NER or Keystone?

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YourFoodSherpa

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Dec 9, 2011
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I am traveling from NYP-PHL on New Year's Eve. Is there a compelling reason to choose the Keystone over the Northeast Regional train? Cost is the same, for the moment. I have ridden the NER train before, but not the Keystone. That said, I am not inclined to choose an inferior option just for the sake of doing so. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

PRR 60

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Unless you see the need for food service between NYP and PHL, there is not much difference. The Keystones do not have a cafe car.

One seating issue is that on the Keystones the seats in each car are arranged with half facing forward and half facing backwards. This is because the train reverses direction at PHL for the trip out to HAR. If it is essential for you to face forward, then the NER is the better choice. If you could stand riding backwards, then the Keystone will work, and unless the train is really crowded, you will probably be able to ride facing forward anyway.
 
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SubwayNut

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Nov 17, 2011
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I have taken both Northeast Regionals between NYP-PHL and have found that Keystone service trains generally seem in my limited experience (like two trips) to be less crowded than Northeast Regionals. One of these itrips ncluded train #656 which leaves Philly at 7:40pm on a Friday night (that seems like a peak train time). I still managed to get two seats to myself. I've never had to double-up on a Keystone train but on Regionals this seems to happen more often.

If the timing's the same (and I don't care about cafe car access) I personally choose a Keystone over a Northeast Regional because there generally more empty and usually include fewer stops with most stopping only at Trenton and Newark instead of having to switch onto the local track for Metropark and Newark AIrport.
 

YourFoodSherpa

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Dec 9, 2011
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Ahhhh.....OK.

I don't think I would care about riding backwards. I don't need a cafe car for an hour-and-a-half train ride. BUT...the thought of having an extra seat to myself is appealing. And, I suppose that fewer stops theoretically mean fewer opportunities for delay.

Thanks for the help. Looks like I will try to lock in the Keystone.
 

the_traveler

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Nov 14, 2007
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Likewise, if you don't care if it has a cafe or BC, between NYP and PHL I may consider the Keystones. (As said, it does not have food service or BC at all.)

If they do matter, take the Regionals or Acelas.
 
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Acela150

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Jan 11, 2008
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I think the only Keystone train that make a decent amount of stops is 652 and leaves PHL at 518pm. Stops at trenton, Princeton Junction, New Brunswick, Metropark, The Airport, Newark, and NYP. But the majority stop just at trenton and newark.
 

YourFoodSherpa

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Dec 9, 2011
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I booked myself on 643, which appears to only have stops at Newark and Trenton. There is a NER train that leaves NYP five minutes later and gets into PHL twelve minutes later, so I guess the additional stops don't add THAT much time.
 

Swadian Hardcore

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Feb 7, 2012
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Another vote for the Keystones. They are quite "fun" to ride if you all the way to HAr becuase of the cab car. I guess this dosen't matter much to you.
 

Acela150

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I booked myself on 643, which appears to only have stops at Newark and Trenton. There is a NER train that leaves NYP five minutes later and gets into PHL twelve minutes later, so I guess the additional stops don't add THAT much time.
I ride 643 enough to say that the crowd that gets off at PHL is quite substantial. When I get on more then 3/4 of the train is empty. That's 5 cars times 72 seats is 360 seats. So about 70 seats are filled after the arrival at PHL. Just my view.
 
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