PAX East Train Alliance 2013 - the Pre-Thread Thread

BrimstarBrimstar Registered User regular
edited October 2012 in PAX East
This been done yet? Had a blast doing this the last two years and looking forward to it again. Didn't see a thread.

Moe Fwacky on
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  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    I haven't gotten around to checking out the amtrak schedules yet this year. Sorry, been super busy with work lately. I still plan on putting it together though, but if anybody wants to volunteer to make adjustments for amtrak's changes, I wouldn't be opposed.

    E6LkoFK.png

  • GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    Moe Fwacky wrote: »
    I haven't gotten around to checking out the amtrak schedules yet this year. Sorry, been super busy with work lately. I still plan on putting it together though, but if anybody wants to volunteer to make adjustments for amtrak's changes, I wouldn't be opposed.

    I'll be going up from Newark to Boston taking the Acela. Since this is a route I normally take very often I can (almost) recite the schedule by memory (sadly). They've changed a bit since last year (more improvements to the track so generally faster performance). I personally love the Acela because it's so fast (150+MPH in a tin can on the ground, wohoo) for a short distance at least. It's also just in general upgraded beyond the regional (power jacks, wi-fi, slightly better food, etc) and it's generally a lot more on time than the regionals.

    Adjust for about 15 minutes for New York Penn, all my times will be leaving Newark:

    The 2150 departs at 7:25 and will arrive in Boston South Station at 11:40 - This is generally speaking considered a non-primetime train and will be cheaper than the later ones
    The 2154 departs at 9:30 and will arrive in Boston South Station at 1:40 pm
    The 2158 departs at 11:30 and will arrive in Boston South Station at 3:40pm
    The 2160 departs at 12:30 and will arrive in Boston South Station at 4:40 - Out of all the Acelas this one tends to be delayed the most, it's also the beginning of the non-primetime trains and gets cheaper
    The 2164 departs at 2:30 and will arrive in Boston South Station at 6:40
    The 2166 departs at 3:30 and will arrive in Boston South Station at 7:40
    The 2168 departs at 4:30 and will arrive in Boston South Station at 8:45 - Primetime train
    The 2170 departs at 5:30 and will arrive in Boston South Station at 9:40 - "
    The 2172 departs at 6:30 and will arrive in Boston South Station at 10:40 - "

    They do like to change schedules from time to time, and some of these trains do not make all stops. If they skip stops it's generally the Connecticut ones.

    For the last few years I've taken the Acela at least once a month and sometimes 2-3 times a month, so I should be able to answer some questions.


  • Lady AmaltheaLady Amalthea Registered User regular
    So, for the Sonic Line people (that would be DC to Boston and everyone in between!) We usually take the Regional 174:

    $70.00
    174 Northeast Regional

    Departs: 10:20 AM
    Thu Mar 21 2013
    Washington, DC - Union Station (WAS)
    Station News Arrives: 6:30 PM
    Thu Mar 21 2013
    Boston, MA - South Station (BOS)
    Duration: 8 hr, 10 min
    Amenities

    Is that still the plan? :) Can't wait!

    Who is going to PAX South?
  • HuskyDorkHuskyDork Registered User regular
    So, for the Sonic Line people (that would be DC to Boston and everyone in between!) We usually take the Regional 174:

    $70.00
    174 Northeast Regional

    Departs: 10:20 AM
    Thu Mar 21 2013
    Washington, DC - Union Station (WAS)
    Station News Arrives: 6:30 PM
    Thu Mar 21 2013
    Boston, MA - South Station (BOS)
    Duration: 8 hr, 10 min
    Amenities

    Is that still the plan? :) Can't wait!

    Actually the Sonic Line has been the Northeast Regional 176 for the last couple of years. I think that one leaves Union Station shortly after noon.

    LQckybu.png
  • Lady AmaltheaLady Amalthea Registered User regular
    HuskyDork wrote: »

    Actually the Sonic Line has been the Northeast Regional 176 for the last couple of years. I think that one leaves Union Station shortly after noon.

