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Best Train to Stamford---from EWR? or LGA???

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Old Sep 14, 10, 10:24 pm
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Best Train to Stamford---from EWR? or LGA???

Howdy..... need to get to Stamford, CT on a Friday afternoon-to-evening.....but travel agent says flying into WhitePlains (HPN) is way too costly!

I don't mind taking a train to Stamford, but can't decide whether flying into EWR or LGA is better.

I'm leaning towards flying into EWR, then simple monorail ride to Amtrak with relatively comfortable trains leaving about every hour in the 4-7pm period. But flying into LGA, and taking the M60 bus to the 125th St Metro-North station provides high-frequency service, but on crowded bus/train, although I'd just have one rollaboard suitcase.

Interestingly, both routes time-out to about the same duration! (Maybe Metro-North 20 mins faster if I make a perfect bus-to-express-train connection)

(Cost is not the main factor, since I'm saving on a rental car anyway.)

Advice from the indigenous population is welcomed.....thanks in advance!
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Old Sep 14, 10, 10:34 pm
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Amtrak would be way more comfortable, but it's also more expensive.

The ride from Harlem to Stamford on Metro North is not that long, 35 minutes or so on the express, so if you had to stand it's not the end of the world. Depending on what time you get into New York, there may not be that many trains (only one or two an hour after say 9 pm).

If you wanted to do Metro North and be guaranteed a seat, go to Grand Central instead of 125. Unless you get onto the train in the last five or ten minutes, you will get a seat, if you are there in the afternoon you can just go to the next train which will probably be totally empty and kick back a few minutes.

Amtrak would be the least hassle trip, but if you went Metro North it would not be too bad.

NOTE - the above about Metro North assumes you are traveling at any time other than when a Yankees game is letting out. The trains to Connecticut are horrible when all the fans get on at 125th. Most all the regulars hate those times.
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Old Sep 14, 10, 10:50 pm
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Why not just rent a car or take CT Limo? I can't think of a worse way to get from the NY airports to anywhere in CT than by train.
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Old Sep 14, 10, 11:05 pm
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It's really not that bad.

From LGA you could take the bus to Grand Central, then take Metro North to Stamford.

From Newark you take the airtrain to Amtrak, then an hour and a half later you get off in Stamford. You could spend way more than that in traffic if you are taking a bus or limo.

There are times it could be horrible, but there are many times it's probably one of the easiest ways to go.
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Old Sep 14, 10, 11:46 pm
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Originally Posted by newbiztraveler View Post
Why not just rent a car or take CT Limo? I can't think of a worse way to get from the NY airports to anywhere in CT than by train.
Amtrak from EWR is fine. Heck it isn't hard to take the M60 to 125th,and grab Metro-North outside of peak times. I think driving yourself would be the worst option dealing with traffic. I'm assuming your not from the area?
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Old Sep 15, 10, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by peersteve View Post
Howdy..... need to get to Stamford, CT on a Friday afternoon-to-evening.....but travel agent says flying into WhitePlains (HPN) is way too costly!
I love that you said "Howdy" in the NYC forum.

Taking Amtrak I think is a waste of money but if comfort is your main concern over money, then do it.

I'm with Howie on this. Taking the M60 bus to 125th Street to Metro North is the easiest. You can always take a taxi if you don't like taking the bus. Tell the cabbie to take you to 125th and Park in Manhattan. As for going to Grand Central on a Friday afternoon/evening, you might get stuck in midtown traffic. Moreover, Grand Central will be quite crowded and you mentioned not liking crowds.

I don't mind taking a train to Stamford, but can't decide whether flying into EWR or LGA is better.
If the airfare is about the same, LGA I think is better.

I'm leaning towards flying into EWR, then simple monorail ride to Amtrak with relatively comfortable trains leaving about every hour in the 4-7pm period. But flying into LGA, and taking the M60 bus to the 125th St Metro-North station provides high-frequency service, but on crowded bus/train, although I'd just have one rollaboard suitcase.
Again, you can always take a taxi to the 125th Street Metro North station.

Let us know what you decide.
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Old Sep 15, 10, 12:27 pm
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I concur with those who said the train (MetroNorth) is do-able. I wouldn't call it the preferred method if you're looking for something direct, but a bus or a cab ride from the airport to GCT or 125th St. is all you need to pick up a connection to Stamford. The trip from either station is relatively quick to Stamford.
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Old Sep 15, 10, 12:37 pm
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Hey by the way, if you do Metro North and are not familiar with riding them

Schedules are online at MTA.info

If yo take it from 125th Street, pay attention to the overhead signs, there are often two trains coming in at once, and people get on the wrong one by mistake almost every day, and they usually won't stop to let you off and come back unless you are incredibly good looking.

Peak times to Stamford are any train that leaves Grand Central (10 minutes before the Harlem / 125th Street station) before nine in the morning, or any train leaving Grand Central between 4 and 8 pm.

