Sunday, July 22, 2007

New Direct Philly to NYC Acela Train Goes Wrong Way for Philly-NYC Commuters!

This month Amtrak introduced a new Acela service offering round trip direct service from Philadelphia to New York City. I mentioned this new service a couple months ago in my blog post here. The train numbers for each leg are 2105 in the morning and 2120 in the early evening.

The problem is 2105 goes from NYC-PHI in the AM and 2120 PHI-NYC in the PM. This is the wrong direction for Philadelphia to New York commuters.

Train number 2105 leaves New York Penn Station at 6:50 AM and arrives at 30th Street Station at 7:55. The other half of the leg, train number 2120 leaves 30th Street Station at 5:23 PM and arrive in Penn Station at 6:30 PM.

These are stellar times, just over one hour between NYC and Philly is great. My guess is these trains come in under 60 minutes consistently provided normal congestion on the NEC tracks.

So why no similar service from PHI-NYC in the AM and NYC-PHI in the PM? Haven't found info on this yet but I'll keep looking. My guess is that since they just rolled this service out Amtrak is being cautious. Plus I'm further guessing their market research told them that the NYC-PHI in the AM and PHI-NYC in the PM has more potential customers.

If this service is successful I would expect the same service to be added for Philly but likely not until 2008. So though this is a good new addition by Amtrak, there's no real tangible benefit for the Phi-NYC Amtrak commuter at this time.

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