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Penn Station to Philly - which train?

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BCL

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Off to NYC and wife wants to visit friends in Philly overnight before returning back and going home. Any recommendations for which train to take? It seems kind of pricey for a sub 90-min trip (I'm used to maybe $20 fares for similar length trips), but the wife wants to take the train at least once since our kid is train-crazy. We'll probably just take Megabus or BoltBus back.

There seems to be a lot of choices. Any real difference between Keystone and Northeast Regional?

Haven't been to the East Coast in years. Anyone know what the weather's like?
 

benjibear

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Cheapest would be to use NJ Transit and SEPTA (transfer in Trenton). For a unique experiance take Acela.
 

fairviewroad

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NER have a cafe car and offers business class seating. Otherwise, no appreciable difference. Take the cheaper one.

If you want to save money and you aren't in a hurry, you can take a New Jersey Transit train from NYP to Trenton, then

transfer to a SEPTA train to Philly. You'll get the experience of a high-ish speed train on the NEC, while saving some

cash.
 

battalion51

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It seems like the Regionals tend to be a bit more crowded than the Keystones, so you might have better luck finding seats together on a Keystone than a Regional. Don't forget Amtrak does offer a discount if you are a AAA member. Also, keep an eye out for Smart Fares, every now and then there will be a Regional or Keystone on there.
 

AlanB

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It seems like the Regionals tend to be a bit more crowded than the Keystones, so you might have better luck finding seats together on a Keystone than a Regional. Don't forget Amtrak does offer a discount if you are a AAA member. Also, keep an eye out for Smart Fares, every now and then there will be a Regional or Keystone on there.
On the other hand, the Keystones have half the seats facing backwards so that they face forward after leaving Philly on the way to Harrisburg. That's makes it harder to get seats facing forward.
 

fairviewroad

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It seems like the Regionals tend to be a bit more crowded than the Keystones, so you might have better luck finding seats together on a Keystone than a Regional. Don't forget Amtrak does offer a discount if you are a AAA member. Also, keep an eye out for Smart Fares, every now and then there will be a Regional or Keystone on there.
On the other hand, the Keystones have half the seats facing backwards so that they face forward after leaving Philly on the way to Harrisburg. That's makes it harder to get seats facing forward.
On the other, other hand... :)

Many NER trains originate in Boston so they are more vulnerable to delays by the time they reach NYP. All Keystone trains that

depart NYP have originated in NYP, so a better chance at an on-time departure. (Though the NER trains generally do pretty

well)
 

VentureForth

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Sample fares for tomorrow (3/29/13):

NER: $51-$88

KEY: $99

ACELA: $113-145

NJT + SEPTA: $15.50 + $8.75 = $24.25

Sample fares for two weeks from now (4/12/13):

NER: $36+

KEY: $36+

ACELA: $97+

NJT + SEPTA: $15.50 + $8.75 = $24.25
 

benjibear

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The Acela looks like a bargain for tommorow. It doesn't look that much more than the Keystones and a little more than the NER.
 

fairviewroad

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That's because "tomorrow" (which is now today) is Good Friday, which--while not a federal holiday--does

change the usual travel patterns. The markets are closed, for instance. So probably more leisure travelers,

fewer biz travelers. Not the best day to sample a typical cost comparison.
 

dlagrua

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I got the impression that the OP was looking for price. If that is the case then New Jersey Transit to Trenton to pick up the SEPTA line to Philadelphia is the cheapest. It is a 2 train trip, the seats are tight, it's not my recommendation but the lowest fare for someone who doesn't want to part with the money.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Something else to consider, especially if traveling with a child. No bathrooms on SEPTA and I presume none on NJT trains either.
 