    Really? actually that sounds right - I am just desperate to get to Boston! I can't believe East is 5 months away! So, is that the train we think we are going to go on?

    Who is going to PAX South?
  • flatlineflatline Registered User regular
    Yeah, I already booked 2 fares on the 176 NE Regional. It's cheap right now - around $66 a person. I put in a AAA discount and it actually went up significantly.

    I wouldn't mind the Acela, but you really aren't getting there that much faster considering the huge price difference (6hr vs 7hr). Also, I like the ability to move around wherever (seats are assigned on Acela). I think we will be sticking with the 176 Northeast Regional for the Sonic Line.

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  • GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    Seats are not assigned on the Acela other than first class has it's own cabin (and there's a quiet cabin). I mostly like it for it's comfort and the power connections. It's a little more expensive but generally I think worth it if you have the money to spend.


  • Lady AmaltheaLady Amalthea Registered User regular
    Booked me and my compatriots on the 176! Sonic Line here we come!

    Who is going to PAX South?
  • DemonStaceyDemonStacey TTODewback's Daughter In love with the TaySwayRegistered User regular
    Hmmm... why are the return trains $160 a person?...

    desc wrote: »
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  • flatlineflatline Registered User regular
    DaemonSadi wrote: »
    Hmmm... why are the return trains $160 a person?...

    I have never taken the train back. I like to stay as long as possible on Sunday and then just fly back. That way I can be in bed at a reasonable hour Sunday and get to work on Monday.

    176 NE Regional from BWI to BOS - $66 (for now)
    • Leaves around noon
    • Total of about 7ish hrs travel time

    AirTran flight from BOS to BWI - $66
    • Leaves around 6pm Sunday,
    • Total of about 1.5hrs travel time

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  • DemonStaceyDemonStacey TTODewback's Daughter In love with the TaySwayRegistered User regular
    flatline wrote: »
    DaemonSadi wrote: »
    Hmmm... why are the return trains $160 a person?...

    I have never taken the train back. I like to stay as long as possible on Sunday and then just fly back. That way I can be in bed at a reasonable hour Sunday and get to work on Monday.

    176 NE Regional from BWI to BOS - $66 (for now)
    • Leaves around noon
    • Total of about 7ish hrs travel time

    AirTran flight from BOS to BWI - $66
    • Leaves around 6pm Sunday,
    • Total of about 1.5hrs travel time

    Interesting.

    I will have to look into that!

    desc wrote: »
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  • TabooPhantasyTabooPhantasy Registered User regular
    I am still debating on doing this. I liked the experience, but I wasn't so keen on getting in after the Pre-PAX Dinner was over and missing the first part of the PokeCrawl.

    ~Taboo
    BH11Fnk.png
  • aikoeaikoe Registered User regular
    I don't know if this helps anyone, but I'm planning on taking the PAX Train this year, Metal Gear Line. IIRC it was the 448 Lake Shore Limited, and here is the schedule plus one-way cost:

    Thursday March 21 2013
    Chicago 9:30 pm ($101)
    Toledo 2:50 - 3:20 am ($86)
    Cleveland 5:35 - 5:50 am ($77)
    Buffalo 8:58 - 9:08 am ($58)
    Albany 2:50 - 3:25 pm ($27)
    Boston 9:10 pm

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  • DeJarnacDeJarnac Registered User regular
    Does anyone have any advice for whether I should take the train? I'm in Atlanta, I have a car, and I could also fly. I probably won't drive because I'd have to pay for gas and housing along the way. Also, I'm going alone and I don't know anybody on this forum. Is it worth it to ride the train?

  • antheremantherem Registered User regular
    DeJarnac wrote: »
    Does anyone have any advice for whether I should take the train? I'm in Atlanta, I have a car, and I could also fly. I probably won't drive because I'd have to pay for gas and housing along the way. Also, I'm going alone and I don't know anybody on this forum. Is it worth it to ride the train?

