Acela to offer WAS NYP nonstop

Old Jul 25, 19, 2:38 pm
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Acela to offer WAS NYP nonstop

per CNN. Starts in September.

On Thursday, Amtrak announced that starting in September it will offer a new direct route between Washington Union Station (WAS) and New York Penn Station (NYP). The Acela Nonstop service is the first of several new projects for the transportation company, which will include an additional direct route from New York to Boston starting in 2020.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 7:56 pm
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It will save a couple of minutes, but the real benefit is not having to stand up every 40 minutes to let your neighbors on and off.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 3:02 am
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Also, the trains in question seem to be running a hair cheaper than most of the "neighboring" Acelas (I initially saw a $130 cash fare for Business Class on one of them despite it being a weekday) and are also treating AGR reservations at the "normal" rate (34.5 points per dollar) instead of the higher rate that usually applies to the Acelas.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 3:06 am
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Originally Posted by DailyGrind View Post
It will save a couple of minutes, but the real benefit is not having to stand up every 40 minutes to let your neighbors on and off.
Indeed that and somewhat less disturbances from those (including Amtrak conductors) moving about in the aisle.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 6:46 am
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As it is only one frequency and seems timed for those based in NYC, it is simply a "toe in the water" at this point. Not sure that I would change my travel plans for the extra 15 minutes and the possibility of having to move a bit for another passenger.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 4:38 pm
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Amtrak tried a similar service about 10 years ago, a one-stop WAS-PHL-NYP.

Anyone remember when/why it got discontinued?
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Old Jul 29, 19, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
Also, the trains in question seem to be running a hair cheaper than most of the "neighboring" Acelas (I initially saw a $130 cash fare for Business Class on one of them despite it being a weekday) and are also treating AGR reservations at the "normal" rate (34.5 points per dollar) instead of the higher rate that usually applies to the Acelas.
Wow, that's great. I hate using AGR points on the Acela, total ripoff.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 1:07 pm
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As someone who frequently travels between NYC and DC, this is most welcome. (Though I'd kill for an actual bullet train ... 2:35 between NYC and DC is still criminally slow.)
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Old Jul 30, 19, 2:09 pm
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A couple years ago the 5am out of WAS would skip BWI and make it into NYP in around 2:45. Criminally slow is the right phrase.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by nerd View Post
Amtrak tried a similar service about 10 years ago, a one-stop WAS-PHL-NYP.

Anyone remember when/why it got discontinued?
IIRC, it was initially WAS-NYP, PHL was added later presumably because the train wasn't selling enough seats, and then it reverted for presumably the same reason. I rode it once (we covered the trip in 2:25, vs 2:45 scheduled at the time for regular Acelas) and IIRC it was gone about a year later, but I don't remember exact dates. (It was prior to 2007, based on the job I had at the time.) I also seem to recall it was more of a midday departure (maybe around 11am southbound?) which wasn't exactly peak timing. The new service seems more aligned with potential demand.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 1:17 am
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It was in 2007. One thing that I would hold out as a possibility, based on my recollection of ridership data and the like: The train was cut in the April, 2008 timetable. That stands out because the cut would have come about three weeks after the Bear Stearns collapse. Therefore, it seems quite possible that the train was cut in response to a major drop-off in expense account travel amid that turmoil. Acela ridership dropped by about an eighth between FY08 and FY09, and I'm not sure when that hit was focused (between sky high gas prices and the market collapsing). At a bare minimum, the crash truncated a trend in ridership on the Acela that had, until then, been surging. This isn't to say that the train wasn't a marginal case before things started falling apart, but Bear Stearns might well have put the writing on the wall (I think we often forget how things were already sliding downhill at that point, even if it didn't really hit the fan until much later in the year).

And the former NB departure was at 1555 (vs 1630 for the current iteration), something that I do think matters (being able to leave the office at 1600 sharp and make the train is likely not an insignificant consideration). The new SB departure (0635 out of NYP) is also between two Acelas which are chronically pegged to high bucket (I cannot find its running mate, and I'm not even sure if it had a matching SB departure that was close-to-nonstop), so the timing is probably better as well.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 12:41 pm
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Amtrak today (9/12) announced the unique amenities exclusive to its Acela Nonstop, which begins its inaugural trip on Monday, Sept. 23, including: complimentary coffee, tea water, and a light snack, “at seat” cashless cart service offering a limited menu of snacks and beverages.

Question of the day -- does this sound a bit like Delta ?

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Old Sep 16, 19, 7:18 am
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Hadn't Amtrak experimented with snack carts in the past on the Acela?
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Old Sep 16, 19, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by danib62 View Post
Hadn't Amtrak experimented with snack carts in the past on the Acela?
Yes they have, but never with complimentary snacks/drinks.

I think this is a brilliant move and honestly should be expanded to all Acela trains.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 8:33 pm
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Originally Posted by hi55us View Post
Yes they have, but never with complimentary snacks/drinks.

I think this is a brilliant move and honestly should be expanded to all Acela trains.
The business class snack cart will be "cashless" not complimentary. You pay with your credit card.
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