train it is. We will fly back.

/QUOTE]

If you're going to fly back, I recommend driving to BWI and starting your trip from there.

Also, you'll come into South Station in Boston and your second train will leave from North Station.

Alternatively, you could take MARC from Rockville.

Bob H

Last edited by BobH; Mar 2, 18 at 5:53 am
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Old Mar 1, 18, 7:49 pm
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Business Class does give you more legroom, curtains on the windows, and includes
non alcoholic drinks from the cafe car.(show BC ticket).
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Old Mar 2, 18, 7:04 am
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Coaches on Downeaster will be the same as the NE Regional, it uses Amfleets from the same pool of equipment. On the DE, they fix half the seats in each direction, since the trainsets change ends without being turned.
Only difference is the Business Class on the Downeaster is in the cafe car (2-1 seating in half the cafe car).

If connecting via public transit in Boston between the Regional and North Station for the Downeaster, exit the Regional at Back Bay and take the Orange Line (towards Oak Grove) for a one-seat ride to North Station.
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Old Mar 2, 18, 7:24 am
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Sounds like OP is staying the night in BOS before heading to BON I would stay on until South Station, much nicer station to arrive into as Back Bay is a diesel fume engulfed dump. Though it also depends on where they are staying the night.

I recommend Business on the Downeaster, Has leg rests, foot rests, miles of recline, and they must be one of the last trains to still have newspapers.
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Old Mar 2, 18, 6:52 pm
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Having Wifi is crucial with two teens on the trip as well. I presume all trains have wifi?
All single-level trains now have wifi. The bilevel trains (Superliner equipment) do not. The Capitol Limited, which serves the RKV-WAS route, uses Superliner equipment and does not have wifi. However, that is only a short part of your trip, and for reasons enumerated in other posts, you probably don't want to use Amtrak for that leg, anyway (cheaper and easier and more reliable to just take the Metro Red Line, or possibly MARC, from Rockville to Union Station).

All of the other trains (Regional to BOS and Downeaster to PWM) will have wifi. It's not fast wifi (~700kbps per device) but it is usable for pretty much anything that isn't streaming video.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 2:06 pm
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Thanks for the tips and pointers
BWI will be an option. Wanted to fly back to IAD as it has more UA options but will look at BWI too
We want to leave the car in Olney [GF mom's house] hence the Rockville departure

I didn't realize that it was a bunch of different companies running that route
MARC would be an option though.

Thanks for the tip on BON vs BOS

Doesn't sound like Business is much better. I was looking for a better seat primarily. oh well no biggie



We are staying a night in Boston so the switching of terminals is not an issue

I didn't realize that non-alcholic drinks were not complimentary - learn something new every day ha

So whats the deal with bringing mini's on the train - is that a big no-no? Can you even bring liquid on a train? IDK it's been a long time for me since I've been on Amtrak
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Old Mar 4, 18, 8:48 pm
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
So whats the deal with bringing mini's on the train - is that a big no-no? Can you even bring liquid on a train? IDK it's been a long time for me since I've been on Amtrak
Officially prohibited unless you're in a private sleeping compartment (and then only inside the compartment). Not allowed in public but relatively easy to get away with if you're discreet. Of course, tolerance varies by conductor and there's always a risk you'll be put off at the next stop where police will be waiting for you, so use discretion.
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Old Mar 21, 18, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Thanks for the tips and pointers
BWI will be an option. Wanted to fly back to IAD as it has more UA options but will look at BWI too
We want to leave the car in Olney [GF mom's house] hence the Rockville departure

I didn't realize that it was a bunch of different companies running that route
MARC would be an option though.

Thanks for the tip on BON vs BOS

Doesn't sound like Business is much better. I was looking for a better seat primarily. oh well no biggie



We are staying a night in Boston so the switching of terminals is not an issue

I didn't realize that non-alcholic drinks were not complimentary - learn something new every day ha

So whats the deal with bringing mini's on the train - is that a big no-no? Can you even bring liquid on a train? IDK it's been a long time for me since I've been on Amtrak
You can also take ICC 201 from Shady Grove metro station to BWI, if you do not want to park your car at BWI. Also, you would have the flexibility to return to IAD.
Fare is $5 per person.
https://mta.maryland.gov/share-bus-o...te=Route%20201
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