    I took the Metal Gear train not knowing anyone else on it back in 2011 and had a great time. Hung out in the snack car and played Dominion, We Didn't Playtest This, and Train Jenga.

    It takes a lot longer than flying, though, and ends up costing you about the same amount as a plane ticket if you're on a long-haul route (Looks like about 24 hours from Atlanta and $300 round trip). Also until you get to about Washington (on the northbound route) or Chicago (on the eastbound route) you're not going to have much PAX company, judging by prior years.

  • flatlineflatline Registered User regular
    antherem wrote: »
    DeJarnac wrote: »
    Does anyone have any advice for whether I should take the train? I'm in Atlanta, I have a car, and I could also fly. I probably won't drive because I'd have to pay for gas and housing along the way. Also, I'm going alone and I don't know anybody on this forum. Is it worth it to ride the train?

    I took the Metal Gear train not knowing anyone else on it back in 2011 and had a great time. Hung out in the snack car and played Dominion, We Didn't Playtest This, and Train Jenga.

    It takes a lot longer than flying, though, and ends up costing you about the same amount as a plane ticket if you're on a long-haul route (Looks like about 24 hours from Atlanta and $300 round trip). Also until you get to about Washington (on the northbound route) or Chicago (on the eastbound route) you're not going to have much PAX company, judging by prior years.

    Pretty much this. I paid exactly the same amount for my train and return airfare this year ($66 to/from BWI). As TabooPhantasy said, there are a couple downsides to the train - you get in too late to make the Pre-PAX dinner, and you miss the beginning of the PokeCrawl if you're into either of those things. I'm always on the train, so I've never done these, but I imagine they are a blast.

    The train (for me) is a relaxing, enjoyable way to travel. There is no intrusive security, no one charging you hundreds of dollars in bag fees, etc. Going from DC/Baltimore to Boston is also a great distance, as 7ish hours on a train can fly by. For the past two years, me and my friend Zach have set up camp in the Dining Car and played Munchkin and Cards Against Humanity with random PAXers. People next to us played Smallworld and Pandemic, and tons of people play linked games like Pokemon. Plus, you can bring food on board, buy it there, and just chill out drinking some beers and playing games. Wifi is also provided for free on Amtrak trains now, but your mileage will vary as far as usability goes. If I recall correctly, I had better luck updating/checking Twitter using 3G last year, as the wifi just spun out.

    A lot of people take Monday off and travel back that day, but as I mentioned above, by the time PAX is over I'm usually wiped out from the late nights, lack of exercise, and poor diet. We always fly home (usually JetBlue or AirTran), which is a quick hour and a half hop back down to BWI. This lets us leave the show at a reasonable hour Sunday evening and still get enough sleep to be at work on Monday morning.

    This year I'll be grabbing a table in the Dining Car again as soon as I can, and we will have Mad Scientist University, Cards Against Humanity, and Gloom (possibly Munchkin as well). Come say hi!

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  • aikoeaikoe Registered User regular
    flatline wrote: »
    antherem wrote: »
    DeJarnac wrote: »
    Does anyone have any advice for whether I should take the train? I'm in Atlanta, I have a car, and I could also fly. I probably won't drive because I'd have to pay for gas and housing along the way. Also, I'm going alone and I don't know anybody on this forum. Is it worth it to ride the train?

    I took the Metal Gear train not knowing anyone else on it back in 2011 and had a great time. Hung out in the snack car and played Dominion, We Didn't Playtest This, and Train Jenga.

    It takes a lot longer than flying, though, and ends up costing you about the same amount as a plane ticket if you're on a long-haul route (Looks like about 24 hours from Atlanta and $300 round trip). Also until you get to about Washington (on the northbound route) or Chicago (on the eastbound route) you're not going to have much PAX company, judging by prior years.

    Pretty much this. I paid exactly the same amount for my train and return airfare this year ($66 to/from BWI). As TabooPhantasy said, there are a couple downsides to the train - you get in too late to make the Pre-PAX dinner, and you miss the beginning of the PokeCrawl if you're into either of those things. I'm always on the train, so I've never done these, but I imagine they are a blast.

