Train or plane Washington DC to New York City

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casanovawa

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Have driven from DC to NYC but that was in autumn/fall and so no problem with snow, but a very pretty drive through forests changing all sorts of colours, and was able to detour off and do a drive around Philli and then continue.... But then was able to stay in NYC for several days so not a day trip scenario...

So the driving option does allow you to see a bit more at your own pace, but being winter again the train is probably the easiest option...
 

TomVexille

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Its not the only route I'd be suggesting train over flying, London to Paris I'd be recommending the same.

There's definitely a few routes where the train wins. It's just the irony that amuses me. That aside the advice here is fantastic :)
 
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Dr Ralph

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Have you considered taking a bus? I did this route about 2 years ago by bus. Snagged a $1 promotional fare. But fares are often below $25 US. Free wifi on board. They leave about every 30 minutes. Takes around 4 hrs from memory.
 

turtlemichael

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My b*s experience DC-NYC was clearly not as good as yours. It is a few years ago now but it has put me off b*s travel for life. I felt I was in danger of being mugged for the whole 4 hours. The train for me.
 

Princess Fiona

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I've done both Acela and flight. Apart from potential weather delays time wise it's much of a much. The train is good but if you have luggage you will need to get a Red Cap to pre-board you. They work on tips and are worth every cent.
Going against the trend here I'd be happy to fly again over the train, but that's just because I prefer planes to trains.
 

bismarck

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I found Acela quite expensive so just went with the regular Amtrak service and was quite happy. Pretty leisurely 3-4 hour (can't quite remember) trip. Watched a movie on my ipad and spent some time gazing at the countryside and then I was there.

Particularly with December weather and the likelihood for delay I would not take a flight.

I'm quite the trainspotter though so YMMV.
 

burmans

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Going against the trend here I'd be happy to fly again over the train, but that's just because I prefer planes to trains.

Each to their own but for short distances I love trains, they go city to city (no airport taxi queues to worry about), you frequently get great views, less security hassles, IMO in many countries they are more likely to run on time and you can in general rock up much closer to leaving time.
 

Quaffer

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I'd go by Amtrak train - Union Station, DC, to Penn Station, NY - regular services, choice of the Acela Express - about US$150 / 2h 45m, or the North East Regional services - about US$49 / 3h 15m to 3h 30m; fares are the lowest cost one-way fares, book ahead for the best fares. Penn Station is close to Times Square / Empire State Building.

Weather interruptions in December are possible, but if it's heavy snow it's going to affect both flights and train services, so consider whether you'd prefer to be delayed in a city centre or airport location!
 

parsonstrish

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I've done the northeast by train a few times. I find trip between NYC-DC & the other way exceptional. I tend to book business seat, similar to plane seats, being able to pre-board with a redcap, tip is more than worth it. Business cabin seems to be very quite. Only bugbear can be people speaking too loud on their phone. You get free coffee from club car if I remember correctly. A very enjoyable trip.
 

Foreigner

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As others have corrected, the trains leave Union Station in DC, arrive in Penn Station, NYC. The difference between the shorter, express train and the one that makes more stops is but 30 or so minutes. I travelled in May and trains were on time but that may be different with December weather conditions.
 

dougieboy

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I journeyed by train with mum in 2011 from Union Station to Penn Station first class as an alternative to having to commute from JFK into town. They feed you, ply you with alcohol and you get some interesting views of the ghettos and housing along the railway line. It's a stark contrast to the supertall skyscrapers and sheer wealth that is New York. It makes you self reflect and appreciate your life more, comprehend more fully the reality of what a low wage economy affords their very own people and to understand the reason why we tip 20% like we're supposed to when in the US. Tip those red hats they will carry your luggage all the way up to street level and guide you to the taxi waiting area.
 

OATEK

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I've done the northeast by train a few times. I find trip between NYC-DC & the other way exceptional. I tend to book business seat, similar to plane seats, being able to pre-board with a redcap, tip is more than worth it. Business cabin seems to be very quite. Only bugbear can be people speaking too loud on their phone. You get free coffee from club car if I remember correctly. A very enjoyable trip.

How much did you need to tip the red cap?
 

amaroo

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How much did you need to tip the red cap?

I slipped the fellow $20 - party of 4 with a fair chunk of luggage. First on the carriage with luggage stored - worth every dime!
 

Mattg

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Do you have any interest in seeing Philadelphia? The Amtrak train passes through anyway, and from memory you can stopover for up to 24 hours for the same price when travelling DC-NY and vice versa.
 

lovetravellingoz

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Do you have any interest in seeing Philadelphia? The Amtrak train passes through anyway, and from memory you can stopover for up to 24 hours for the same price when travelling DC-NY and vice versa.

It is well worth the stop = Liberty Bell, The Declaration of Independence etc.

This is where the united states of america was born. Note my use of lower case is deliberate as that is how it was written!! I picked up on this by reading the Declaration there. So the USA of as a countries name came about by accident as that phrase went into common usage.

I stopped off on the way down to Washington for 1 night, and took the direct train back.

Extra cost was very little.

Train is the way to go. City centre (NYC) to almost city centre (Washington DC).
 
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