Boarding the train at Philadelphia is always a fairly simple process in my opinion unlike at New York, where the crowds and lines create havoc. In Philadelphia, the gates are well spread apart, and because the station is larger, it allows for queues to form without running into other people.
For my group, we lined up at gate 3 for our Northeast Regional train service to New York’s Penn Station. Folks starting lining up for the track about 20 minutes in advance of the scheduled departure time, and at about 10 minutes prior an Amtrak employee called for boarding, and checked tickets as folks proceeded down the escalator. It’s worth noting that there was no priority boarding called, nor any advance call for seniors or those with disabilities – the line proceeded down the escalator in the order it had formed.
Once down on the platform, we waited for our train, which came within about 5 minutes. This train was particularly crowded, which was surprising for a mid-day departure. As we were a party of 6, we could not find seats together, but thanks to my tips on how to always find good seating on Amtrak, we proceeded to the front of the train where we found several single seats all within a small cluster.
Coach class is laid out in a 2×2 formation, and for those on the window side, there’s easy access to power along the wall.
Legroom is very generous, more-so than you’ll find on any plane.
The trip to New York took about an hour and a half, and after departing Philadelphia, our tickets were scanned within the first few minutes. On Amtrak, a small card is placed above your seat to denote which tickets have been collected, so if you plan on moving seats, take the small card with you and place it above the new seat, or else you’ll be questioned to re-scan your ticket.
Amtrak Coach Class seats have a generous recline, and it’s enough to take a decent nap, though the rocking of the train in some parts is enough to jostle you awake. That said combined with the generous legroom and the recline, the train is a much more comfortable way to travel between cities than flying, though Amtrak does have a fair amount of delays, which could hinder on time arrival.
Have you ever traveled in Amtrak Coach Class before on the Northeast Regional?
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