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On any given weekday, Amtrak runs roughly 20 trains between Boston and New York a day, with a mix of Northeast Regional trains and Acela Express trains. It really is a convenient and quick way to get between the two cities. I recently took a quick trip up to New Hampshire to visit my family, and I opted to travel in Amtrak Acela Business Class in both directions. A few months ago, I reviewed Acela First Class and Northeast Regional Coach Class, so this review should round out the types of service you should expect on this route.
(READ MORE: Amtrak NYC to Boston Review)
(READ MORE: Amtrak Boston to NYC Review)
The seats in the Amtrak Acela Business Class cars are in a two by two layout, with generous pitch, especially when compared to the Northeast Regional. The seats are also leather, which is nice, but I do find the cloth seats on the Northeast Regional to be slightly more comfortable. Sort of a “six of one, half dozen of the other” situation, as 5 hours in either of them starts to get a little uncomfortable. My only other gripe with these seats is that stupid tray table. Maybe it’s operator error, but I can never seem to put them away without making a racket.
As usual, I bolted for the Quiet Car–seriously, it’s really that good.
Amtrak Acela Business Class Restrooms, Food, and Service
In Amtrak Acela Business Class cars, there are two bathrooms: a handicap accessible restroom in the front, and a smaller restroom in the back. As per the norm, the bathroom was sort of a mixed bag on this trip. The first time I went to use the bathroom, it was sort of dirty, with paper towels and toilet paper on the floor; however, by the second time I used it, the conductor had come through and tidied up, or that’s what I assume.
In terms of food, the Cafe Car has a pretty wide selection of light meals and snacks, and around New Haven, my stomach started to grumble, so I got up to check it out. Like grocery shopping when you’re hungry, I think I walked away with a bit more than I usually would. Remember, if you have the Amtrak Guest Rewards World credit card, you’ll get three points per dollar when making purchases in the Cafe Car.
Service on this train was pretty standard for Amtrak–the usual “welcome to Amtrak” announcement at the beginning of each trip, and then announcements at each station stop. We were stopped for about 10 minutes outside Penn Station without any update which is sort of annoying, but in the grand scheme of things, not a big deal.
Amtrak Acela Business Class Conclusion
As I’ve said before, I’ve done this trip dozens of times over the past few years, and could probably do it in my sleep by now. I had a relatively ordinary experience, minus a 10 minute delay outside Penn Station. My only complaint for this trip would be the overall cleanliness of the restrooms, which is the norm for Amtrak it would seem, especially based on previous trips. So now that I’ve reviewed all the class services (except Regional Business, which isn’t very different from Regional Coach), I’d have to say that Amtrak Acela Business class, when the price is right, is my favorite way to travel. The seats are slightly roomier on the Acela and you get between the two cities about 45 minutes to an hour faster.
For this trip, Nick and I were able to use a companion coupon, which we both have thanks to the Amtrak Guest Rewards World credit card, so a $234 round trip per person was actually just $117. That was only $19 more than a comparable Northeast Regional ticket, which is a great use of a companion coupon in my opinion.
Header image courtesy of LocoSteve, via Wikimedia Commons.