    The train (for me) is a relaxing, enjoyable way to travel. There is no intrusive security, no one charging you hundreds of dollars in bag fees, etc. Going from DC/Baltimore to Boston is also a great distance, as 7ish hours on a train can fly by.

    Whether it's cheaper than driving/flying depends entirely upon where you are. We drove from Cleveland last year and stayed overnight with a friend in Buffalo. The drive was 12+ hours, the drive back was demanding, exhausting, and painful, and gas money was outrageous. We only drove because there were five of us, which made it cheaper than taking the train. But with only two of us coming from Cleveland this year, the train becomes the cheapest option. $154 round-trip per person, versus the grueling drive and hundreds in gas, or $500+ multi-stop flight. The train is only three hours longer than the car, and we don't have to worry about getting sexually assaulted by the TSA or losing our bags.

    We don't know anyone on the forums, but last year's train alliance sounded so awesome that we're going for it based on good word alone.

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  • flatlineflatline Registered User regular
    aikoe wrote: »
    flatline wrote: »
    antherem wrote: »
    DeJarnac wrote: »
    Does anyone have any advice for whether I should take the train? I'm in Atlanta, I have a car, and I could also fly. I probably won't drive because I'd have to pay for gas and housing along the way. Also, I'm going alone and I don't know anybody on this forum. Is it worth it to ride the train?

    I took the Metal Gear train not knowing anyone else on it back in 2011 and had a great time. Hung out in the snack car and played Dominion, We Didn't Playtest This, and Train Jenga.

    It takes a lot longer than flying, though, and ends up costing you about the same amount as a plane ticket if you're on a long-haul route (Looks like about 24 hours from Atlanta and $300 round trip). Also until you get to about Washington (on the northbound route) or Chicago (on the eastbound route) you're not going to have much PAX company, judging by prior years.

    Pretty much this. I paid exactly the same amount for my train and return airfare this year ($66 to/from BWI). As TabooPhantasy said, there are a couple downsides to the train - you get in too late to make the Pre-PAX dinner, and you miss the beginning of the PokeCrawl if you're into either of those things. I'm always on the train, so I've never done these, but I imagine they are a blast.

    The train (for me) is a relaxing, enjoyable way to travel. There is no intrusive security, no one charging you hundreds of dollars in bag fees, etc. Going from DC/Baltimore to Boston is also a great distance, as 7ish hours on a train can fly by.

    Whether it's cheaper than driving/flying depends entirely upon where you are. We drove from Cleveland last year and stayed overnight with a friend in Buffalo. The drive was 12+ hours, the drive back was demanding, exhausting, and painful, and gas money was outrageous. We only drove because there were five of us, which made it cheaper than taking the train. But with only two of us coming from Cleveland this year, the train becomes the cheapest option. $154 round-trip per person, versus the grueling drive and hundreds in gas, or $500+ multi-stop flight. The train is only three hours longer than the car, and we don't have to worry about getting sexually assaulted by the TSA or losing our bags.

    We don't know anyone on the forums, but last year's train alliance sounded so awesome that we're going for it based on good word alone.

    The train is what you make it, just like PAX. At my first PAX in the Hynes, my traveling friend and myself basically just played D&D events and Magic. We had fun with some of the groups in D&D, but never really linked up with anyone we didn't know. The past 2 years, we have gone out of our way to invite strangers to play Cards Against Humanity with us in long lines, learn Settlers at the Mayfair booth, or just check out a random game from the Tabletop Library and learn it (yay Betrayal At House on the Hill; screw you Elder Sign). After a quick circuit through the expedition hall, we barely spend any time there. We aren't big on collecting swag, seeing the latest iteration of Rock Band Dance Hero Central 6 or Call of Duty 42: AARP Ops, or waiting 2 hours for a picture with a costumed Big Daddy. Sure, those experiences are unique to events like PAX, but there is not much that is as much fun as meeting new people and playing games with them.

