Working on a high-speed train: the Acela Express

Summary:Travelling by plane in the US can be a hassle nowadays with the stringent security checks. If you're travelling between Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC, consider taking the high-speed Acela Express train.

Travelling by plane in the US can be a hassle nowadays with the stringent security checks. If you're travelling between Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC, consider taking the high-speed Acela Express train. (More details here.) Here are some tips:

-- Book your Acela Express ticket online at the Amtrak website. Buy a First Class train ticket instead of the normal Business Class. They are cheaper than First Class plane tickets and are worth the price for business travellers.

-- Arrive early at the train station, collect your ticket at the ticketing machines and enjoy the ClubAcela lounge for First Class passengers. Have a complimentary snack and drink. The Boston ClubAcela lounge I visited had free WiFi access and plenty of power sockets.

-- Board the train early (15 minutes before scheduled departure) and pick a good First Class seat. The seats are much more comfortable and spacious than economy plane seats. Some seats have wide tables that are conducive for working on a laptop. Power supply is available at both sides of the train carriage.

-- You can bring on board 2 pieces of pieces of luggage (if they are not too bulky) and stow them in the overhead compartments or the empty spaces between the seats.

-- Hot meals are served in First Class. But eating on a train that's zooming along at 240 km/h can be challenging sometimes.

-- WiFi is not available in the train but you can get AT&T GPRS/EDGE mobile data access on your mobile device during most parts of the trip. (This is the same mobile data network used by the Apple iPhone.)

I enjoyed my ride on the Acela Express and I found it much more convenient than taking a flight. Travelling by train takes more time than flying, but the train stations are right in the heart of the cities and you don't need to waste time travelling to/from the airport.

(I posted this blog entry on board the Acela Express using my laptop connected to the AT&T EDGE mobile data network on my Nokia N73 via Bluetooth.)

Topics: Mobility

About

Lee Lup Yuen is passionate about mobile phones and PDAs, as he is constantly buying new gadgets and programming them in J2ME, .NET, Symbian and AppForge. He has developed commercial applications with mobile technologies like SMS, MMS, WAP, 3G video streaming and location-based services.

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