'

Working on a high-speed train: the Acela Express

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.)