PRR 60

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Something else to consider, especially if traveling with a child. No bathrooms on SEPTA and I presume none on NJT trains either.
Correct about SEPTA, not correct about NJT. NJ Transit rail cars have bathrooms (at least one car per train).
 

jis

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Something else to consider, especially if traveling with a child. No bathrooms on SEPTA and I presume none on NJT trains either.
Correct about SEPTA, not correct about NJT. NJ Transit rail cars have bathrooms (at least one car per train).
Exactly! The NJT Union contract requires that all cab cars must have restroom facility. There are additional cars that have facilities too. But since each train has at least one cab car there is at least one restroom on each train. There is a separate rule that applies to EMUs but in effect it also requires at least one restroom per train. I am not sure if the rules apply to the dinky though.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Something else to consider, especially if traveling with a child. No bathrooms on SEPTA and I presume none on NJT trains either.
Correct about SEPTA, not correct about NJT. NJ Transit rail cars have bathrooms (at least one car per train).
Exactly! The NJT Union contract requires that all cab cars must have restroom facility. There are additional cars that have facilities too. But since each train has at least one cab car there is at least one restroom on each train. There is a separate rule that applies to EMUs but in effect it also requires at least one restroom per train. I am not sure if the rules apply to the dinky though.
Does the Riverline have bathrooms? If so, wish I'd known when we rode it at the gathering.
 

PRR 60

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Something else to consider, especially if traveling with a child. No bathrooms on SEPTA and I presume none on NJT trains either.
Correct about SEPTA, not correct about NJT. NJ Transit rail cars have bathrooms (at least one car per train).
Exactly! The NJT Union contract requires that all cab cars must have restroom facility. There are additional cars that have facilities too. But since each train has at least one cab car there is at least one restroom on each train. There is a separate rule that applies to EMUs but in effect it also requires at least one restroom per train. I am not sure if the rules apply to the dinky though.
Does the Riverline have bathrooms? If so, wish I'd known when we rode it at the gathering.
No, only the commuter rail lines like the Northeast Corridor or Atlantic City. The light rail lines do not.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Something else to consider, especially if traveling with a child. No bathrooms on SEPTA and I presume none on NJT trains either.
Correct about SEPTA, not correct about NJT. NJ Transit rail cars have bathrooms (at least one car per train).
Exactly! The NJT Union contract requires that all cab cars must have restroom facility. There are additional cars that have facilities too. But since each train has at least one cab car there is at least one restroom on each train. There is a separate rule that applies to EMUs but in effect it also requires at least one restroom per train. I am not sure if the rules apply to the dinky though.
Does the Riverline have bathrooms? If so, wish I'd known when we rode it at the gathering.
No, only the commuter rail lines like the Northeast Corridor or Atlantic City. The light rail lines do not.
I didn't think it did.
 

jis

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Also RiverLINE is not an NJTRO (NJT Rail Operations) operation. It is a DBOM (Design, Build, Operate, Maintain) and not covered by the NJTRO Union contracts.

As a matter of fact none of NJT's light rails are operated by NJTRO.

The Newark Light Rail is operated by NJT Bus Operations.

HBLR and RiverLINE are separate independant DBOMs under separate cotnract from NJT, not NJTRO. In particular the RiverLINE is operated by a company that is partly owned by Bombardier.
 

AlanB

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Mind you, I'm not aware of any light rail operation in the US that has facilities onboard the trains. Same with heavy rail (subway & L's).

Only Commuter trains offer restrooms, save SEPTA and for a while one METRA line in Chicago.
 
G

Guest

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The SEPTA/NJT option allows your rail-crazy kid to get a quick wander around the Trenton Transit Center, which he might like.
 
N

Nathanael

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FWIW, a train-crazy kid has a LOT available to see in both NYC and Philly, with the massive supply of urban rail.

I can come up with some genuinely silly routes for fans of urban rail from NYC Penn to Philadelphia 30th St.

NYC Subway from Penn Station to 42nd St, then to 34th St./Herald Square, then PATH to Newark, NJT to Trenton, RiverLine to Camden, Patco to downtown Philadelphia, Subway-Surface Trolleys from there to 30th St...
 

Texan Eagle

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NYC Subway from Penn Station to 42nd St, then to 34th St./Herald Square, then PATH to Newark, NJT to Trenton, RiverLine to Camden, Patco to downtown Philadelphia, Subway-Surface Trolleys from there to 30th St...
I have actually done something like this, well, except the PATH part. Instead of taking a direct Amtrak or SEPTA/NJT from 30th Street, I first took Subway to 15/16 Street, took PATCO to Camden, connected to RiverLINE to Trenton, took NJTransit to NY Penn. Took me a considerable amount of time, which I didn't mind at all, but the wait time between PATCO and RiverLINE at Camden was shady as hell, no intentions to do it again, definitely would NOT recommend to someone with a kid :ph34r:
 
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