Tickets, if bought from the machines before getting on the train are $9.25 off peak, and $12.25 peak. All of the machines take plastic, but not all of them take cash (I know, it's really stupid) but they say on the front if they do or not.

Tickets, if bought on the train are $5.75 more, cash only.
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Old Sep 15, 10, 12:40 pm
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Well, Howdy, again......thanks for the advice, but this cowpoke ain't driving no trails to Connect-i-cut when the simple directions are to take some tunnel to some bridge to a Major D to a minor cars-only parkway to a thruway to a turnpike to a tollroad......but mostly I don't want the one to be stuck returning rental car when rushing for a flight (plenty of colleagues will have rental cars for convoys back to airports).

Group consensus about flying into LGA makes sense, now that I see there are express trains Harlem-125 to Stamford departing frequently until 8pm or so. (I've taken the M60 bus from LGA several times to connect to elevated subway station near Astoria, right?, when heading to that Reniassance on 50th.) There's the hassle of finding a MetroCard machine at LGA--not sure there is one at DL terminal --- or I suppose actual cash (change) still works.

My latest schedule has me in Birmingham, AL (BHM) the day before, and the DL non-stop BHM-LGA (lv 2:20pm, ar 6pm) looks awfully attractive!

Always an adventure in the NYC area for us out of towners.......thanks!
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Old Sep 15, 10, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post

If yo take it from 125th Street, pay attention to the overhead signs, there are often two trains coming in at once, and people get on the wrong one by mistake almost every day, and they usually won't stop to let you off and come back unless you are incredibly good looking.
Good thing you're a stud!

Originally Posted by peersteve
Well, Howdy, again......thanks for the advice, but this cowpoke ain't driving no trails to Connect-i-cut when the simple directions are to take some tunnel to some bridge to a Major D to a minor cars-only parkway to a thruway to a turnpike to a tollroad......but mostly I don't want the one to be stuck returning rental car when rushing for a flight (plenty of colleagues will have rental cars for convoys back to airports).
I must admit that I enjoyed reading that. It's not just 'cowpokes' who prefer taking the train.

Group consensus about flying into LGA makes sense, now that I see there are express trains Harlem-125 to Stamford departing frequently until 8pm or so. (I've taken the M60 bus from LGA several times to connect to elevated subway station near Astoria, right?, when heading to that Reniassance on 50th.)
You would be staying on the M60 and crossing into Manhattan. Get off at Park Ave.

There's the hassle of finding a MetroCard machine at LGA--not sure there is one at DL terminal --- or I suppose actual cash (change) still works.
No hassle at all. Hudson News sells metrocards. Also, as you said, cash does work for the $2.25 fare (no bills, no pennies).
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Old Sep 15, 10, 4:05 pm
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If the timing works, EWR-Stamford Acela would be nice! But I'd take Amtrak regardless.
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Old Sep 15, 10, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post

I must admit that I enjoyed reading that. It's not just 'cowpokes' who prefer taking the train.
Gee thanks *blush*.....shucks, us folks from fly-over land appreciate the compliments...... didn't know that Hudson Newsstands sell Metrocards! I hate to look like a tourist fumbling for change on bus, or when my 10-gallon hat gets caught in the subway straps!

thanks all!

Last edited by dstan; Sep 15, 10 at 8:14 pm Reason: repaired broken quote
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Old Sep 15, 10, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by stevenshev View Post
If the timing works, EWR-Stamford Acela would be nice! But I'd take Amtrak regardless.
You would have to transfer for that, the Acela doesn't stop at the airport station.
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Old Sep 15, 10, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by peersteve View Post
Gee thanks *blush*.....shucks, us folks from fly-over land appreciate the compliments...... didn't know that Hudson Newsstands sell Metrocards! I hate to look like a tourist fumbling for change on bus, or when my 10-gallon hat gets caught in the subway straps!
The newsstands sometimes run out of the more desirable Metrocard denominations, so be sure to check at the airside newsstands (there's a CNBC branded one and a NY NY branded one) before you exit security as the landside newsstand is most likely to sell out.

Or just bring a [Slim Pickens voice from Blazing Saddles]shitlоad of dimes.[/voice]
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Old Sep 24, 10, 4:01 pm
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And the result was.....

Well, I'd like to report on the good experience of the M60 bus to MNR train to Stanford.........but as fate would have it, DL cancelled my ATL-LGA flight, so the option of flying right into HPN-Westchester for Stamford became available......the only hassle was racing a herd of enraged Noo Yawkers from gate B2 to D30 at ATL to get seat assignments for HPN......luckily my pointy-toed cowboy boots (ostrich skin, of course) can puncture Tumi and B&R rollaboards, which slows down the crowd trying to fly home to New Rochelle on a Friday afternoon (Rob Petrie got the last upgrade seat on the CRJ900 to HPN, I think).

thanks again to all!
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