PDA

View Full Version : OT: Train from Toronto to NYC (Updated Feb 18)


pxlbarrel
12-26-2006, 10:59 PM
This is off topic but I figured there are enough experienced people here to let me know what I'm in for on this trip.

I've booked return train tickets from Toronto to NYC for February. I usually fly but there are four of us and the train translated to about $600 savings when taking into account airfare and shuttle from LaGuardia as opposed to train fare and a taxi ride from Penn Station.

The only other time I've travelled any great distance was from Sarnia to Chicago (when they still had this run). I remember a horrible washroom and trying to test the size of my bladder by not going to that washroom for 7 hours. I've been sort of warned the same will happen on this trip ... well, at least after we've crossed the border.

So...any tips? Words of wisdom? Documents of committal to an insane asylum? Was I nuts? Will I need to console myself at the World of Disney on 5th Avenue? (that's a given.)

I'm just getting a tad anxious about it and thinking that while my younger self could withstand 7 hours without going to the bathroom, it's been almost 20 years since that feat.

cherylp3
12-27-2006, 04:51 PM
When you get into the states, Are you on an Acela train or a normal one??

pxlbarrel
12-28-2006, 09:43 PM
When you get into the states, Are you on an Acela train or a normal one??

I have nooooooo idea. I've been told that we're on the same train that we leave Toronto in...and they only switch off the Engine to an Amtrak one. It's been almost 20 years since I've ridden the train and even then, it was just a short 2 hour ride.

ducklite
12-29-2006, 05:23 AM
I don't believe Acela runs that line, only the NE Corridor.

OP--the bathrooms aren't very nice, although I've seen worse. Be prepared for your trip to take at least an hour or two longer than they schedule for.

Do you have to change trains in Albany/Rennsalear?

The stretch from NYC to ALB is pretty scenic along the Hudson, the stretch from ALB to the border is pretty boring.

Anne

pxlbarrel
12-29-2006, 06:03 AM
I don't believe Acela runs that line, only the NE Corridor.

OP--the bathrooms aren't very nice, although I've seen worse. Be prepared for your trip to take at least an hour or two longer than they schedule for.

Do you have to change trains in Albany/Rennsalear?

The stretch from NYC to ALB is pretty scenic along the Hudson, the stretch from ALB to the border is pretty boring.

Anne


Hmmmm... maybe we should have flown. :rotfl2:

I don't believe we change trains. I think we're on the same one from Toronto to Penn Station. We'll bring stuff with us to keep us occupied...and I'll guess I'll figure a way to stomach the washrooms... <sigh> Gotta figure a way to bring a picnic on board too.

MdmMim
12-29-2006, 07:07 AM
It looks like you'll be on this train, no switching trains:

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/am2Route/Horizontal_Route_Page&c=am2Route&cid=1081442673791&ssid=134

Since you'll have 12.5 hours on the train, pack that picnic, a good book, some hand gel or wipes, and relax. Think of it as an adventure. Enjoy!

epcotfan
12-29-2006, 07:26 AM
I've done the Toronto to NYC train trip twice. It took about 12 hours. Left at about 9am and got to Penn Station at around 9pm the first time. Second time our train broke down and we didn't get into NYC until 11pm. At the US border customs normally takes about two hours. They stop the train and board the customs agents who check each passenger's identification, etc...The most I've ever been grilled by customs is when using the train. It is a long ride with a lot of stops. I've used the bathrooms and to me they were no worse than airplane washrooms. Try to bring some of your own food to snack on, as the amtrak food was yucky. Bring lots of things to keep yourself occupied (music, books, portable dvd, etc...) I took those trips when I was in my early 20s. Not sure if I could do it again at 34. Think I'd fly next time as I'm not keen on arriving in Manhattan late at night.

pxlbarrel
12-29-2006, 02:16 PM
I've done the Toronto to NYC train trip twice. It took about 12 hours. Left at about 9am and got to Penn Station at around 9pm the first time. Second time our train broke down and we didn't get into NYC until 11pm. At the US border customs normally takes about two hours. They stop the train and board the customs agents who check each passenger's identification, etc...The most I've ever been grilled by customs is when using the train. It is a long ride with a lot of stops. I've used the bathrooms and to me they were no worse than airplane washrooms. Try to bring some of your own food to snack on, as the amtrak food was yucky. Bring lots of things to keep yourself occupied (music, books, portable dvd, etc...) I took those trips when I was in my early 20s. Not sure if I could do it again at 34. Think I'd fly next time as I'm not keen on arriving in Manhattan late at night.

