• Amtrak's Acela Express offers fast and frequent transport along the Northeast Corridor, with first and business-class seating and stops in popular cities like New York and Philadelphia. It's a quicker, more comfortable way to travel.
  • Acela Express provides passengers with a productive working space, with collapsible tabletops, electrical outlets, and conference rooms. Use the uninterrupted travel time to catch up on work and arrive at your destination prepared.
  • Traveling on Acela Express offers convenience, with zero-hassle boarding, no cab lines or shuttles required, and arrival right in the city center. Save time and hassle by choosing Acela Express for your East Coast travel.

Amtrak offers services in 46 states, Washington D.C., and three provinces in Canada. A popular mode of transportation, Amtrak operates over 300 trains per day to more than 500 destinations. But while most are aware of what Amtrak has to offer, those traveling in the Northeastern part of the country may experience the added benefit of Amtrak's Acela Express.

There are many important things to know about Amtrak and the Acela Express option. The premier high-speed rail service offers fast and frequent transport with first and business-class seating along the Northeast Corridor in the U.S. Their 457-mile route travels between Washington D.C. and Boston, stopping over a dozen times along the way, including in popular hot spots like New York, Providence, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore. It's a quicker, smarter, more comfortable way to travel, letting passengers arrive in style, avoid the hassle of airport taxi lines, and bypass traffic on busy roads.

With benefits from free Wi-Fi to more legroom, an onboard cafe, and a more environmentally friendly form of travel (all trains produce much less CO2e emissions than planes and cars) — Amtrak's Acela Express is worth the splurge. Here are ten reasons to choose Amtrak's Acela Express when traveling on the East Coast.

10 Productive Working Space

Electronic equipment (a laptop and iPhone)
Image by Maria from Pixabay
Electronic equipment (a laptop and iPhone)

Amtrak's Acela Express lets passengers travel comfortably while catching up on work. Collapsible tabletops offer a great opportunity to tackle those deadlines, and there are also AC electrical outlets near every seat and available conference rooms for meetings.

Whenever a break is needed, simply look out the window. The uninterrupted travel time is ideal for brainstorming and traveling in peace. Silence those phone notifications and use the hours wisely to arrive at destinations well-prepared for whatever awaits.

  • Train travel time on Acela Express from Boston to New York: 3 hours and 30 minutes
  • Train travel time on Acela Express from New York to Washington: 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Related: Amtrak Train Tracker: Everything You Need To Know

9 Travel Convenience

New York - Penn Station sign
Photo by Ryan Dellolio on Unsplash
New York - Penn Station sign

The Acela Express is one of the best Amtrak routes to travel, offering the opportunity to travel from downtown in one city to downtown in another with zero-hassle boarding. Alternative modes of transport, like flying, deliver passengers well outside city centers and require much longer check-in procedures.

With Amtrak, there are no cab lines or shuttles necessary. Simply depart the train in the final destination city center, right where travelers need to be. The overall travel time saved and the convenience of a simple arrival is well worth booking an Acela Express train.

  • Acela serves: Boston, MA – South Station (BOS), Boston, MA – Back Bay Station (BBY), Route 128, MA (RTE), Providence, RI – Amtrak/MBTA Station (PVD), New Haven, CT – Union Station (NHV), Stamford, CT (STM), New York, NY – Moynihan Train Hall (NYP), Newark, NJ – Penn Station (NWK), Metropark, NJ (MET), Trenton, NJ (TRE), Philadelphia, PA – William H. Gray III 30th St. Station (PHL), Wilmington, DE (WIL), Baltimore, MD – Penn Station (BAL), Baltimore, MD – BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Washington, D.C. – Union Station (WAS).

8 More Comfortable Seats

Seats on an Amtrak Acela Express train
Bonnachoven via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 
Seats on an Amtrak Acela Express train

Who doesn’t want more space while traveling? Extra room is a true luxury, and passengers on Amtrak’s Acela Express get to experience the gift of longer legroom. Passengers have a choice between first class and business class. Business class takes up five cars within the six-car trains.

Most seats are forward facing, other than seats at conference tables and some bulkhead seats. Those who opt for first-class get a bit extra —priority boarding, at-seat dining service, complimentary meals and beverages, hot towels, and newspapers.

They also get access to station lounges in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. The average seat width on the Acela Express is 23" compared to 18" on an airport shuttle. The average seat pitch is 42" compared to 31" on an airport shuttle.

Take the guesswork out of finding a seat and reserve one ahead of time. Passengers can change their seats at any time after booking. There's no fee!

Related: This Fall, Take A Scenic Amtrak Train Trip From DC To New York City To Witness An Array Of Foliage

7 Easy Ticketing Process

Acela Express
Ryan StavelyCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Amtrak Acela Express

Buying tickets on Amtrak's Acela Express is easy. Simply select the departure city, arrival city, and date of the desired trip to display a list of options for both business and first class. Next, choose seats, add passenger information, and purchase tickets.

Booking an Acela Express train is even easier for those with Amtrak accounts on iPhones or Androids. All it takes is a few clicks, and eTickets can be displayed on phone screens. All necessary information about journeys, such as carry-on allowances, is displayed when tickets are purchased.

