If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that train travel is my preferred method of travel. I love the ease of boarding, the relaxing rocking of the train, the views, and the time to just relax.
For those not familiar with train travel, you just show up the station right before your train arrives. You’ll be directed out to the platform and when the train arrives, it stops and you get on. When everyone is on, it leaves. The conductor eventually stops by and scans your ticket and places a card above your seat indicating where you are getting off the train. It stops briefly at each station and then continues on. This specific train stops for a slightly extended time in Albany, giving you time to get off the train and get some fresh air if you wish. When the train arrives at your location , you just get your stuff and get off. Simple and efficient. It’s extra nice in Manhattan, as it comes into Penn Station so you can avoid the annoying and overpriced ride you would need from any of the airports. We actually booked a hotel near there and walked.
When I lived in Manhattan years ago, I took the Amtrak back and from there to Buffalo pretty regularly, as The Husband was doing an internship in Buffalo for a while when I first moved there. I would work night shift at the hospital, get on the train in the morning, and sleep until Buffalo.
So when we found ourselves needing to travel from WNY after I worked a conference to NYC to cheer our dear friends on as they ran the NYC Marathon, I knew we needed to take the train.
We booked tickets in business class, which hasn’t really changed since I used to take it 13 years ago. The seats, curtains, everything in the business class car was the same.
The snack car received a major upgrade though. First, they take cards and Apple Pay. Back in the day, if I forgot to get cash before my train I wouldn’t be able to eat. Thankfully drinks were free in business so I could at least get water and soda. Now, you can use basically anything. They also have a lot better options. They have salads and better sandwiches and snacks. They even have Prosecco now, my go to drink.
Our business class tickets were $160 each, and that included drinks. Coach seats are generally $50-70 each, making it way more reasonable than flying and, again, it’s much easier when you arrive at Penn Station versus any of the airports. First time train riders, read my tips for train travel here.