Charleston, SC to NYC

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Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Charleston
So, we are leaving Charleston, SC going to NYC in October. Has anyone gone to DC on Palmetto then from DC by Acela to NYC? I have taken Amtrak many times but only as far as DC. I am wondering if it might be worthwhile to take the Palmetto to DC instead of paying $$$ for the room overnight on the Silver Meteor that may or may not be returning in Oct. Is Acela that much faster from DC to NYC? I'm hearing such negativity I am not sure we should travel by Amtrak at all right now. I hate flying but can drive if need be. Thoughts?
 

Arctifox

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
41
Location
D.C.
May I ask why you want to change to the Acela to NYC? The Palmetto goes directly to NYC via DC, you don't need to change the train in DC.

Depending on the schedule their might be a slightly faster option available by changing to an Acela, but I would just stay on the Palmetto instead of changing train and having the risk of a missed connection due to a delay, and between DC and NYC there the Acela only saves around 30 minutes anyway.
 

niemi24s

Engineer
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,862
Although she didn't say, perhaps she's planning on staying overnight in WAS and taking a morning Acela to NYP - rather than staying on the Palmetto and arriving in NYP just before midnight.

Maybe, sorta, kinda?
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Charleston
Ok, thank you all. I was just wondering if it would be faster. I agree that if we changed there might be a delay. I just hope we can get there in a timely manner. Like I said, I keep hearing sooo many bad stories it makes me nervous.
 

Heading North

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
178
Also, unless this has changed recently, the Palmetto doesn’t have to hold at any stops from WAS northward because there are no local passengers (this was marked as a D on the timetable back when they existed). So as soon as people exiting the train are off, the train can leave. This means if the train’s on time to WAS, it can end up being early at the stations from there to NY, sometimes by a decent chunk of time. (I think I was 20-30 minutes early to NWK once?) Of course, the Palmetto could also be late (and later and later)—but even then, it’s possible to make up pretty significant time after leaving WAS.
 

amy1277

Train Attendant
AU Supporting Member
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
32
Location
Rhode Island
That’s a tough one. In a normal world, I’d choose the Meteor despite the extra cost just so I could do most of the trip overnight (vs during the day on the Palmetto) and get a decent sleep. However, as someone whose September Meteor trip was just canceled, I completely understand the risk. 💕
I’d personally book Silver Meteor, and then if it gets pushed back yet again switch to the Palmetto and stay put on there for the duration.
 
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
1,206
Location
Central Florida
I keep hearing sooo many bad stories it makes me nervous.
While anything is possible on Amtrak, I think the Palmetto is the train less likely to encounter any drama! It originates not far away in Savannah so will likely be on time for Charleston. The coaches have been refurbished and are comfortable. If you have want to avoid a crowded car later in the trip (fills up as you go north and big crowd on at Richmond) spring for a Business class seat. I have taken it many times and have never been more than 90 minutes late, usually within half hour of schedule.

True, you lose a full day traveling through unremarkable countryside. But, if you have the time, it is a pretty relaxing trip with a good book and maybe a beer or wine from the cafe (menu recently improved). The small towns and the larger river basins (Pee Dee, Roanoke, James) can be interesting.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
5,021
Location
Baltimore. MD
Also, unless this has changed recently, the Palmetto doesn’t have to hold at any stops from WAS northward because there are no local passengers (this was marked as a D on the timetable back when they existed). So as soon as people exiting the train are off, the train can leave. This means if the train’s on time to WAS, it can end up being early at the stations from there to NY, sometimes by a decent chunk of time. (I think I was 20-30 minutes early to NWK once?) Of course, the Palmetto could also be late (and later and later)—but even then, it’s possible to make up pretty significant time after leaving WAS.
Unless things have changed recently, The Palmetto does carry local NEC passengers between Washington and New York. I think they started doing that 5 or 6 years ago.
 

Heading North

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
178
You’re right, I stand corrected—just did a test booking and there are tickets available next week on 90 from WAS-NYP (but not on 80 for the day I looked, interestingly). So I guess they are taking on local passengers now going north (I knew they did going south, since 89 combined with the former 181, extra coaches and all). Seems like a bad move northbound given the potential for delays, but I guess an occupied seat is an occupied seat, and at least most of these seats have more legroom?
 
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