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Amtrak Layover in Washington-What should I do?


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#1 Guest_kenbyrddogg_*

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 07:14 PM

I'm going to NYC via Capitol Limited. To be technical, I'm on the Capitol Limited from Chicago to Washington, arriving at 1:05pm then take the Northeast Regional from Washington to NYC at 3:05pm

So what should I do in Washington for 2 hrs? Go and explore the city or wait in the lounge? Is there a chance the Capitol Limited might arrive late and I have less time?



#2 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 07:19 PM

I'm going to NYC via Capitol Limited. To be technical, I'm on the Capitol Limited from Chicago to Washington, arriving at 1:05pm then take the Northeast Regional from Washington to NYC at 3:05pm

So what should I do in Washington for 2 hrs? Go and explore the city or wait in the lounge? Is there a chance the Capitol Limited might arrive late and I have less time?

Yes, there's a chance the train will arrive late.

 

I can't offer any advice for a 2 hour layover since I doubt I'd personally risk it.  But that's just me.


2011: Jun: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // Nov: WIL=>WAS=>CHI=>PRO (NER=>CL=>CZ)
2012: Apr: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // May(NTD): WIL=>PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>PAO=>PHL (Keystone) // Aug: WIL=>WAS (NER) / BWI=>WIL (NER) // Oct(Gathering): PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>HAR=>PHL (Keystone) / SEPTA, NJT, PATCO, River Line, Princeton Dinky
2013: May(NTD): WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct (Gathering): WIL=>CHI (Card) / CHI=>MKE=>GLN=>CHI() / CHI=>JOL=>CHI () / CHI=>WIL(CL=>NER) / CTA, Metra. SEPTA (WIL=>NRK) // Nov:  PHL=>PHL (Autumn Express) 
2014: May(NTD):  WIL=>PHL=>WIL(NER) // May:  WIL=>BOS=>WIL(NER) day trip

2014: Oct(Gathering): WIL=>NYP=>TOL(pd-NER=>LSL) / TOL=>CHI=>LAX=>EMY(pts-LSL=>SWC=>CS) / EMY=>CHI=>TOL (pts-CZ-CL) / TOL=>WAS=>WIL(pd-CL=>NER)
2015: May: CHI=>CIN(pd-Card) / CIN=>WIL(pts Card)
2015;  Oct(Gathering):  WIL=>WAS(Acela) / ALX=>WAS(NER) / WAS=>BAL(Acela) / WAS=>WIL(NER)

2016: Mar: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct:  WIL=>NYP=>NYP=>WIL (Autumn Express) 


#3 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 07:28 PM

I'm surprised they booked you on a 3:05pm departure out of WAS. The last time I transferred off the CL northbound they gave me the 4:05pm. In my case, the train was late anyway and I missed the 4:05pm connection so the layover was a moot point. I doubt you'd be able to get far away from the station and back within 2 hours (plus you probably want to get in line for the 141 before 3:05pm anyway).

 

I don't remember doing this or if you even can but if you do get into WAS at 1:05pm, try to see if you change your ticket so you can get leave WAS for NYP (New York Penn Station) on an earlier train.


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Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
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City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#4 City of Miami

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 08:14 PM

The most I would attempt is maybe the Postal Museum which is across the street at the far right end as you exit the front main entrance. It's free. Alas the food court in the basement of WAS is not what it used tou be! :>(

#5 the_traveler

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 10:24 PM

I would wait in the Club Acela (assuming you have a sleeper on the CL). You can board your Regional from there.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#6 Eric S

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 09:59 AM

Assuming your train arrives WAS on time, after factoring in time to get off the first train and then later get on the second train, you're looking at more like 90ish minutes at best. If it were me, I wouldn't plan any significant sightseeing; I'd just wander around a little bit in and around the station.



#7 p&sr

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:29 AM

 

So what should I do in Washington for 2 hrs? Go and explore the city or wait in the lounge?

I always enjoy the Greenhouse at the National Botanic Garden... a few blocks from the Station... just past the Capitol Building at the head of the National Mall.  Free admission, just watch your time very closely.


