First experience on a US long distance train

I have been living in the US for the last 18 years and I have never traveled on a train over a long distance. This week, I had to travel to New York and decided to take the Acela Express. What a remarkable experience – I don’t think I will ever fly to New York from Boston.

So what constituted to a great product experience:

1) No security lines

2) Cheap parking – $10 a day compared to $22 a day at Logan plus tolls

3) Parking right outside the station – 2 minute walk compared to Logan’s long walks to terminals plus traffic hassles

4) Awesome, wide comfortable reclining seats

5) On time arrival and departure

6) Cheap taxi ride to the hotel (as opposed to expensive ride from La Guardia) – though we were ripped off by a capitalistic van driver.

7) Quiet car where you are refrained from talking and using the cell phone – I tried the next car and was in midst of so many sales guys chattering over the phone – I quickly made my way to the quiet car and had such a great ride.

Total travel time on the train – 3 hours, 25 minutes compares to probably the same on the flight given how early I need to get to the airport, battle security lines, delays etc.

Plus, above all of this, I contributed to reducing the carbon footprint – hey, I drive a hybrid too.

Truly, a great product experience.

4 thoughts on “First experience on a US long distance train”

  1. David,

    I heard just this from someone yesterday that other than the Boston – Washington corridor, it is hell elsewhere on the East Coast as well.


  2. You must be in the northeast. Anywhere else in the U.S. and a train will take more than the drive time even taking rush-hour traffic congestion into consideration. Passenger trains wait for freight trains. And, stopping at every town along the way contributes to the time it takes to get anywhere.

    At night, the interior lights stay on, so you can’t see outside.

    We took the train for fun. We did want to take a train from LA to Seattle, but never did. Gas prices be damned, I’ll drive.

  3. Hi Gopal,
    I have been using AMTRAK for most of my travel to NYC and Washington DC for over a decade for all the reasons you listed plus three more.

    ONE, I can actually get real work done on the train. More room and nice big blocks of quiet time. I find it too cramped and the interruptions too frequent on the plane. You can also find an outlet to plug the laptop into on most cars now. (And if not work, then really get caught up on my sleep).

    TWO, more flexibility with the luggage you can bring.

    THREE, less bothered by the weather. I’ve made the trip when the airports were shut down. (And avoid getting scrambled by the turbulence when they’re not but should be.)


  4. Gopal:
    the Acela is awesome! Travelled on it about three times and loved it always! very comfortable!
    and you can just peer out of the window and see the countryside whisk by.

    and thanks for considering the environment 🙂


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