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Hitting the road: Yankees and Mets fans are "safe" with Amtrak

Yankees and Mets fans can travel in style this season by riding aboard Amtrak to their rivals' cities.
Yankees and Mets fans can travel in style this season by riding aboard Amtrak to their rivals' cities.
David Kriso

Are there any Mets and Yankees fans out there? The 2014 season is just around the corner. Traveling to baseball stadiums outside the New York area is a fun and memorable experience. There's no better experience than mingling with the fans of the opposing team. As long as trash talk is avoided, it's all good. When it comes to seeing the Mets or Yankees play against their arch-rivals, taking the train is the best way to get there in style. Here are some key pointers and directions in making that grand slam experience on the road the utmost memorable.

The Mets and Yankees play 162 games during the regular season. For Mets and Yankees fans, the games that really matter are the heated rivalries which have defined seasons of years past. The Mets have two east coast rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals. The “Nats” are determined to be this year's National League Champions, and possibly win it all. The Mets and Nationals have had some interesting match-ups in recent years. The Nationals play in Nationals Park. Getting to Washington DC and Nationals Park by train is very easy. All that fans have to do is take an Amtrak train to Washington’s Union Station. Fans should to arrive at New York or Newark Penn Station at least half hour to forty minutes prior to their train’s departure. The ride on Amtrak's Northeast Regional Service to Washington DC is three hours. If taking the Acela Express, the ride is two hours and forty minutes.

Amtrak's reservations can't be any easier. Simply, it is a "walk in the park". Fans can easily go to and book the trains of their choice. Amtrak's Northeast Regional Service features Business and Coach class. Business class costs approximately thirty dollars each direction per passenger. Also in Business Class, passengers are allowed one complimentary non-alcoholic beverage from the cafe car when they present their ticket. Coach Class includes a quiet car. If fans wish to travel in the quiet car, they must keep their voices down. Further, cell phones must be set to "vibrate" or turned off. Amtrak's Acela Express features First Class and Business Class. First Class features a menu with hot items. Fans can view their ticket options on, or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Obtaining Amtrak tickets has become even easier than before. The newest ticketing service available is the e-ticket. Fans can have their tickets emailed to them. Once printed out, they are used both going and returning. On the ticket printout, there is a QR code. With a hand scanner, a crew member scans the QR code. Fans can still pick up their tickets at the ticket window, from a Quick Trak kiosk, or via the mail. Fans must book their trip at least two weeks prior to traveling in order for their tickets to be mailed. If using a Quik Trak kiosk, fans must insert the credit card they used to purchase their tickets. The credit card acts as the fan's proof of ID. As said before, it is a "walk in the park".

Upon arrival at Union Station, it is a quick walk downstairs to the Metro subway. Union Station is on the Metro's red line. Fans are to ride the red line to Gallery Place-Chinatown where they will change trains to the green line. Next, fans need to take a green line train toward Branch Avenue. The Navy Yard Metro station is less than a quarter of a mile walk to Nationals Park. Most important, fans must book their return train at a reasonable time following the game. It is vital to have ample time to ride the Metro back to Union Station, including the transfer at Gallery Place-Chinatown. There’s nothing better than escaping with a sweet victory.

For the Mets, there's no bigger rivalry than the Philadelphia Phillies. Taking the train to watch the Mets in Philadelphia is fairly simple. Just as they are going to Washington DC, fans need to take Amtrak's Northeast Regional service or Acela Express to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. The ride time to Philadelphia from the New York area is approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. The Acela Express covers the route in fifty minutes. After arriving at 30th Street Station, the SEPTA subway is located outside the station. Once aboard the Market/Frankford Line, fans will take the SEPTA subway to 15th Street. At 15th Street, it's a quick transfer to the Broad Street Line. The Broad Street Line train takes fans south to Pattison. The sports and entertainment complex, including Citizens Bank Park, is within walking distance. At the game’s conclusion, fans must give themselves ample time to return to 30th Street Station. Further, they must make sure that they are booked on a train departing at a decent hour. It's best to avoid rushing back from the stadium. As always, it’s great to head home with a big win in the bag.

The Yankees have two storied rivals of their own. Their rivals are the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox. Traveling from the New York area to Baltimore, again, is very easy. Yankees fans can travel to Baltimore’s Penn Station in style on board Amtrak's Acela Express or a Northeast Regional train. The train ride is approximately two and a half hours. Upon arrival at Baltimore’s Penn Station, fans are to proceed upstairs to the MTA light rail train. If missing the train at Penn Station, the other option is to walk three blocks to Mount Royal Station. Mount Royal is on the light rail's blue and yellow lines. The light rail ride to Camden Yards is ten minutes. As always, fans should book their return train at a decent hour, giving themselves enough time to return to Penn Station. It’s always great to feel relaxed and refreshed before the journey home. Even better, it sure feels great stealing a win from the home team.

The second and last of the Yankees' rivals cannot be missed. The Yankees and the Red Sox are the oldest rivalry in professional baseball. Traveling to Boston is a fun trip. Just like traveling to Washington, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, fans should always give themselves a reasonable amount of time to get to New York or Newark Penn Station. If traveling on a Northeast Regional train, the trip to Boston South Station is approximately four hours and forty-five minutes. The trip to Boston on the Acela Express is four hours and ten minutes. The scenery on the ride to Boston is absolutely spectacular. From seeing the New York skyline from the Hellgate Bridge, to speeding along the Connecticut shoreline, and accelerating through the Massachusetts countryside, it is a ride not to be passed up.

Upon arrival at Boston South Station, fans will board a the T subway. South Station is located on the T's red line. Fans are to take the red line towards Alewife, and get off at Park Street. The T subway ride to Park Street is under ten minutes. The Park Street station is within walking distance of Fenway Park. Again, fans must be sure that they are booked on a train at a decent hour following the game. An overnight stay in the Boston area is highly recommended. The more relaxed, the more they will be looking forward to their ride home from hostile territory. Stealing a win from the Red Sox on their home field always puts that sweet feeling of victory deep inside. When bragging rights are on the line, taking the train is the right way to go home with them.

Baseball has always been America’s past time. Riding the rails has been a part of America's culture far longer than the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. With the 2014 Major League Baseball season approaching, it is important to know how great of a convenience the train is. It's even more of a convenience when fans want to get out of hostile territory without any trash talk exchanged. If Yankees and Mets fans want to attend games at their team's rivals’ ball parks, they can count on Amtrak. The local mass transit systems in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Boston are available and at the ready to get fans to and from the games without the hassle. Taking the train makes every professional sports road trip worth the while. If someone should ask what RBI stands for, the answer is “Railroad...Brilliant Idea”.

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