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#8 Bob Dylan

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:33 AM

I agree that with the tight connection I would just head for the Club Acela, drop off my stuff, and if hungry grab a bite to eat,look around the Station/Mall and then relax in the Club till time to board.
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#9 Guest_kenbyrddogg_*

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 06:36 PM

I'm surprised they booked you on a 3:05pm departure out of WAS. The last time I transferred off the CL northbound they gave me the 4:05pm. In my case, the train was late anyway and I missed the 4:05pm connection so the layover was a moot point. I doubt you'd be able to get far away from the station and back within 2 hours (plus you probably want to get in line for the 141 before 3:05pm anyway).

 

I don't remember doing this or if you even can but if you do get into WAS at 1:05pm, try to see if you change your ticket so you can get leave WAS for NYP (New York Penn Station) on an earlier train.

What did you do when the train was late and you missed your connection? Did you have to just book your connection again or did Amtrak do it automatically?



#10 Acela150

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 11:29 PM

Head to the ticket counter or if you're in a sleeper the lounge and they will rebook you at no extra cost. Unless you are booked on a Regional and want to take Acela.
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#11 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 05:53 AM

 

I'm surprised they booked you on a 3:05pm departure out of WAS. The last time I transferred off the CL northbound they gave me the 4:05pm. In my case, the train was late anyway and I missed the 4:05pm connection so the layover was a moot point. I doubt you'd be able to get far away from the station and back within 2 hours (plus you probably want to get in line for the 141 before 3:05pm anyway).

 

I don't remember doing this or if you even can but if you do get into WAS at 1:05pm, try to see if you change your ticket so you can get leave WAS for NYP (New York Penn Station) on an earlier train.

What did you do when the train was late and you missed your connection? Did you have to just book your connection again or did Amtrak do it automatically?

 

 

I had to wait in a line without 20-30 other passengers (with my bags) I had to ) who also had to change their connections. Amtrak should have rebooked automatically those they know in the train who would have to change their plans (especially when stranded) but they didn't (or at least for me).


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short Limited (NYP-CHI)
Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL)
Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX)
California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY)
City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#12 Hal

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 05:32 PM

 

I'm surprised they booked you on a 3:05pm departure out of WAS. The last time I transferred off the CL northbound they gave me the 4:05pm. In my case, the train was late anyway and I missed the 4:05pm connection so the layover was a moot point. I doubt you'd be able to get far away from the station and back within 2 hours (plus you probably want to get in line for the 141 before 3:05pm anyway).
 
I don't remember doing this or if you even can but if you do get into WAS at 1:05pm, try to see if you change your ticket so you can get leave WAS for NYP (New York Penn Station) on an earlier train.

What did you do when the train was late and you missed your connection? Did you have to just book your connection again or did Amtrak do it automatically?
 
 
I had to wait in a line without 20-30 other passengers (with my bags) I had to ) who also had to change their connections. Amtrak should have rebooked automatically those they know in the train who would have to change their plans (especially when stranded) but they didn't (or at least for me).

If you have a phone I suggest calling if it happens again at some future time. If you can get thru the rebooking can be done without going to the ticket window.

#13 Acela150

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 10:52 PM

 

I'm surprised they booked you on a 3:05pm departure out of WAS. The last time I transferred off the CL northbound they gave me the 4:05pm. In my case, the train was late anyway and I missed the 4:05pm connection so the layover was a moot point. I doubt you'd be able to get far away from the station and back within 2 hours (plus you probably want to get in line for the 141 before 3:05pm anyway).
 
I don't remember doing this or if you even can but if you do get into WAS at 1:05pm, try to see if you change your ticket so you can get leave WAS for NYP (New York Penn Station) on an earlier train.

What did you do when the train was late and you missed your connection? Did you have to just book your connection again or did Amtrak do it automatically?
 
 
I had to wait in a line without 20-30 other passengers (with my bags) I had to ) who also had to change their connections. Amtrak should have rebooked automatically those they know in the train who would have to change their plans (especially when stranded) but they didn't (or at least for me).

