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AgedPolaris

Q about service to Pennsylvania

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Okay, so I got a couple friends who are moving out to Lancaster, PA... so of course probably around the 18th-20th I'm gonna take the train out there, which is something I've never done before. I'm glad the one-way ticket is only $45 from NY Penn to LNC, reasonable enough.

 

I see there are two different "services" here, Pennsylvanian and the Keystone. I saw a cool post about the Pennsylvanian here, the only thing is the only one scheduled for that day leaves at 10:50am, the rest are all Keystone. 10:50am shouldn't be a problem, though.

 

Is there any advantage to one service over the other? Also... what type of motive power can one expect to see? Forgive my ignorance, but I have a hunch that there's no electric power once you go past Philadelphia to Lancaster. Do they change engines in Philly? I doesn't appear like there's any changing of trains with this route.

 

Again, just interested.

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The Pennsylvanian has Amfleet II cars and a cafe. Keystones are Amfleet I's and PP with out food service. Keystones run Electric the entire trip, the Pennsylvanian does an engine switch in Philly as it runs all the way to Pittsburgh. If you want food service and a chair with a little more room the Pennsylvanian is the best way to go.

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I agree with (:P(K). Pennsylvanian is the way to go.

 

If you're into saving some $ and having an adventure you could (NJT) to trenton, :septa: to philly, and amtk from there, but it's not some smooth trip, you gotta change trains, and make it in time for the pennsylvanian. If you do take the transit option, even part of the way, you could try taking :septa: out on the keystone corridor to R5 thorndale station from 30th st. Other options include riding RiverLINE from trenton to camden and PATCO to philly.

 

Whatever you end up doing, good luck, be safe & have fun!

 

- A

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Thank you so much. Yeah, I'm probably gonna go with the Pennsylvanian. It seems to take about 20minutes longer, but there is no rush or anything. Arriving around 2pm there will probably work out, too.

 

Haha, although I pass the Amfleet cars at Sunnyside all the time, I haven't been on one since I was a kid.

 

Is it wishful thinking to try and catch one of the old Metroliner cars?

 

(http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr0401/amt9632.jpg) I have no idea what their status is, how many are operating/if any. They seem to have been stripped of their pantographs and given... "crash test" paint.

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I agree with (:P(K). Pennsylvanian is the way to go.

 

If you're into saving some $ and having an adventure you could (NJT) to trenton, :septa: to philly, and amtk from there, but it's not some smooth trip, you gotta change trains, and make it in time for the pennsylvanian. If you do take the transit option, even part of the way, you could try taking :septa: out on the keystone corridor to R5 thorndale station from 30th st. Other options include riding RiverLINE from trenton to camden and PATCO to philly.

 

Whatever you end up doing, good luck, be safe & have fun!

 

- A

 

Whoa, some nice ideas! Actually I believe the plan is to spend the last day in Philly, where I will probably take the R7 out to Trenton, and then of course NEC back to NYP. I've taken the R7 before, and of course I'm pretty savvy with the NEC - haha, there's just so much in/around Philly I want to explore. PATCO especially, for some reason.

 

I know the Amtrak ride is gonna be fun, even just taking (NJT) out to New Brunswick - I love the varied rolling stock, motive power, and speeds trains reach on that stretch. Taking a train that goes through both (NJT) and :septa: territory should be really nice - and of course the familiar LIRR through Queens to NYP - but that I do all the time.

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Well, what do you think is most important? Railfanning, speed, savings or comfort? The Keystone has the most time options, but it has the Regional-style Amfleet I cars. For a 2.75 hour trip, it shouldn't be a problem. The Pennsylvanian is more of a long-distance train.

 

If you want to railfan, you could take NJT to Trenton, R7 to 30 St, R5 to Downingtown (no Sunday service) and Amtrak to Lancaster. Tickets from Downingtown to Lancaster are unreserved and cost $8.

 

If you decide to go via the commuter rail, fare is $21.5(NJT)+$18(SEPTA)+$16(Amtrak) for a roundtrip.

 

Amtrak the whole way would cost $90 roundtrip, subject to increase because NYP-LNC is reserved.

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Thank you so much. Yeah, I'm probably gonna go with the Pennsylvanian. It seems to take about 20minutes longer, but there is no rush or anything. Arriving around 2pm there will probably work out, too.

 

Haha, although I pass the Amfleet cars at Sunnyside all the time, I haven't been on one since I was a kid.

 

Is it wishful thinking to try and catch one of the old Metroliner cars?

 

(http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr0401/amt9632.jpg) I have no idea what their status is, how many are operating/if any. They seem to have been stripped of their pantographs and given... "crash test" paint.

 

The Keystone uses old Metroliners as cab cars.

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The Keystone uses old Metroliners as cab cars.

 

Sadly you see more and more of them facing the locomotive these days. Their time is running out.

 

- A

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Well, what do you think is most important? Railfanning, speed, savings or comfort? The Keystone has the most time options, but it has the Regional-style Amfleet I cars. For a 2.75 hour trip, it shouldn't be a problem. The Pennsylvanian is more of a long-distance train.

 

If you want to railfan, you could take NJT to Trenton, R7 to 30 St, R5 to Downingtown (no Sunday service) and Amtrak to Lancaster. Tickets from Downingtown to Lancaster are unreserved and cost $8.

 

If you decide to go via the commuter rail, fare is $21.5(NJT)+$18(SEPTA)+$16(Amtrak) for a roundtrip.