Thank you for that first hand look. I'm way past 34. LOL We've flown the past few years but thought the train might be fun this time. Ha! Famous last words, eh? I'll bring my laptop with me and lots of dvds. Maybe I'll catch up on about 3 years of sleep too.

LOL I don't think I've used an airplane washroom in 3 years. It's usually a rush to the airport washroom after we deplane.

onelugnut
12-29-2006, 02:36 PM
just curious,
how much does a train ride to toronto from NYC cost?
is that including a sleeper?
are you connecting to another train to go to Orlando?
i would love to take a train to disney but
the cost is crazy. I am going in 2 weeks,
and flew from nyc for about $200 round trip.
train cant touch that.
can it?

pxlbarrel
12-29-2006, 03:08 PM
No, alas, we're not going to Orlando from NYC....the closest we'll get to Disney is the 5th Avenue store. LOL

Train ride from Toronto to NYC is $252 CDN. It was, unbelievable as it may be, still cheaper than air...and since it goes to Manhattan, we don't have to shell out for a shuttle from LaGuardia. We can share a couple of taxis to Times Square.

I read about people taking an Autotrain down to Orlando and at one point thought that might be a cool way to get down there....but I'd still need to drive an entire day to get to where it starts south. :(

ducklite
12-29-2006, 03:27 PM
This might sound crazy, but why not just drive? DH and I have made the drive from NJ to TO, Barrie, and even Sarnia and London several times to visit friends. It's really an easy drive.

Anne

pxlbarrel
12-29-2006, 03:54 PM
This might sound crazy, but why not just drive? DH and I have made the drive from NJ to TO, Barrie, and even Sarnia and London several times to visit friends. It's really an easy drive.

Anne

We've driven to NYC a few times before...but never in February. Last year...if we had driven, we would have been arrived in NYC during a snow storm. We were there for the big snow storm that hit NYC. 26 inches of snow in Central Park. Our plane landed at 1 pm Saturday...it started to snow around 6 pm or 7 pm...and then didn't stop until sometime in the afternoon on Sunday.

If the show was in late fall, early Dec, even late March and on, we'd probably opt for driving but...the weather's just not predictable in Jan/Feb.

ducklite
12-29-2006, 03:57 PM
If the show was in late fall, early Dec, even late March and on, we'd probably opt for driving but...the weather's just not predictable in Jan/Feb.

Last year we went to Sarnia the first week of December. Got caught in a wicked blizzard on the 401. Made a lot of stops for Tim's on that trip!

Anne

pxlbarrel
12-29-2006, 04:00 PM
Last year we went to Sarnia the first week of December. Got caught in a wicked blizzard on the 401. Made a lot of stops for Tim's on that trip!

Anne

hahaha....oh yeah....I remember a few storms last December that made me cringe (including one the evening before our flight to Orlando...lemme tell ya...that was a knuckle buster of a night). Tim's is great...it should be at Epcot...but that's just another thread, eh?

DC7800
12-29-2006, 04:25 PM
Yes, you will be on the Maple Leaf. This pretty much resembles any standard (non-Acela) Northeast Corridor train, with Amtrak Amfleet I equipment, but operated by Via Rail Canada north of the border.

Customs can delay the train for no good reason sometimes, with odd lines of questioning that they probably don't ask people driving into the country. Makes no sense, but it happens occasionally.

