For weekend Amtrak travelers to and from New York, good news is on the horizon. Starting with the switch to the spring and summer timetable on April 28, the railroad will add an extra early evening train on Sundays to relieve the mob scene at New York's Pennsylvania Station.
Amtrak sells reduced-price excursion tickets on its Northeast Corridor routes. A round trip costs 1 1/2 times the price of a one-way trip. But the excursion tickets cannot be used between 1 and 7 p.m. on either Friday or Sunday (or on Monday, if it's a federal holiday).
That means that a mob shows up at Penn Station on Sundays to catch the 7:30 p.m. train to Washington. Since the track on which the train will depart isn't announced until the last minute, the waiting mob mills back and forth.
Metro Scene described this situation in November. According to an Amtrak spokesman, the railroad's president, W. Graham Claytor, read the column and ordered an investigation. It found that Metro Scene was correct, the spokesman said, so Claytor added a 7:05 p.m. New York-Washington train in addition to the Boston-New York-Washington train that leaves New York at 7:30 p.m.
Additionally, a 7:05 p.m. train from New York bound for Washington will be added on Friday evenings. And a new train will depart from Washington at 4:55 a.m. Saturdays and Mondays, arriving in New York at 8:14 a.m.