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I'm arriving at Newark Airport(EWR) around 11:30 pm. I need to travel onwards to Philadelphia. I checked the travel options (Amtrak, NJ transit) and the first train seems to be an Amtrak from New York Penn Station at roughly 2.30 AM. Are there any other options I'm missing which depart earlier?

  • I think you've misread the timetable. There is an Amtrak train that arrives in NY Penn at 2:30 AM and departs at 3:00 or 3:25 depending on the day, but I don't see one that leaves at 2:30 AM. But both of those stop in Newark Penn, which is somewhat easier to get to, about 20 minutes after they leave NY. – phoog Sep 5 '18 at 14:35
  • Depending on the time zone you're coming from, your schedule, and your budget, you might consider sleeping in an airport hotel and taking a train from the airport train station in the morning. – phoog Sep 5 '18 at 14:48
  • Another feasible itinerary for your trip could be to take a train from Newark Airport -> Trenton Transit Center and then from Trenton Transit Center to Philadelphia 30St Station. I'm not sure what the frequency for these lines are late at night. The other thing that I'd recommend also considering is delays and budgeting for some time to account for them. If you have family in Philly who can come and pick you up then Trenton isn't a bad drive either (about 30 mins each side that late in the night) – nikhil Sep 5 '18 at 15:04
  • @Nikhil the earliest possible train to Trenton arrives after the last train to Philly, which leaves shortly after midnight. The next train is between 6 and 7 AM, the exact time depending on the day. See my comment to the accepted answer: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/121848/… – phoog Sep 5 '18 at 21:14
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The other option, if you can make it would be:

  1. Get the NJ Transit bus (check the route here) at Terminal B to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
  2. Get the NY City Transit (Subway) 7 from Time Sq. St. 42 to 34th Street-Hudson Yards
  3. Arrive in time for the 1:15 Megabus to Philadelphia.

EDIT: This will have a longer travel time but you will reach Philadelphia earlier.

  • Why go all the way into Manhattan? – phoog Sep 5 '18 at 13:01
  • @phoog that is the other earlier option potentially suiting OP's timeframe. – Newton Sep 5 '18 at 13:30
  • Oh I see. I was thinking of NJ transit from the airport station, but that would mean waiting in Trenton until after 6 AM. – phoog Sep 5 '18 at 14:23
  • @Newton: Thank you. If I wait inside the airport, is this area considered safe? Probably I don't want to wait at Newark Penn Station at night, correct? – stephanmg Sep 5 '18 at 14:30
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    @StephanM.G. in my experience, baggage handling is the limiting factor, though I'm more familiar with JFK than Newark. Flightaware currently shows 22 arrivals between 23:00 and midnight tonight, so the time of day may not be so helpful in that regard. It's certainly safe to wait in the airport. Probably also in Newark Penn Station, which I expect has police officers in evidence through the night. That is certainly true in New York Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. – phoog Sep 5 '18 at 14:43
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11:30pm at Newark Airport is a tricky time for getting to Philadelphia. If you were arriving just a bit earlier, you could take NJTransit train leaving Newark Airport at 11:02pm weekdays and change to SEPTA Trenton line arriving in 2 - 2.5 hours for $28. Since it will be too late for that, here are other plausible options, ordered from fastest to cheapest:

  • Uber the whole way. Cost: about $120 assuming there's not a surge. Time: 1.5 - 2 hours.

  • NJTransit train to Trenton, Uber to Philadelphia. Cost: about $70 (train $18, Uber about $50). Time: 2 - 2.5 hours (leave Newark Airport 12:37am, arrive Philadelphia about 2:45am). (Note, Trenton train station isn't in the best neighborhood, but should be safe enough if you have your wits about you. The Uber options also have the advantage of delivering you directly to your destination in Philadelphia.)

  • NJTransit train to New York, Megabus to Philadelpia. Cost: about $35. Time: about 3 hours (leave Newark Airport 12:02am, walk 0.7mi to Megabus stop, arrive Philadelphia 3:20am). (This option is based on Newton's answer. EDIT: Both Newton's answer (using the bus) and this option (using the NJTransit train) are cutting the time quite close. This is only a problem if something is slightly delayed, which happens rather often. You should have a different plan as your backup.)

  • NJTransit to Trenton, Amtrak to Philadelphia. Cost: $45. Time: about 4 hours (leave Newark Airport 12:37am or 1:45am, arrive Philadelphia 4:27am). (For a few dollars more, you can change in MetroPark or Newark Penn Station instead of Trenton.)

  • NJTransit to Trenton, next morning SEPTA to Philadelphia. Cost: $28. Time: about 6 hours (leave Newark Airport 12:37am or 1:45am, arrive Philadelphia 6:17am).

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