OK to go inside Washington Union Station during long-distance train stop

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Long Distance Regular

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If I'm on a long-distance train that stops in Washington for about half an hour to change locomotives, can I go inside Washington Union Station?

I know that I can get off the train and walk along the platform. On the northbound Crescent, during its morning stop in Washington, I'd love to be able to go inside the station to a Starbucks (as the Flexible Dining breakfasts are terrible) and then get back on the train.

Thank.s
 

AmtrakBlue

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You’ll need to ask the conductor what time the train will depart. I’m guessing with the reduced service on the NEC that the engine swap will be quick.
 

railiner

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If you do that, be careful with the time...
Especially if the northbound train is "Discharge Only" between Washington and New York...it can leave early, and there is no boarding announcement, and...they might not let you back down to that track...so very inadvisable in that case. I haven't looked at the timetables in a long while to see if there are still "Discharge Only" schedules....
 

Woodcut60

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I agree with railiner. I wouldn't do it, I think there's not enough time. Are the Flexible Dining Breakfasts really that bad? I have not tried them yet.
 

the_traveler

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I agree.

The northbounds are usually “discharge only”, so as soon as the locomotive is swapped, it can depart. Even southbound,I would not try it. They close the boarding gates a few minutes before departure time. So even if you got a 30 minute stop, and you go inside but want to board at 28 or 29 minutes, you can’t - because the boarding gate is closed!
 

MARC Rider

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Te would also stay on the platform. The only exception might be the northbound Palmetto, if it's close to being on time coming into Washington. They hold it for an hour and a half or so and use it as a corridor train north of Washington. When I took it, I was able to not only go into the station, but go down to the Walgreens and purchase some ibuprofen for a headache I was dealing with.

BTW, it's one of the few northeast corridor trains that has Amfleet 2 coaches. Leaves Washington at about 8:30 PM. (That was pre-coronavirus, I don't know what the schedule is now.)
 

jebr

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I wouldn't do it unless the conductor explicitly mentions it as an option. Northbound there's no one that boards at Washington, so the train will likely leave as soon as the engine is swapped. They may not even have the boarding gate open to reboard the train. It'd be a different story if there were passengers boarding at that station (which happens southbound,) but without that it's not advisable.
 

OBS

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I wouldn't do it unless the conductor explicitly mentions it as an option. Northbound there's no one that boards at Washington, so the train will likely leave as soon as the engine is swapped. They may not even have the boarding gate open to reboard the train. It'd be a different story if there were passengers boarding at that station (which happens southbound,) but without that it's not advisable.
No Conductor that has worked there more than a week is going to suggest that to a passenger on a NB train. Too many things DO go wrong and many Conductors have experience dealing with passengers whose trains left without them (and took their luggage along as well...LOL). It is amazing how often this happens!
 

Bob Dylan

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No Conductor that has worked there more than a week is going to suggest that to a passenger on a NB train. Too many things DO go wrong and many Conductors have experience dealing with passengers whose trains left without them (and took their luggage along as well...LOL). It is amazing how often this happens!
Words of Wisdom from one who knows!
 
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