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Taking Train from Allentown to Washington DC

Allentown...
1 post
Taking Train from Allentown to Washington DC

I see the conversations regarding overnight parking at Lansdale/Colmar...and see that traveling by train to Washington DC from these stations appears simple. Question is, in which stations will I need to switch trains? Thinking Colmar to 30th Street, then direct to Union Station in DC, where I will want to transfer to King Street Station near Alexandria VA...as I'd like to stay in a hotel very near that station. Am I thinking correctly?

Further, can I buy a ticket that will get me trough all stops? or do I need to buy one for each leg--Colmar to 30th street / 30th street to Union Station / Union to King Street.

Finally, is buying them at the ticket windows the way to go, or can I buy them on line ahead? I am simply concerned about on-line purchases, in case I end up reading the schedules incorrectly.

Appreciate any thoughts.

Thanks!

2 replies to this topic
Bucks County...
Destination Expert
for Philadelphia, Train Travel, Bucks County
Level Contributor
9,872 posts
97 reviews
1. Re: Taking Train from Allentown to Washington DC

All separate fares, separate rail systems. The only one it makes sense to buy in advance is the AMTRAK ticket. Yes, you change at 30th Street.

Coopersburg...
Destination Expert
for Allentown
Level Contributor
647 posts
207 reviews
2. Re: Taking Train from Allentown to Washington DC

I suggest parking in Lansdale only because more trains go there than they do to Colmar, so if you miss one, you can get another usually within the hour. Colmar trains are a little sparser. So you would take the local SEPTA train to 30th Street station and from there go to the Amtrak train, which is in a different part of the building. The signage is there, but it's a very busy, huge station so give yourself enough time to go from one to the other. You cannot buy your SEPTA train ticket on-line but the Lansdale station has a live person and long hours so that's usually not a problem. At Colmar, there is no ticket window and I don't think there's even a bathroom - another reason I prefer Lansdale. Lansdale also has a really nice little coffee shop. If you are running short on time at Lansdale, you can buy your ticket on the train.

Lansdale- Make sure you have change for the parking meters. They're pretty cheap, like $2.00 for overnight, but I don't think they accept anything except change and different meters allow different periods of time. You'll see when you enter the lot.

As to the Amtrak train - yes, buy that ticket on-line and do it ASAP to get the best price. Prices do change and go up closer to the date. They also sell out. You can get a discount using AAA. I took the Amtrak to DC last year around this time and it was tremendously easy.

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