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Train from nyc to washington dc

Level Contributor
116 posts
13 reviews
Train from nyc to washington dc

I'm about to book train from nyc penn station to washington dc,currently looking for best deal. How far in advance do you have to book ? Also how early do you have to get to the station before your train leaves. You help would be appreciated

12 replies to this topic
Astoria, New York
Level Contributor
20,953 posts
1. Re: Train from nyc to washington dc

At least two weeks for the best prices, preferably more as some train times sell out.

1/2 an hour usually suffices, unless you have a ton of luggage or otherwise need assistance from a Red Cap (porter).

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
2,547 posts
2. Re: Train from nyc to washington dc

Prices only go up. Get your tickets as soon as you know your dates.

Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
13,689 posts
31 reviews
3. Re: Train from nyc to washington dc

If you're traveling at anything like a busy time, you'd need to book well before two weeks in advance to get the best fares. You can check fares train by train (which do vary based on demand) at:


Enter your starting and leaving cities with the station's Amtrak code: (NYP for New York Penn Station and WAS for Washington Union Station.

Enter the date, or number of days you want to check, and a list of trains will come up. Mark check all, and then display fares. The fares for all trains and classes will appear.

Northeast Regional trains, in Coach Class are fine. Acela trains are slightly faster but much more expensive. They're used primarily by people on expense accounts.

NOTE - This is a site for comparing train fares, not to book tickets. For that you need to go to amtrak.com

Edited: 19 August 2018, 05:18
4. Re: Train from nyc to washington dc

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New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
3,747 posts
48 reviews
5. Re: Train from nyc to washington dc

Please note that train tracks aren't announced until maybe ten minutes before departure. Everyone will be crowded under the big signs and race to the escalators as soon as the track is announced. If you have luggage, finding a red cap, who gets advance notice of the track numbers, will be in your best interest. You just have to tip them, but they will take you down to the track first. I usually am fine just waiting for track numbers, and I'm never more than a half hour early because Penn Station is pretty disgusting.

Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
659 posts
10 reviews
6. Re: Train from nyc to washington dc

Getting there an hour before your train leaves is nuts. If I already had tickets, I'd personally aim to get there 20 minutes before; for tourists unfamiliar with the layout of the station, I'd say 30 minutes.

Do allow extra time for weekend subway construction on the way there if necessary.

Edited: 19 August 2018, 11:30
New Zealand
Level Contributor
46 posts
1 review
7. Re: Train from nyc to washington dc

When we got the train to DC I was worried about getting lost in Penn Station. We were staying nearby so i popped into Penn Station the day before to get my bearings. It was so easy. The red caps were easy to spot and there were toilets and food places. The next day we arrived at the station around 30minutes before our train departed. We headed straight to the red cap area and a gentleman took us down to the platform after a few minutes wait in the red cap area. The train arrived on cue and the gentleman helped us and our bag onto the train. We waited a while then the rest of the passengers came on. So I think 30 minutes is the least amount of time to get there prior to the train departing. I purchased tickets on line months before as I noticed that the prices were slowly increasing for the times that we wanted to travel.

Level Contributor
116 posts
13 reviews
8. Re: Train from nyc to washington dc

Thanks everyone , we are not sure if taking the bus is easier , only downside is it take an hour longer .

We are in NYC for 4 days then moving on to DC fro 4 days then back to NYC for out last 2 days .

Do you get a discount for booking a return ?

I think it’s easy to get to Penn Station as staying in West 35th Street.

I have been looking at train prices and no cheap $49 train fares going out as all gone for the time we want to leave, maybe because it a Friday, plenty of choice coming back on a Tuesday.

I guess I need to book asap

Level Contributor
2,430 posts
17 reviews
9. Re: Train from nyc to washington dc

Penn Station is very busy and understandably not the most pristine place; however for an above poster to call it "disgusting" seems rather extreme.

Edited: 19 August 2018, 15:58
United States
Level Contributor
860 posts
22 reviews
10. Re: Train from nyc to washington dc

there is no discount for return tickets. you need to buy ASAP. the reason Friday has no discounts is that there are a lot of people who go visit DC for the weekend is to visit friends and family. Also there are a lot of week long commuters who do come from the DC area as well. Some opt to leave for their weekend early.

Edited: 19 August 2018, 20:41
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