Review: Amtrak Northeast Corridor Quiet Car Washington, D.C. – New York City

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BOARDING THE AMTRAK QUIET CAR

The Quiet Car is often the most crowded car on the train so, in order to get a good seat, either attempt to be the first in line for boarding or pay a red cap to escort you down before boarding starts, even if you don’t have much or any luggage to speak of.

Several staff members at FBT including myself have successfully done this red-cap travel hack. Finding a red cap is easy given their (ahem) red caps and uniforms and major train stations such as New York’s Penn Station and Washington, D.C.’s Union Station have designated red-cap waiting areas.

At Union Station on a recent trip, the red cap asked us which car we wanted to be seated in (“The Quiet Car, of course”), took us through an employees-only area to the platform, brought our bags onto the train, and placed them in the overhead compartment above our seats. We tipped the red cap $10 per person, which seemed quite a bargain compared to what airlines charge for priority boarding.

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QUIET CAR COMFORT

Amtrak recently completed the refurbishment of its Acela Express and Amfleet train cars, the latter used on Northeast Regional and other routes, with new interiors that include new seat covers and cushions, new carpeting, new wainscoting, and new LED reading lights.

The scope of the work, of course, included all of the Quiet Cars and the result is a more modern cabin that is quite comfortable with ample legroom.

BOTTOM LINE

For a quiet – albeit sometimes crowded – way to travel between major cities in the Northeast Corridor, the Quiet Car is clearly the way to go.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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