    The train is the same way. It can be a comfortable, stress-free way to get to the show, or it can be a gaming experience in and of itself. Be the game you want to see in the world.

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  • BrimstarBrimstar Registered User regular
    For my wife and I it's been a blast, cheaper than flying or driving, and very relaxing. Great way to get there, and we always end up playing games and having fun. Looking forward to doing it again this year.

  • flatlineflatline Registered User regular
    Brimstar wrote: »
    For my wife and I it's been a blast, cheaper than flying or driving, and very relaxing. Great way to get there, and we always end up playing games and having fun. Looking forward to doing it again this year.

    I definitely played either Munchkin in 2011 or Cards Against Humanity (2012) with you, or your evil twin, on the Sonic Line.

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  • TabooPhantasyTabooPhantasy Registered User regular
    I had a very good time last year on the train (I just wish it got to town earlier). All I had to do was hold up my DS and Mario Kart to get players. Towards the end the train got very crowded, which was less pleasant, and my seat-mate (who I had just met that morning) wandered off and people that had to stand kept giving me the stink eye because I kept telling them the seat was taken, but he never came back. :/

    ~Taboo
    BH11Fnk.png
  • BrimstarBrimstar Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    flatline wrote: »
    Brimstar wrote: »
    For my wife and I it's been a blast, cheaper than flying or driving, and very relaxing. Great way to get there, and we always end up playing games and having fun. Looking forward to doing it again this year.

    I definitely played either Munchkin in 2011 or Cards Against Humanity (2012) with you, or your evil twin, on the Sonic Line.

    I played a very long (damn near neverending) game of Munchkin in 2011, and Cards Against Humanity in 2012 where there was some speculation of how to get to PAX should they kick us off the train over the game. Either of those sound familiar?

    Brimstar on
  • DemonStaceyDemonStacey TTODewback's Daughter In love with the TaySwayRegistered User regular
    I would like to point out that choosing a return train on monday instead of sunday makes ALL the difference in price.

    Tickets bought! I look foward to this! Last year I wanted to do the train but my friends didn't. This year I said I DON'T CARE!

    desc wrote: »
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  • TabooPhantasyTabooPhantasy Registered User regular
    Check flights back home if you think you'll want to get back quicker. The train up is the same price as a plane home for me (DC area). I wanted to get home on Monday and was NOT looking forward to the 8-hour train ride.

    ~Taboo
    BH11Fnk.png
  • flatlineflatline Registered User regular
    Brimstar wrote: »
    flatline wrote: »
    Brimstar wrote: »
    For my wife and I it's been a blast, cheaper than flying or driving, and very relaxing. Great way to get there, and we always end up playing games and having fun. Looking forward to doing it again this year.

    I definitely played either Munchkin in 2011 or Cards Against Humanity (2012) with you, or your evil twin, on the Sonic Line.

    I played a very long (damn near neverending) game of Munchkin in 2011, and Cards Against Humanity in 2012 where there was some speculation of how to get to PAX should they kick us off the train over the game. Either of those sound familiar?

    I think those were both with me. I distinctly remember drinking quite a few Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPAs and being sure that Cards Against Humanity was going to get us kicked off the train.

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  • aikoeaikoe Registered User regular
    flatline wrote: »
    Brimstar wrote: »
    flatline wrote: »
    Brimstar wrote: »
    For my wife and I it's been a blast, cheaper than flying or driving, and very relaxing. Great way to get there, and we always end up playing games and having fun. Looking forward to doing it again this year.

    I definitely played either Munchkin in 2011 or Cards Against Humanity (2012) with you, or your evil twin, on the Sonic Line.

    I played a very long (damn near neverending) game of Munchkin in 2011, and Cards Against Humanity in 2012 where there was some speculation of how to get to PAX should they kick us off the train over the game. Either of those sound familiar?

    I think those were both with me. I distinctly remember drinking quite a few Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPAs and being sure that Cards Against Humanity was going to get us kicked off the train.

