Acela: get on at BWI or WAS?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by rms492, Mar 20, 2012.

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  1. Mar 20, 2012 #1

    rms492

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    rms492

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    Hello, a couple of questions about the Acela.

    Which is better to get on at? BWI or Washington DC (WAS)?

    If I board at BWI, will it be crowded? (This would be on a Saturday).

    what are my chances of getting two seats together at BWI?

    Secondly, what about luggage. Is there ample room to bring along carry-ons? Do they have storage racks at one end of the cars?

    It seems easier for me to fly into BWI then Dulles, which is why I was asking.

    (And I believe the shuttle transfer from BWI airport to BWI Amtrak station is much easier and shorter of course).

    Thanks

    rMS out
     
  2. Mar 20, 2012 #2

    afigg

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    Are you heading north to Philly or NYC on the Acela? Most, but not all Acelas stop at BWI, so check the schedule.

    It is easier to get on Amtrak at BWI than at Dulles. There are bus services between Dulles and DC Metro stations which you can use to get to Union Station (Washington Flyer express to West Falls Church Metro station, Metrobus 5A to Rosslyn and L'Enfant Plaza). But it could take an hour and a half on a weekend to get from Dulles to Union Station depending on the wait time for connecting DC Metro trains on weekends. BTW, by 2017, assuming no slips in the construction schedules or funding, there will be a DC Metro Silver line running to Dulles Airport.

    BWI is also likely to be less expensive than Dulles for airfare as BWI is the more aggressive discount airport while Dulles leans more to pricier coast to coast and international flights.

    Yes, plenty of room on the Acela to store roll-on bags at the end of each car.
     
  3. Mar 20, 2012 #3

    rms492

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    rms492

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    Heading north to NY Penn.
     
  4. Mar 20, 2012 #4

    The Davy Crockett

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    The Davy Crockett

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    The only hitch I see is that you might not get two seats together. However, when seats open up as pax detrain, you could get seats together. PHL has a big turnover in riders, so you should be able to get seats together there, if not sooner.
     
  5. Mar 20, 2012 #5

    PRR 60

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    On Saturday, all the northbound Acela's stop at BWI.

    I'd take a chance and board at BWI. Union Station from IAD is a trek, and not a straight forward one at that. BWI to the train station is fast, easy, and free.
     
  6. Mar 20, 2012 #6

    Ryan

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    Fly into BWI.

    Catch a corridor train down to DC.

    Catch the Acela there.

    Best of both worlds.

    IAD-WAS is a haul.
     
  7. Mar 20, 2012 #7

    afigg

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    The OP is flying in on a Saturday. MARC service is weekday only. So he would have to take Amtrak to WAS, then get on the Acela and return over the NEC back to BWI. Which is very inefficient, unless the goal is to see DC Union Station and get AGR points.

    If the goal is to get to NYP in a reasonable amount of time, getting on a northbound Acela or NE Regional at BWI Airport station is the best option. There are other transit options, such as taking the Baltimore light rail line from BWI to the station near Baltimore Penn Station (BAL) and then walking a block or two from there. There is a light rail Camden Yards - BAL stub train, but most appear to consider it not worth switching to if you are coming from outside the stub train section.

    Lots of transit connection options for both Dulles and BWI with buses; light rail and the NEC at BWI. But Dulles Airport is around 22 miles west of DC Union Station and is not a quick nor simple connection.
     
  8. Mar 20, 2012 #8

    rms492

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    rms492

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    Thanks guys for the help, I'll take a chance and get on at BWI, hopefully we find two seats for me and my wife.

    I suppose we will, as Acela is expensive (WHEEWWW!), I think it was 139.00 per person, while Regionals are 49.00.

    So I suppose a lot of folks will pass up Acela, only the business people and rich people and hard core railfans like myself should be on Acela, while the "others" take the Regionals!
     
  9. Mar 20, 2012 #9

    Ryan

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    Yeah, I live 5 minutes from BWI, so I'm well aware of that. That's why I said "a corridor train" and not "MARC".

    I do exactly what I described every time I take the Acela. Even on Saturday when I have to take Amtrak down. 100 points for the Regional, City Pair points for the Acela and ensuring that I get the seat of my choice make the shuffle worthwhile.
     
  10. Mar 20, 2012 #10

    benjibear

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    Baltimore light rail does extend to Penn Station. However, you will need to change trains and it may be just easier to walk the couple blocks to the station. I would think this would not be the quickest option and I doubt many people will be getting off at Baltimore.
     
  11. Mar 21, 2012 #11

    OBS

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    If you are thinking of the afternoon Acela's, 2216 and 220, neither one is especially busy, especially 2220. Board towards the front of the train and you should have no problem getting seats together...
     
  12. Mar 22, 2012 #12

    gatelouse

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    Don't forget that weekend Acelas will accept most of the usual Amtrak discounts (AAA, NARP, Senior, etc.) that are not honored on the weekdays.

    The 9am from WAS is the most crowded Acela train on Saturdays.
     

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