Long trip on coach with kids?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by kef771, Apr 11, 2019.

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  1. Apr 24, 2019 #26

    AmtrakBlue

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    Well, if they stop at low level platforms, there are stairs....to the platform. ;)
     
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  2. Apr 24, 2019 #27

    ehbowen

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    Oops. Yes, you're right. I've spent too much time on Superliners.

    Edit To Correct: I haven't spent enough time in Amfleet IIs!
     
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  3. Apr 24, 2019 #28

    NW cannonball

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    In any case there are changing tables in the coach restrooms. Beware of rough track and ensure the infant is secure on the table, cause falling to the floor is not so good.
     
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  4. Apr 24, 2019 #29

    NW cannonball

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    My daughter, and later one of her friends, have recently traveled coach MSP-SEA and CHI-SEA and return with breast-fed near 6-month-olds. Few problems, mostly good trips, about 36 hours each way. The story is that my then 6-month granddaughter's first solid food was a slice of mom's steak in the dining car that she grabbed off mom's plate and gummed until she tired of it.

    If your 10-year-old gets along well with the infant, I forsee few problems - but travel can always create new and unforseen situations.

    Hope your trip goes well, and expect you'll be able to handle any minor problems.

    ( I've had a lot of experience being the kid with mom and younger brother doing Fargo to Buffalo in the 1950's --- and being the dad with the 4-yo MSP-WAS-NY-MSP - and more )
     
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  5. Apr 24, 2019 #30

    Siegmund

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    So much depends on the attitude of the children toward this kind of adventure.

    I was 10 (and 11 months) when I boarded my first Amtrak train - I remember it as a wonderful 2-week adventure of seeing new things every day, playing cards with my mother, and I have a lifelong association with the smell of 7-Up and being in a Superliner lounge.

    I hardly slept a wink my first night on the train. But it got better. (We did 2 weeks on a 1-region all-you-can-ride pass, and hit every western route except the Desert Wind, plus squeezed in visits to Disneyland and Glacier Park.)
     
  6. Apr 24, 2019 #31

    kef771

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    Do you know if there are changing tables anywhere?
     
  7. Apr 25, 2019 #32

    AG1

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    There is a changing table in the larger( wheelchair)rest room.
     
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  8. Apr 25, 2019 #33

    kef771

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    Got the tickets! New hiccup: checked bags not available for part of the trip. I’m guessing it’s the train from NY to Boston. But not looking forward to lugging all our stuff plus baby through Penn Station for a 4-5 hour layover. Any suggestions for safe, close lockers or something there?
     
  9. Apr 25, 2019 #34

    Devil's Advocate

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    NYPenn does have a luggage room, but the last time I checked the price was slightly obnoxious ($10-$20 per item) considering the service is little more than shoving your bags onto a shelf or stuffing them into a corner until you return for them. According to the signage/paperwork there was zero liability assumed in exchange for taking my money. At that cost I can order a drink in a much nicer and more hospitable hotel lobby and ask them to them keep my luggage under the same or better conditions. I'm unaware of any public lockers in a major transportation setting anywhere in the USA.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  10. Apr 25, 2019 #35

    Rasputin

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    I am not sure how your tickets are routed but it sounds like you are going from Boston to New York and taking the Crescent from there. You may want to consider going from Boston to DC on one train and boarding the Crescent there. In that way you avoid changing trains at Penn Station where it can be challenging just to find your way around. Union Station in DC is laid out so it is less confusing in my opinion.

    However I don't consider myself to be an expert in this so others may be able to provide information on why this suggestion is or is not a good idea.
     
  11. Apr 25, 2019 #36

    Ryan

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    She is going the other direction.

    While the train you are traveling on from NY to Boston doesn’t have checked baggage, it should be possible to send it on the overnight train that does carry a baggage car.

    Downside is that you don’t have your bag until the next day, and have to make a trip back to the station to retrieve it. Depending on what your plans are, that may or may not be helpful.
     
  12. Apr 25, 2019 #37

    Rasputin

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    Thanks for the correction. Then I would suggest that you consider detraining from the Crescent at DC and taking the next DC - Boston train to avoid having to detrain and entrain at Penn Station. Note that the northbound Crescent has had a very poor on time performance history.
     
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  13. Apr 25, 2019 #38

    Ryan

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    NYP is not a bad station to change trains in. There really isn’t that much of a reason to make the change.
     
  14. Apr 25, 2019 #39

    StriderGDM

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    Couple of comments:
    On the Crescent I've often asked about upgrade from coach to sleeper and often gotten a "yes, it's available". I've declined because of price (I often coach NYP-Atlanta and sleeper back).
    One additional advantage of sleeper is you'd get access to the Acela Lounge in NYP which is more secure and a quieter place to keep things and relax during your layover.
    If you join Guest Rewards, I believe you get one coupon for access to the Acela Lounge. I'd use it on this trip.

    Note also, the Crescent has a full service dining car one car BEYOND the cafe. The food is pricey, but definitely a step up from cafe car food.
    Note that often they'll set others in the same booth to maximize seating, but with you and 2, that's pretty unlikely. But it's a great way to meet people and an excuse to get out of the coach for awhile.
     
  15. Apr 26, 2019 #40

    tricia

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    With 2 kids and luggage, I'd disagree. DC or Philly would be a better choice.
     
  16. Apr 26, 2019 #41

    Ryan

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    My experience (my kids have the same sage separation as the OP's) differs. NYP isn't the big scary place that it's made out to be.
     
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  17. Apr 26, 2019 #42

    Rasputin

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    I think this depends on your experience and familiarity with Penn Station, combined with luck. I have only changed trains at Penn Station twice in the last ten years, both from the Crescent to a Boston-bound train. The first experience was not bad. I went up from the platform and found the lounge without any great difficulty or effort. The second time I was with an adult relative. We went up from the platform and seemed to have to walk a long, long, long ways through a section that was sparse on signage before we came to the baggage claim section and the lounge. In the second experience I would not want to be in charge of two kids and luggage.
     
  18. Apr 26, 2019 #43

    Just-Thinking-51

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    What no redcap service in NYC anymore?

    Redcap and a first class day lounge card is the way to go.
     

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