As Hal said calling is a viable option. Also I mentioned before. If you were in a sleeper coming in. Just go to the lounge and they'll change it there for you. :)
These posts are my views and opinions.

Donate your spare time! Be a Volunteer Firefighter!
 
"Mainline 66W Recrew On Board at Abrams ready to head east when you can handle us, Ok 66W, ok on signal indication at Norris, take it to the Falls to wait for the window"

#14 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 05:06 AM

 

I'm surprised they booked you on a 3:05pm departure out of WAS. The last time I transferred off the CL northbound they gave me the 4:05pm. In my case, the train was late anyway and I missed the 4:05pm connection so the layover was a moot point. I doubt you'd be able to get far away from the station and back within 2 hours (plus you probably want to get in line for the 141 before 3:05pm anyway).
 
I don't remember doing this or if you even can but if you do get into WAS at 1:05pm, try to see if you change your ticket so you can get leave WAS for NYP (New York Penn Station) on an earlier train.

What did you do when the train was late and you missed your connection? Did you have to just book your connection again or did Amtrak do it automatically?
 
 
I had to wait in a line without 20-30 other passengers (with my bags) I had to ) who also had to change their connections. Amtrak should have rebooked automatically those they know in the train who would have to change their plans (especially when stranded) but they didn't (or at least for me).
As Hal said calling is a viable option. Also I mentioned before. If you were in a sleeper coming in. Just go to the lounge and they'll change it there for you. :)
Except when the lounge is having computer problems which happened to me - I was trying to get on an hour earlier train since we were close to on time.

2011: Jun: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // Nov: WIL=>WAS=>CHI=>PRO (NER=>CL=>CZ)
2012: Apr: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // May(NTD): WIL=>PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>PAO=>PHL (Keystone) // Aug: WIL=>WAS (NER) / BWI=>WIL (NER) // Oct(Gathering): PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>HAR=>PHL (Keystone) / SEPTA, NJT, PATCO, River Line, Princeton Dinky
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2014: May(NTD):  WIL=>PHL=>WIL(NER) // May:  WIL=>BOS=>WIL(NER) day trip

2014: Oct(Gathering): WIL=>NYP=>TOL(pd-NER=>LSL) / TOL=>CHI=>LAX=>EMY(pts-LSL=>SWC=>CS) / EMY=>CHI=>TOL (pts-CZ-CL) / TOL=>WAS=>WIL(pd-CL=>NER)
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2015;  Oct(Gathering):  WIL=>WAS(Acela) / ALX=>WAS(NER) / WAS=>BAL(Acela) / WAS=>WIL(NER)

2016: Mar: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct:  WIL=>NYP=>NYP=>WIL (Autumn Express) 


#15 Seaboard92

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 05:58 PM

In ninety minutes you probably could walk up to the Capitol and back. It's only a five minute walk for me in fair weather.

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#16 Guest_Sproutis_*

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 12:48 PM

I second the suggestion of the Postal Museum.  It's surprisingly interesting - many of the exhibits are interactive and they are all well presented.  As the earlier poster mentioned, it's free so there's no wallet burn if you only spend an hour inside.

If you hoof it, you can make it to the steps of the Supreme Court and back, but there's not much time for dawdling. 



#17 Lonestar648

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:48 PM

First, 90 minutes is not long enough to see anything. I would walk through the station, grab a snack, then relax in the lounge. As far as missed connections, flying or rail, I find using the phone much more efficient and definitely cuts the lines. If the Amtrak phone agent has issues, I don't hesitate suggesting a supervisor reminding them that this is time sensitive.

Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                 Coast Starlight                          
 
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#18 erinch13

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 02:58 PM

We had a couple hours layover recently in DC. We exited the station facing the Capitol and took a brisk walk in the lovely parks you will see to your right. There is a fabulous view of the Capitol Building with fountains in front of it. We spent about an hour walking, and then returned to be ready for boarding.

#19 me_little_me

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 06:35 PM

See the nearby Post Office Museum.



#20 PVD

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 08:47 PM

Postal Museum is an excellent choice. It is one minute away, it is free, and you can spend as much or as little time as you have available by just going into as many exhibits as time permits,





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