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Service Attendant
Sep 1, 2013
My trip from Newark to Boston on Acela 2250 on 2/10 reminds me how wonderful train travel can be when Amtrak gets it right. The trick, of course, is to get it right more frequently!

For starters, Newark Penn Station is one of my favorite places to board and watch trains. Even on a Saturday morning, action is intense, and platforms are wide open for photos and observation. Next, having specific reserved seating is one of the best things Amtrak has ever done, and needs to be extended to all trains as quickly as possible. There's no more worry about where you will sit, which is especially important if you are boarding at a station "down the line"; the earlier you book, the better seat you get, period. Truth be told, it was a good thing that I had an open seat next to me; Acela business class seems to have less shoulder room than Amfleet coach (but leg room is more than sufficient, and, unlike Amfleet, there is a small armrest that folds down between seats. Also, if can handle being off your cell, the quiet car is typically less busy, as mine was. Also note that quiet, brief conversation IS allowed; it's library atmosphere, not church silence! The train was on time, even 15 minutes early into Boston, which suggests running times could be chopped , but it's better for the soul to be early than be 10 minutes late on a schedule that's too aggressive to make work.

At a 48 dollars sale fare (which comes up fairly frequently; check the website), dollar for dollar this has to be one of the best Amtrak day train trips you can possibly take!