There is no change of trains Toronto to New York. For future reference, only a change of trains in Penn Station would be needed to take the train all the way from Toronto to WDW.

pxlbarrel
12-31-2006, 10:48 PM
Ummm...I forgot to ask....since I'm bringing some electronic devices to keep me distracted...are there any electrical outlets to plug these babies into??

krissyh
01-01-2007, 11:09 AM
Check the prices to fly from Buffalo. Drive down the night before and take an early flight - you'd be in NYC in a little over an hour. There are often really cheap flights on Airtran, unfournately, they fly to JFK or on Continental to Newark - there is more of a fee to get into the city but in the end might be cheaper and easier.

pxlbarrel
01-01-2007, 04:13 PM
Check the prices to fly from Buffalo. Drive down the night before and take an early flight - you'd be in NYC in a little over an hour. There are often really cheap flights on Airtran, unfournately, they fly to JFK or on Continental to Newark - there is more of a fee to get into the city but in the end might be cheaper and easier.

Uh...no. We're going by train because we want to try it out. We know we can fly and get there faster. We've done it many times. It's not cheaper and it's definitely not easier to get 4 people from 3 different cities to Buffalo and back again.

And quite frankly...the reasons I don't drive to NYC in the winter are the same reasons I don't fly out of Buffalo in the winter. If we flew, we'd fly out of Toronto.

pxlbarrel
02-18-2007, 05:45 PM
I just wanted to update you guys on our travel on the Maple Leaf...

The first thing that I'll say is....I will NEVER EVER EVER travel on Amtrak again.

The train itself was comfortable and I even survived the washrooms. (The washrooms were awful but they were manageable).

The trip down to NYC was 1.5 hours late by the time we reached Albany. That's ok...but then...we sat in Albany for 2 hours...some of it without any power. As the train got colder and the evening got later, we were beginning to wonder if we'd ever get to NYC. We finally arrived in NYC 4 hours late.

The trip back to Toronto was worse. We left on time (always a good sign) but by the time we reached Buffalo, we were 3 hours late already. In Niagara Falls, NY the train went forward then backwards (going faster than it had ever gone forwards the whole day) then stopped...went forwards...then went backwards...this went on for an hour. When it finally stopped, US Customs and Immigration came aboard the train to ask everybody questions (this while LEAVING the US)...that delayed the train more. Then we crossed over the bridge...then went backwards back to the US again...then fowards and finally into Canada. Then Canadian Customs and Immigration came aboard...delaying us some more. Ugh...by the time we got back to Toronto, the train was 5 hours late. We had just spent 17 hours on the train. I could have flown to Hong Kong in that time. I could have driven to and from NYC in that time. It would have been more than 5 hours if it hadn't been for the VIA Rail crew who took over in Canada. They managed to get us to Toronto in record time yet they took a lot of heat from the passengers for Amtrak's screwups. poor guys.

We'll never do that again. Stay away from Amtrak guys...it'll drive your blood pressure through the ceiling. :headache:

epcotfan
02-18-2007, 07:12 PM
Ugh. I'm sorry to hear about your delays. The same thing happened to me on a trip to NYC in March of 2004. The train was delayed about 2.5 hours going to NY due to it having some sort of power failure. I wasn't keen on arriving in NYC at 11:30pm looking like a disoriented tourist. Still, in the long run, I'd rather be stuck on a train than an airplane any day. Also the cost of a flight to NYC is more than Orlando from Toronto. So, I guess if I ever want to go again it will have to be the train.

How was your trip aside from your transportation woes? :)

pxlbarrel
02-18-2007, 08:02 PM
Ugh. I'm sorry to hear about your delays. The same thing happened to me on a trip to NYC in March of 2004. The train was delayed about 2.5 hours going to NY due to it having some sort of power failure. I wasn't keen on arriving in NYC at 11:30pm looking like a disoriented tourist. Still, in the long run, I'd rather be stuck on a train than an airplane any day. Also the cost of a flight to NYC is more than Orlando from Toronto. So, I guess if I ever want to go again it will have to be the train.

How was your trip aside from your transportation woes? :)

The NYC trip, other than the train, was fine. LOL The highlight of the trip was great seats for Mary Poppins on Broadway. Yay! (to get it back to a DIS topic!!)

Went to World of Disney on Fifth Avenue and bought a bunch of pins and a shirt for my dad. Went back a few days later and got a photo of myself with Cinderella and Prince Charming. :) I love trips where you find a bit of Disney even in the deep freeze of the Big Apple. :laughing: