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Anonymous5 Jun 2011
Just completed a return journey (Boston Back Bay – New York Penn Station) in First Class on the Acela Express train service.
A 10 minute stroll through Copley Plaza and Prudential centre from my hotel (Mandarin Oriental). No security lines and a train that arrived on time.
Large comfortable leather seating, ample leg room and a fair meal. Real bonus was onboard wi fi that was consistent and fast.
Journey was 3.5 hours and if you consider the centre to centre connection and the hassle of flying out of Logan into La Guardia along with the security lines, taking the train becomes a no brainer.
If you want a comparison. Think Eurostar (Premier First) with larger, leather seats, cleaner toilets and wifi.
Return Fare: $413 booked a week in advance.
Thoroughly reccomended.5 Jun 2011
Agree completely. Took Acela in F last August from Boston to DC and apart from the fact that lunch and dinner were the same menu (it was a decent selection) the journey was a doddle. Bags loaded and unloaded by Red Caps, lounge access with wi fi, and more to see than just clouds. Managed the NY Times crossword with several other passengers, clues being swapped down the carriage – the first clue that day was “Name the hi speed train from Boston to Washington.” Managed to get that one without help!!5 Jun 2011
Took Acela business class NYC-DC 2 weeks back. Slightly disappointed by the terribly slow wi-fi and lack of refreshments included in the fare ($139 one way). But I’d still take it over a plane any day.5 Jun 2011
It was actually quite good on that day. I wasn’t holding out for “Fearnley-Wearnley” style cooking, and wasn’t disappointed, but salmon salad lunchtime and a fillet steak -albeit at about 5pm – made the journey pass merrily on.5 Jun 2011
I like Acela and have used it a few times between NYC and Bos. 2 years since I used it but at time was surprised no advance seat reservation in First. Also on my last trip we were asked to get off the train at Providence Rhode Island and board a different train. Was only after doing so we we found the replacement train was a very low speed commuter train. Felt a bit ripped off as we had first class tickets. But apart from that all good on Acela and sure beets Delta connection from BOS to LGA.5 Jun 2011
I used Acela Express, also from Boston to New York, last month. $99 for a one way ticket in ‘business class’ (the lower of the two classes on the Acela Express trains). I didn’t sample the food as I boarded with a picnic.
In every conceivable way it was better than a short-haul flight.
Tips: (1) As noted above, Back Bay station is very handy for many of the hotels in thisarea of Boston, more convenient than the main city centre station. (2) The slower trains on this route (‘North East Regional’) do the journey in approx 4 hours rather than 3.5 but can be cheaper if you book in advance, and they offer Tourist and Business class rather than Business and First class.5 Jun 2011
Sadly when I travelled New York to Washington a few years ago now all the Acela trains had been pulled off due to some brake problems. The only option was a Regional but it was quite acceptable.
There was a ticket for $49.00 which was available to non-US residents and could be used on any train after 0900. One had to purchase it from an agent on the 6th floor of an office block near Macey’s on production of your passport.5 Jun 2011