    This sounds precisely like my kind of train. We're bringing CAH with both expansions, and... well... maybe not the Dogfish Head.

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  • DemonStaceyDemonStacey TTODewback's Daughter In love with the TaySwayRegistered User regular
    So when we get on the train do we all just gather up in some pre-determined car and start playing games?

    I'm pretty excited for this!

    desc wrote: »
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  • flatlineflatline Registered User regular
    DaemonSadi wrote: »
    So when we get on the train do we all just gather up in some pre-determined car and start playing games?

    I'm pretty excited for this!

    So, standard procedure on the Sonic Line is to completely take over the last car of the 176 NorthEast Regional.

    That said, I don't get on until BWI, and it seems like a majority of people transfer on at DC, so the past 2 years the rear car has been pretty full up when my buddy and I board. We generally grab seats in the second-to-last car. There are lots of gameboy things going on back there, but I don't have a gameboy, and as I said I usually make it my mission to stake out the tables in the Dining Car and grab one as soon as it's vacated. I then nest there for the remainder of the trip, tweeting to whatever the hashtag for the Sonic Line is (i can't remember it at the moment, probably #sonicline) in an effort to get people to come play games with me.

    Munchkin was a great game for this, but the release of Cards Against Humanity last year really kicked it up a notch - it's a game anyone can learn inside of 2 minutes, and it doesn't get bogged down even with 8+ people playing. We had all the cards available at the time last year (Base+1st expansion) and went through the entire set of cards (twice, I think). I plan on having all 3 sets this year, plus a few other games if people tire of CaH.

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  • BrimstarBrimstar Registered User regular
    We get on all the way down in LYH (origin for the 176), have CAH and both expansions. Going to grab a table first thing after boarding this year.

    Right now I'm planning on bringing CAH and maybe one or two other simple games that scale well and aren't too much of a headache.

    Oh, and as I offered last year, if anyone is interested in a Dresden Files RPG one shot I've got three or four built for con modules that Evil Hat has released I could bring with me. I'm not exactly the most experienced game master for the system, but I can BS my way through pretty well. Characters, dice, etc. provided by me if anyone's interested.

  • KilonumKilonum [E] Somewhere near BostonRegistered User regular
    edited October 2012
    awww, gonna miss this by a day, coming up from my grandmother's in Alabama (I actually live ~20mi west of Boston) on the 20th, BHM->Crescent->NYP->Northeast Regional 176->BOS

    Haven't actually bought the tickets yet, might end up bringing computer (none at my grandmother's), so I might shift my departure a day to join up with everyone and just go straight to the hotel instead of spending a night at home. Well nevermind, no checked bags on NER.

    Kilonum on
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  • flatlineflatline Registered User regular
    No checked bags, but you can carry on basically as much as you can carry, in my experience. My friend and I have taken entire towers+monitors+luggage on the Sonic Line 2 or 3 years running.

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  • KilonumKilonum [E] Somewhere near BostonRegistered User regular
    Well that's cool, then I can check it on the Crescent (not sure what we call that one).

    Also, this might become a yearly thing for me.

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  • GeodGeod swim, swim, hungryRegistered User regular
    Never having taken the train before, I have a few questions (going from DC to Boston):

    - How far in advance should we have to arrive to get on the train?
    - Does it cost extra to get into the dining area to get a table? I saw something about fees since we were going to buy the business class seats.
    - Is there an area to store our luggage in the dining car? If we can't get room initially in the dining car, but get one later, I wouldn't think we'd just want to leave our luggage where we were sitting initially.

    Thanks!

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  • flatlineflatline Registered User regular
    No, there isn't much space to store luggage in the dining car. It doesn't cost extra, but you can't reserve a seat there - it's first-come, first-serve. When I get on at BWI (Baltimore) there are never any open seats in the dining area. However, in the past I've usually had pretty good luck around Newark/NYC grabbing a table as people get off.

