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I would be landing in Newark Airport with an international flight on Thursday at 16:40 PM, planning to get to UPenn immediately after.

I will have suitcase with me and a small backpack. I wanted to take an Amtrak train from the airport to Philadelphia 30th Street Station, but there are no available trains that allow checked baggage, and my suitcase is larger than the size allowed on board.

Are there any other options for traveling by train with a suitcase? Can I find buses between those two points? If so, where? and are suitcases allowed on buses?

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Even though you've already mentioned, but I'll ask to confirm - your suitcase is exceeding dimensions of 28" x 22" x 14" and weight of 50 lbs? –  Incognito Feb 19 '13 at 15:56
Another option is to have a car service. No baggage rules whatsoever. –  user4549 Feb 19 '13 at 17:40

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

How large is your suitcase? Amtrak's carry-on rules are loosely enforced compared to the airlines. On Amtrak, "no checked luggage" means that you cannot check your bags with Amtrak (e.g. if the train has no baggage car); you can still bring them onboard and look after them yourself. The trains on the Northeast Corridor have overhead racks as well as shelves at the end of each car where you can stash your bags.

There are no intercity buses to Philadelphia which depart directly from EWR (Trans Bridge Lines only serves some Northeast and Central Pennsylvania destinations). You would need get to Newark Penn Station, where BoltBus and Greyhound connections are available. BoltBus and Greyhound will both have luggage compartments. This will, however, require a commuter train or bus connection, vehicles which will not have luggage racks or storage. The $30 or so for a taxi may be worth it, but note that you would be arriving after the start of rush hour.

Note also that the Greyhound station in Philadelphia is located near the Market East Station, not 30th Street Station. To get to UPenn you'd need to take the Market-Frankford Line from 11th Street. BoltBus goes to JFK and 30th Street near 30th Street Station, which is a longish walk to Penn, although with a large bag at night, a taxi may be a better idea. You will arrive in Philadelphia too late for the LUCY shuttle.

There is a possibility that long-distance trains that do permit checked baggage stop at NWK, but I did not check.

Directly from the EWR train station you could take an NJ TRANSIT Northeast Corridor Line train to Trenton, then connect to a SEPTA Trenton Line train to Center City/30th Street. You will not be able to buy SEPTA tickets at EWR, so leave time at the Trenton Transit Center to purchase tickets, or bring cash to purchase them on board. There is a penalty for on-board ticket sales, but you can receive credit for the difference if you are making a round trip.

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SEPTA is the way to go, good call. –  Stephen P. Feb 20 '13 at 0:17

Apart from finding a bus, as mentioned by Karlson in his reply, if you prefer to take a train, you have few options

  • In case your suitcase is within prescribed dimensions of 28" x 22 " x 14" and weighs not more than 50 lbs, then you can take an Amtrak train from Newark Liberty International Airport station. This station can be easily reached from any terminal using Air Train. If you're already carrying an Amtrak ticket, then you would not need to pay $5.50 fee for using Air Train and getting down at this station. From there, you can take a train to 30th Street Station in Philly.
  • In case your suitcase is more than the dimension mentioned above, but is not exceeding 75 linear inches ( length + breadth + height), then you can utilize the Checked Baggage service at Newark Penn station. From there, you can take a train to 30th Street Station in Philly.
  • Third option is, take Airtrain to Newark Liberty International Airport station. Then take a NJ Transit train to Newark Penn station. From there, you can take a train to Trenton Transit Center. Change again, from there for a train to 3oth St, Philly
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protected by Ankur Banerjee Feb 19 '13 at 17:42

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