  • Average price for first-class from Boston to New York: Approximately $278 per person.
  • Average price for business class from Boston to New York: Approximately $137 per person.

6 Free Baggage

Woman packing a suitcase
Woman packing a suitcase

Amtrak allows two free pieces of carry-on luggage. And a purse or laptop bag does not count. For travelers debating planes and trains, this is a no-brainer. There are no extra fees to check bags, no waiting in baggage check lines, and no waiting for checked bags at the baggage carousel.

Bring all items on board, keep them close by, and depart the station with all belongings right where they should be — in your hands.

  • Carry-on baggage: Per Amtrak, each passenger can bring two personal items, 25 lbs. (12 kg) and 14 x 11 x 7 inches each, and two carry-on items, 50 lbs. (23 kg) and 28 x 22 x 14 inches each.

Make sure to add the name and address to any bag brought on board.

5 More Sustainable Travel

 Acela Electric Train
Image Source: ID 61360111 © Lei Xu |
 Acela Electric Train

Flying has a significant environmental impact. Traveling by train uses up to 72% less CO2e emissions than traveling by plane and 83 percent less than a personal car. Additionally, Acela Express trains in the country's northeast are 100% electric.

One-third of that energy used to move is created by carbon-free sources. This makes Amtrak Acela routes the best option to lower travel carbon footprints in the northeast. Additionally, in 2021, Amtrak designed solar-powered gates to improve security in the Northeast Corridor.

  • What are Amtrak's future sustainability plans? Since 2010, Amtrak has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. They plan to double that number by 2030
  • How does Amtrak plan to meet future sustainability goals? By focusing efforts on reducing reliance on fossil fuels and investing in energy-efficient fleets like Acela Express.

4 Superior Dining Options

Burger meal with coffee served on Amtrak
Burger meal with coffee served on Amtrak

At-seat meals are available for first-class passengers. This includes chef-inspired fresh plates and beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Each season, there's a featured dish from one of restaurateur Stephen Starr's many restaurants.

First-class meal menus rotate approximately every three weeks. Business class passengers are welcome to visit Café Acela, which offers a bistro menu with varied options for freshly prepared selections to enjoy morning, afternoon, or night.

  • First-class sample options: Breakfast options like omelets and fruit plates. Lunch and dinner options include lasagna, black pepper beef, baked manicotti, and more.
  • Business class sample options: Breakfast sandwiches, salads, burgers, hot dogs, snacks, and desserts. Most items are under $9.

Related: Traveling Amtrak For The First Time? Here Are 14 Things To Know About Amtrak Trains

3 Free And Fast Wi-Fi

Person typing on a computer
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash
Person typing on a computer

Amtrak offers free basic Wi-Fi in certain stations and trains around the country. But on Amtrak's Acela Express, the Wi-Fi is up to six times faster. So make the most of a trip. It's a great time to get some work done or browse the web.

To connect, look for Amtrak_WiFi* on the computer's list of available Wi-Fi. Select the network, open or refresh the browser, and agree to the terms of use. It's quick, simple, and a big benefit to traveling on Amtrak's Acela Express.

  • Other Wi-Fi networks: Passengers will have access to Wi-Fi networks not operated by Amtrak. Amtrak advises passengers to refer to the operating carrier regarding Wi-Fi connection and usage restrictions.

2 Peace And Quiet

An Amtrak ACS64 traveling past Princeton Junction, West Windsor Township, New Jersey, USA
Photo by Island Group Studios on Unsplash
An Amtrak ACS64 traveling past Princeton Junction, West Windsor Township, New Jersey, USA

Looking to unwind? Quiet Cars, where guests must limit conversations, are available. No cell phones are allowed. All portable devices must be on silent or listened to through headphones. Lights are kept low. This is the perfect place for relaxation.

For most Amtrak train riders, seats in the quiet cars are on a first-come, first-served basis, but for Acela Express ticket purchasers, seats may be reserved ahead of time. For passengers who know they prefer a little quiet on the train before arriving at their final destination, book the quiet car.

  • How quiet is the quiet car? The entrance doors are marked off with signs so that loud chatters don't wander in.
  • Can you talk in the quiet car? Yes, but Amtrak asks passengers to keep their voices down so they don't disturb fellow passengers.

1 Celebrity Sightings

Amtrak Train America
Image by Ray Miller from Pixabay
Amtrak Train America

Who doesn't love a celebrity spotting? There’s something special about seeing stars on public transportation. And on Amtrak’s Acela Express, multiple celebrity spottings have been confirmed. To name a few: Alicia Keys, Sarah Jessica Parker, Whoopi Goldberg, and Mick Jagger.

While Acela Express is aimed at business travelers, and there are absolutely no promises of a celebrity run-in, quite a few celebrities have been known to ride the Acela Express route on the Northeaster Corridor. Ride in style, and in good company.

Related: 10 Important Things You Didn't Know About Amtrak (But Should)

  • What makes Acela different? Other than possible celebrity sightings, Acela is an accelerated train and runs much faster than typical Amtrak trains.
  • Is Acela faster than flying? When talking about roughly 240 miles, flights take approximately 75 minutes, and true transit time is four hours and 15 minutes. Acela takes three hours.