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Old 10-20-2019, 10:01 PM
rfb rfb started this thread
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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I'll be taking a train from Union Station in Raleigh in December. This will be my first train ride, so I'm looking for some pointers. Some of my questions are generic, but a few are specific to taking a train from Raleigh.

- What is the best way to drop off luggage for the trip?
- Where is the best place to park for a few days?
- How early should I arrive for the trip?
- Do I need anything beyond a Driver's License for identification?
- Do the seats have electrical outlets? And does the train have wifi?
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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If you're looking to park, I would take the train out of Cary. There isn't readily available free parking in downtown Raleigh and it would be pricey for a few days trip (if you do want to risk it, I like parking on the dead-end section of S Harrington St south of the tracks since there are no parking signs on one side of the street, but depends if any spots are available when you show up (also it sounds like you have luggage, unless you're traveling with someone).

(If you do change your itinerary, you'd have to change your ticket on Amtrak since if you aren't on the train at your departure stop, they could cancel your ticket)

You should be at the station in Raleigh at least 15-30 minutes ahead of time. It's a bit of a walk from the station to the platform and they close the gates 5 minutes before departure. Since it sounds like you're checking in luggage, I would show up 45 min-1 hour before.

(Amtrak trains - especially the Florida/DC longer distance trains - usually run late so you can track it here: https://www.amtrak.com/track-your-train.html or check the status on the Amtrak site to determine when you actually do need to show up)

Seats have electrical outlets. There is wi-fi but it's definitely not reliable and at best dial-up internet speeds haha

I've never had an ID checked on the train but I suppose it is possible that they could ask while checking tickets.
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:41 AM
 
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The northbound Carolinian is within 30 minutes of schedule at Raleigh probably 80% of the time. The southbound Carolinian typically runs 60 or 90 minutes late at Raleigh. The southbound Silver Star is within 30 minutes of schedule at Raleigh probably 60% of the time. The northbound Silver Star typically runs 60 to 120 minutes late at Raleigh.

Next time you travel by train, consider boarding at Cary (although parking there can fill up). Or if you live near 540 in north Raleigh or east Raleigh and you are headed to/from DC and points northeast, consider boarding at Rocky Mount where parking is also free.
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Old 10-24-2019, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Beautiful and sanitary DC
1,554 posts, read 2,242,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfb View Post
- What is the best way to drop off luggage for the trip?
- How early should I arrive for the trip?
- Do I need anything beyond a Driver's License for identification?
- Do the seats have electrical outlets? And does the train have wifi?
You can drop off checked luggage in advance; I've even done so a day in advance. Minimum check time is 45 minutes, though. Not all other stations have baggage service, though, so make sure that your destination station does.

You can arrive whenever; I'm usually one of the guys sprinting through at literally the last minute.

ID is rarely checked, and a DL is okay.

Tip: if your at-seat outlet is broken, there are more (and more stable tables!) in the cafe/lounge.
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