THE NORTHEAST CORRIDOR — I have used “Northeast Corridor” as one of my blogger labels for some time now. I use it as a way to organize posts about the Washington-to-Boston corridor since cities like Philadelphia and Boston don’t get enough coverage here to warrant their own label. I could use it for The District as well, but I figure it is redundant. Anyway, the actual Northeast Corridor is the electrified railroad tracks between Union Station, Washington D.C. and South Station, Boston. I have been along it via NJ Transit and MARC trains and alongside of it on the PATH and of course I-95 and its spurs and loops, but never on Amtrak, which succeeded the Pennsylvania Railroad as the carrier along the line. We determined that it was the most practical way to make our trip to Yankee Stadium.
I ordered our tickets online at amtrak.com and was surprised to see that the standard fare was significantly less than the AAA fare. So, if you are going to be using Amtrak, make sure you check and don’t just use AAA or another discount out of habit. For a 6:20 a.m. departure from Union Station and a return trip from Penn Station at 7:55 p.m. it cost $196 total for the two of us. There was a $19 parking fee for that duration at Union Station as well.
The train left right on schedule and and proceeded through New Carrolton, BWI Airport, Baltimore, Aberdeen, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, New Brunswick, Metropark (Iselin), Newark and finally into Penn Station. I enjoyed looking out the window and “seeing everybody’s backyard” as my father put it, as a different view of the major cities we passed through. Naturally, I had my camera out and uploaded about three dozen shots of the journey.
It is hard to beat the convenience we experienced on the ride up. The train puts you right in the transportation heart of Manhattan with several subway lines and other trains available. You can’t get that driving or even taking the bus and forget flying. We hopped on the 2 line and switched to the 4 in the Bronx. The snack car was also reasonably priced compared to other travel, no wonder Amtrak is having funding shortfalls.
On the way back, it was dark, so taking photos proved to be impossible for me. We ran into trouble too — overhead wires were malfunctioning, possibly from a fire. That led to single-tracking between Wilmington and Aberdeen which added an hour to our return trip. Ah, deferred maintenance, you are just as bad as I have heard. Even with that, I was pleased overall with the decision to take the train, and will strongly consider it again, although they need to bring back names like the Yankee Clipper for these trains, which would be fantastic.