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  • GeodGeod swim, swim, hungryRegistered User regular
    flatline wrote: »
    No, there isn't much space to store luggage in the dining car. It doesn't cost extra, but you can't reserve a seat there - it's first-come, first-serve. When I get on at BWI (Baltimore) there are never any open seats in the dining area. However, in the past I've usually had pretty good luck around Newark/NYC grabbing a table as people get off.

    What did you end up doing with your luggage when you moved to the dining car?

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  • KilonumKilonum [E] Somewhere near BostonRegistered User regular
    Wooo, found out I qualify for a disability discount on Amtrak because I have an MBTA Transportation Access Pass. That just knocked 15% off my fare :D

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  • flatlineflatline Registered User regular
    Geod wrote: »
    flatline wrote: »
    No, there isn't much space to store luggage in the dining car. It doesn't cost extra, but you can't reserve a seat there - it's first-come, first-serve. When I get on at BWI (Baltimore) there are never any open seats in the dining area. However, in the past I've usually had pretty good luck around Newark/NYC grabbing a table as people get off.

    What did you end up doing with your luggage when you moved to the dining car?

    Just left it where it was until we were nearly in Boston. Amtrak doesn't have overhead bins, there are large-ish luggage racks at the front end of each car, so unless you are sitting near the end, it's not like you can keep an eye on your stuff the whole time. I guess you're more likely to see someone walking by with your bag, but I haven't had any issues (thus far). I'm sure there is occasionally someone who grabs a random bag as they're getting off the train, but I probably wouldn't be able to stop them even if I was sitting in the same car.

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  • chlsebrzchlsebrz Registered User regular
    aikoe wrote: »
    I don't know if this helps anyone, but I'm planning on taking the PAX Train this year, Metal Gear Line. IIRC it was the 448 Lake Shore Limited, and here is the schedule plus one-way cost:

    Thursday March 21 2013
    Chicago 9:30 pm ($101)
    Toledo 2:50 - 3:20 am ($86)
    Cleveland 5:35 - 5:50 am ($77)
    Buffalo 8:58 - 9:08 am ($58)
    Albany 2:50 - 3:25 pm ($27)
    Boston 9:10 pm

    We are debating flying from Seattle to Chicago to take the Metal Gear Line if enough people are going to be on it, as we have never had the "PAX Train" experience before. Is it worth while? I was looking forward to hours of Dominion, Cards Against Humanity, etc.

  • UnnDunnUnnDunn New York, NYRegistered User regular
    Geod wrote: »
    Never having taken the train before, I have a few questions (going from DC to Boston):

    - How far in advance should we have to arrive to get on the train?
    - Does it cost extra to get into the dining area to get a table? I saw something about fees since we were going to buy the business class seats.
    - Is there an area to store our luggage in the dining car? If we can't get room initially in the dining car, but get one later, I wouldn't think we'd just want to leave our luggage where we were sitting initially.

    Thanks!

    Plan to arrive at the train station around 30 minutes before scheduled departure so that you'll have some time to get the lay of things and maybe pick up some last-minute items. But if you arrive five minutes before, no worries. There's no check-in, no long-ass security line, no wacky boarding procedures. Just get to the station, find a quik-tik machine to grab your tickets, check the departure board for your track and get on the train.

    If you plan to hang out with PAXers for the entire trip, there's no sense paying extra for Business Class. We're all going to be in Coach, generally at the back of the train, whereas the Business Class and First Class cars are near the front of the train. Do you really want to walk the length of the entire train (more than one football field) to find people?

    The dining car has no luggage storage space, but both of the cars adjacent to it do. Simply put your luggage in one of those. As long as you've got locks on your bags, and you only use them for clothing and other relatively low-value items, you shouldn't worry too much about leaving your bag in a different car. Obviously, any valuables such as laptops or handheld game systems should be carried on your person at all times.

  • WolfBro87WolfBro87 Registered User regular
    So I bought my train ticket a few weeks ago and it would seem by chance I bought a ticket on the Sonic Line. I'm boarding in New York, I'll be sure to head to the last car. I look forward to meeting everyone.

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