 

Amtrak the whole way would cost $90 roundtrip, subject to increase because NYP-LNC is reserved.

 

I like your idea quite a bit - how much would you estimate the total trip would be? I myself would be up for a total exploration, but... dare I say it... I'm gonna have the g/f with me, and although she enjoys exploring and such, I think she wants to get there pretty easily, and then we take our time on the way back. I'm pretty sure I'm going to employ your route for the return trip. Hopefully I can squeeze an extra day in Lancaster so getting back is no rush, rather than being "dropped off" at 30th street on that Sunday.

 

And my new camera charger needs to get here already so I can take pictures, haha.

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Sadly you see more and more of them facing the locomotive these days. Their time is running out.

 

- A

 

My father still has a N scale Metroliner set... which he keeps 100% safe in the box due to the fact that it's in Penn Central livery. I wish I could find a picture online of the artwork on the exterior, it's pretty neat.

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Take the Keystone as it saves time and money. Trust me, any Amtrak service is simply too expensive. I would say that the seats might be comfortable, but the service is overall below average. If you ask me about the food, they are too expensive. Go Keystone!

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I like your idea quite a bit - how much would you estimate the total trip would be?

 

What exactly do you mean by total cost? The prices for both options are in my previous post. Only thing that will be different is bus to LIRR station (if any), LIRR ticket, and any transportation in Lancaster.

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I would suggest business class on the Pennsylvanian. BC uses the old metroliner first class coaches and is well worth the upgrade cost.

 

The Metroliner cabs were just given a level 3 overhaul. They won't be going anywhere for a long time.

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If you want even more variety, and possible savings, and time is of no consequence, why not add PATH from New York to Newark into the mix?

And while you're at it, subway from New York to Jamaica, and maybe even SEPTA subway from North Philly into downtown?

Sort of reminds me of that guy who wanted to travel coast to coast via Interurbans back in the 1920's.

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What exactly do you mean by total cost? The prices for both options are in my previous post. Only thing that will be different is bus to LIRR station (if any), LIRR ticket, and any transportation in Lancaster.

 

I apologize, I think I overlooked that at the time.

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I would suggest business class on the Pennsylvanian. BC uses the old metroliner first class coaches and is well worth the upgrade cost.

 

The Metroliner cabs were just given a level 3 overhaul. They won't be going anywhere for a long time.

 

Business class is really good. I use it when i can afford it.

 

- A

 

Unfortunately, I know there's zero way I could afford such a thing at that point, but I totally welcome the suggestion! One of these days I'm hoping to save up on a more long-distance trip where I'll look into upgrades, perhaps to Chicago or some other place I've always wanted to visit.

 

If you want even more variety, and possible savings, and time is of no consequence, why not add PATH from New York to Newark into the mix?

And while you're at it, subway from New York to Jamaica, and maybe even SEPTA subway from North Philly into downtown?

Sort of reminds me of that guy who wanted to travel coast to coast via Interurbans back in the 1920's.

 

Time is of... "little" consequence, I guess, as far as getting back goes. You know when you just don't use up those vacation days? Haha, kinda wish I had more in store, but anyways...

 

Taking the (E) from Jamaica is something I've done countless times, and since we're just getting off at Penn anyways, the savings there (per person) would just be nil.

 

LIRR Zone 4/Zone 1 = 1x$6.75 vs.

LIRR Zone 4/Zone 3 + subway = 1x $4.50+2.25 ($6.75 anyways.) Of course I I still have $$ on my metrocard, so that wouldn't be coming out of pocket right now. I think most of us, if money is not an object, prefer the above-ground/more comfortable/quicker ride on the LIRR - of course I'm sure you perhaps assumed I was coming from a different fare zone, I'm not sure how further tickets work.

 

What I like about your suggestion, coming from a fanning perspective is simply the fact that in all the time I've lived here, I've never once been on PATH, (or HBLR for that matter), and only on SEPTA a handful of times.

 

Haha, as I had mentioned before though, I'm gonna have the girl with me, and she's all about taking the adventurous route places, but I know if I present her with an overly-complex transportation method, she'll wanna take control... like the last time we had to take Megabus upstate instead of riding the train like I wanted. :mad: ...anyways.

 

That weekend is coming up soon - if I wanted to go to NYP there with the Keystone service, I've read it's "unreserved" ... does this mean it is in essence like buying a ticket for LIRR/NJT? I figure in any case, I'll be riding through a lot of interesting territory that I rarely see, and try to capture some pictures. I'm gonna try to get some nice ones of the Lancaster station to post, pics I've seen so far make it look like quite interesting.

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That weekend is coming up soon - if I wanted to go to NYP there with the Keystone service, I've read it's "unreserved" ... does this mean it is in essence like buying a ticket for LIRR/NJT?

 

NO. If you are travelling to NYP, it is reserved, and I recommend you book immediately. If you are getting off at Downingtown or anything west of Philadelphia inclusive, then it is unreserved and you just go buy a ticket. Lancaster has a ticket office.

 

If you are planning to go back via the commuter rail option:

 

Downingtown has no ticket offices/machines. You will have to buy onboard for a $1 surcharge (or buy online at shop.septa.org). Ask for a "via center city" ticket to Trenton. It should be $10 one-way onboard. To avoid missing your connection at Trenton, I suggest buying your Trenton-NYP ticket at NYP before getting on the Amtrak train to Lancaster.

 

$12.5(NJT)+$10:septa:

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