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Passenger Trains > Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-PHL?


Date: 04/24/21 12:43
Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-PHL?
Author: NCA1022

Once again I find myself posing a question to the combined wisdom of Trainorders members...

We have a trip planned in August to Boston, then Cape Cod (for a wedding) and finally on to Philadelphia to visit our daughter.  To get from Boston to Philly, I decided to take an Amtrak Acela instead of flying (which is how my wife and daughter will travel for this leg of the trip).   I was nudged in the direction of taking the Acela because I've never traveled this part of the NEC before and, being from Sacramento, I'm not likely to be back in the Boston area again for quite a while.  Recently dusting off and re-reading Beebe's "The Trains We Rode" and his rhapsodic descriptions of the golden age of New Haven's Merchants Limited may have been a factor as well. 

In any event, I've decided to  book a first class ticket on the Acela from Boston to Philly.  When purchasing my ticket on Amtrak's website, I was presented with a seating chart and given the opportunity to select my seat, just like when purchasing airline tickets.   While Amtrak's seat selection app does show the direction of travel (so you can pick a forward-facing seat), it does NOT show where the windows are located relative to the seat numbers.  I'm traveling alone so a single seat is fine with me.   Sitting on the left side of the train seems preferable for a better view along the shoreline.  My question, since I'm totally unfamiliar with the Acela, is what is a preferred seat?   It would be unfortunate if I ended up with a seat next to a window pillar...

I'm currently booked in Car 1, seat 7F but might be able to adjust this.  

Any advice from frequent Acela travelers?

Thanks,

- Norm



Date: 04/24/21 13:07
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: sums007

I always try to get placed in or near the middle of the car.



Date: 04/24/21 13:08
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: ronald321

You are going to love Acela 1st. Class.  I sure do.  Must have ridden it 10 times.

In addition to a hot meal (usually good), you can have as many  complimentary drinks as you want.  It's
like an open bar.  And they only carry top brands.  And order wine with your dinner - it's free to.

And its so nice to have all this delivered to your seat.  I think it's the most fun train ride in the U.S.

One word of caution. The crew.  Even in Acela 1st Class, the crew will be a mixed bag.  I've had both.
Some are just great  - while some have no conception of what 1st Class means.  

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/21 13:09 by ronald321.



Date: 04/24/21 14:47
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

May one wander among vacant seats on Acela first class?
Left side (East) offers shoreline vistas while right side (West) offers more backyard and tenement window-peeping in the cities.



Date: 04/24/21 16:12
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: prr60

7F is reasonably good regardless of the direction of travel.

I made this seat map for Acela First and it is reasonably accurate, including window locations relative to seats.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/21 16:14 by prr60.




Date: 04/24/21 16:57
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: grlhughes

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You are going to love Acela 1st. Class.  I sure
> do.  Must have ridden it 10 times.
>
> In addition to a hot meal (usually good), you can
> have as many  complimentary drinks as you want. 
> It's
> like an open bar.  And they only carry top
> brands.  And order wine with your dinner - it's
> free to.
>
> And its so nice to have all this delivered to your
> seat.  I think it's the most fun train ride in
> the U.S.
>
> One word of caution. The crew.  Even in Acela 1st
> Class, the crew will be a mixed bag.  I've had
> both.
> Some are just great  - while some have no
> conception of what 1st Class means.  
>
>  

Depending on how someone acts when having drinks might depend on how a crew is precieved by a passenger. Bet the drunk ones who get thrown off say the crew is awful.lol Amtrak should limit it to 2-3 alcoholic drinks for the comfort of all passengers, especially with how much it costs to ride 1st class.

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/21 17:01 by grlhughes.



Date: 04/24/21 17:10
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: ronald321

grlhughes

I won't try and explain further.  Anyone with experience riding Amtrak trains will know what I'm talking about, regarding crews.

And, because of usually sky-high fares -  the people who go Acela 1st Class are mainly professional business types, so you
are unlikely to find "drunks" in this car.



Date: 04/24/21 17:29
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: grlhughes

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> grlhughes
>
> I won't try and explain further.  Anyone with
> experience riding Amtrak trains will know what I'm
> talking about, regarding crews.
>
> And, because of usually sky-high fares -  the
> people who go Acela 1st Class are mainly
> professional business types, so you
> are unlikely to find "drunks" in this car.

The two bad crewmembers i've encountered had really bad issues with a passenger/s during the trip and pretty much ruined their day. But I saw this on planes as well.
Just because someone is a professional business type doesn't mean they are good drinkers. I've also seen that on a plane and especially at hotel bars.lol

Posted from Android



Date: 04/24/21 18:06
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: ronald321

Try 1st Class if you haven't yet,  and have  a drink.  You will love this service.

Fast, too.  I hope Acela-2 first class will be even nicer.



Date: 04/25/21 12:43
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: NCA1022

prr60 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 7F is reasonably good regardless of the direction
> of travel.
>
> I made this seat map for Acela First and it is
> reasonably accurate, including window locations
> relative to seats.

prr60:  This is exactly what I was looking for!  Thanks a ton.    Based on your helpful diagram, it appears they spin some seats 180 degrees when the trainset reverses the direction of travel, so 7F would be have a wall in the normal angle of viewing on one direction (about 10 o'clock, with noon being straight forward) and a full window when spun 180 degrees (2 o'clock).

Thanks also for the details about traveling Acela first class.   Very helpful.   I leave Boston on the 2PM train, so a late afternoon cocktail is definitely on the agenda!  Perhaps a mid-afternoon libation as well.

Also, am I correct in thinking the view is better on the south / east side when traveling from Boston to Philadelphia?    As a railfan are there any particular landmarks or interesting railroad facilities I should try to look for enroute?

Thanks,

- Norm


 



Date: 04/25/21 12:58
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: symph1

> Also, am I correct in thinking the view is better
> on the south / east side when traveling from
> Boston to Philadelphia?    As a railfan are
> there any particular landmarks or interesting
> railroad facilities I should try to look for
> enroute?
>
Yes, you want to be facing Long Island Sound for sure. There are song nice views while in Connecticut.

Coming into NYC you'll go over Hell Gate Bridge, which is famous.



Date: 04/25/21 18:36
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: ronald321

In my view -- the left (East) side of the train might give a slightly more interesting view--but just barely.  Acela windows are so big, that you get a great view no matter which side you sit on.

But, if you are on the right side (West) -  after crossing the Hell Gate Bridge -- you will have a spectacular view of Manhattan  so, I think you will be happy regardless of which side you sit on.

Acela is very smooth riding (much superior to Amfleet) - and they are very quiet.  And they tilt--which makes a difference in comfort through curves.

I predict Acela will become your favorite Amtrak equipment.



Date: 04/26/21 09:29
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: tomcough

Agree with some of the other members; sitting on the “east” side of the train with views of the Sound and Narragansett Bay is my preference.

If you have a smart phone, download a speedometer app. Acela’s MAS is 150 MPH north of Kingston, RI for a stretch and again between Attleboro and just “north” (timetable “east”) of Mansfield.

Enjoy.

Tom Coughlin
Stow, MA

Posted from iPhone



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/21 09:30 by tomcough.



Date: 04/29/21 07:06
Re: Acela Help - What is the best seat location in 1st class BOS-
Author: abyler

One of the back seats with a table is my preference so the attendant is frequently passing you and can refill your drink.



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