Riding The Amtrak Acela: 13 Things You Need To Know

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The Amtrak Acela is the fastest train in the United States. It is very different from any other train you’ll find in the country. The Acela allows you to hop between major east coast cities for the day or for a weekend getaway.

Is the Amtrak Acela Worth It

Acela trains are faster, more comfortable and have better meal options than other trains on the same route. They also give you access to the Metropolitan Lounges in New York City, Washington D.C. or Boston. Amtrak Acela trains are worth the extra cost due to the meals and extra amenities you get while riding.

Are Amtrak Acela Trains Nicer

Amtrak Acela trains are nicer and faster than the other options on the same northeast route. The Northeast Regional train will get you to the same place for a lower price, but it is about 1 hour 15 minutes slower over the whole Boston to Washington D.C. route.

Aclea trains are the only ones in the Amtrak system with a First Class car, and all other passengers ride in Business Class. There is no Coach Class on an Acela train.

Are Amtrak Acela Tickets Refundable

Amtrak Acela tickets are refundable before riding. You’ll get a refund either back to your original form of payment or as a voucher. See our article on Amtrak refunds for more specifics.

What Is The Difference Between Amtrak and Acela

Amtrak is the passenger rail system in the United States and Acela is one type of train that operates in the Northeast Corridor of the United States. The Acela is the fastest train in the United States. Acela trains can only be found on the Boston to New York City to Washington D.C. route.

Acela trains are day trains and do not have sleeper cars, as the trip only takes 6 hours & 45 minutes from Washington D.C. to Boston. Acela trains have business class and first class tickets.

Amtrak Acela First Class
Outside Amtrak Acela First Class

Where Is The Cafe Car on Amtrak Acela

The cafe car on the Acela is located in the middle of the train so it can be reached by all passengers. Cafe food is available to all passengers. First class passengers will have meals included but can purchase extra meals in the cafe car.

If you are in First Class your attendant will bring your meals to your seat. If you want to buy extra food and you are unsure which direction to walk to reach the cafe car, just ask your attendant and they will tell you where to go.

Does the Amtrak Acela Have WiFi

The Acela has WiFi for the entire route from Washington D.C. to Boston. WiFi speeds are a little slower than you will get with your cell phone so the best use of Amtrak WiFi is on a computer or tablet that cannot get a cell connection.

How Fast does the Acela go

The Acela reaches a top speed of 150mph on the New York City to Boston portion of the route between Richmond, Rhode Island and Mansfield, Massachusetts. The train will not reach 150mph on the portion of track from Washington D.C. to New York City.

How Much Does the Acela Cost

Booking as far in advance as possible will get you the best price on the Amtrak Acela. From Boston to New York City, advance fares are $59 for business class and $173 for first class. As the train fills up, the price will also go up. The price of a first class ticket include meals and drinks on the Acela. Business class passengers can purchase food in the Cafe.

First Class Meal on the Acela

Where Does the Amtrak Acela Stop

The Amtrak Acela stops at these stations:

How Long Does the Acela Take Between Boston and New York City

The Acela can travel from Boston to New York City in 3 hours & 30 minutes. The Northeast Regional averages just over 4 hours, so the Acela will save you 30 minutes on the route.

Why Is The Acela So Slow In Some Places

Even though the Acela is capable of reaching speeds up to 150mph, it must go much slower in most places due to track conditions and speed restrictions. We have been on the Acela and clocked it at exactly 150mph using an app on our phone, but this speed will only hold for minutes.

Are There Bathrooms on Acela Trains

There are bathrooms in all classes on the Acela. The bathrooms on the Acela are some of the larger ones in the Amtrak system. There are also bathrooms available that are handicap accessible.

Where Does Acela Leave From New York City

The Amtrak Acela leaves New York City from Moynihan Train Hall across from Penn Station. Moynihan Train Hall is the new train station serving New York City. It has the best Metropolitan Lounge in the country, which can be accessed by Acela first class passengers free of charge.

Moynihan Train Hall in New York City
Inside Moynihan Train Hall

The Metropolitan Lounge offers complimentary food and drinks, comfortable seating, and workstations to use your computer.

Metropolitan Lounge For Amtrak Acela in New York City

Robert Marmion
Rob is married to Allie and together they have been traveling the world for the past 5 years. Rob is one of the most published photographers in the world, having published over 1 million images in the last 20 years. He enjoys doing landscape and astrophotography while on the road.