As discussed elsewhere, until the first week of September, all Amtrak trains from NYC that go to or through Albany NY are leaving from Grand Central because of work being done by the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge. (For the Lakeshore Ltd, there is a change of trains involved to the actual Lakeshore with sleepers in Albany.) Taking Amtrak out of Grand Central has its good points and bad. The good points, OK, it's mainly just one one: Grand Central. What class! The only other good point is that for some people, Grand Central is a better location than Penn.
The bad points: There is no Amtrak ticket window at Grand Central. If you need to buy or change a ticket, you have to do it on the phone or electronically (or at Penn Station or another Amtrak station). There are no red caps, no Amtrak waiting room, and no luggage storage at Grand Central. On the big boards in the station, train departures and track numbers are posted along with Metro North trains on the Hudson River Line board.
The other bad point is that if you are changing to a train that goes south to Philly, DC, etc, or an Amtrak train going NE to RI or Boston, or to NJ Transit or the LIRR, you have to change stations. (On the other hand, of you are changing to a Metro North train going to, say, New Haven, you don't have to change stations--as you normally would.) The walk isn't too bad between the 2 stations, but it's not great when it's over 90 degrees or raining! Esp if you have luggage! Taxis are a pain, given traffic. A bus transfer is even slower, and requires 2 buses (or walk partway). Subways are hot as heck in summer (at least the stations are) and can involve more steps than you'd like. Some lines are not working on weekends. And a subway transfer also requires 2 subways, unless you want to take the 7 train to the new stop at Hudson Yards (very nice) and walk the two LONG avenue blocks from 10th back to 8th Avenue--again bad if it's raining. . . . So, that's life.
One more thing. For what looks like the whole summer, there is ON WEEKENDS ONLY bustitution from Boston to Albany to catch the Lakeshore. In other words, the sleeper train starts in Albany whether you are coming from Boston or NYC. But this is only on weekends. This is also because of trackwork--on the freight line in Massachusetts--it has nothing to do with the other.
Posts: 2615 | From: upstate New York | Registered: Mar 2004
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