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Going to Dulles from Philadelphia: a few questions

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Philadelphia...
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Going to Dulles from Philadelphia: a few questions

I'm flying out on July 4th (going to Armenia and then Russia; flying out of Philadelphia would have cost me a minimum of $400 more) and I haven't used IAD before. It looks like the most practical public transportation route uses Amtrak, the Orange Line, and then an airport bus; is this correct? And would the New Carrollton station be the best place to connect with the Metro?

I was wondering about Megabus, as one option, but wasn't sure where it stops in connection with getting on the Metro to hook up with the airport bus.

Also, anything I should be aware of with traveling in Washington on the 4th? The flight leaves at 2:45PM, so it'll be an early train or bus out of Philadelphia, I'm thinking. :)

I posted this here as I figured Philadelphians would have more specific instructions than Washingtonians in this instance.

Thanks for any info or hints!

Philadelphia
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1. Re: Going to Dulles from Philadelphia: a few questions

I actually think you will do better to post this on the washington dc forum.

Bucks County...
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2. Re: Going to Dulles from Philadelphia: a few questions

I agree. Ask this question on the Washington forum.

Dearborn, Michigan
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3. Re: Going to Dulles from Philadelphia: a few questions

I have been living and working most of the time in the DC area for the past 3 years, so think that I can answer this.

To Dulles from Philadelphia on public transit, Amtrak to the DC Metro Rail system and then a bus to Dulles is the way to go. Go to www:wmata.com and look at a Metro Rail map. You will see that there are a couple of options. Least complicated is the one that you mentioned:

1. Amtrak to New Carrollton station, then the Metro Rail's Orange Line to West Falls Church station in Virginia. From there, take the Washington Flyer Express bus directly to Dulles.

New Carrolton is in MD and is the eastern terminus of the Orange Line, so there are quite a few stops between New Carrolton and West Falls Church. The good news is that there are no transfers. Once you are on the Orange Line, all you have to worry about is not missing the West Falls Church station. Be aware that most but not all Amtrak trains stop at New Carrollton.

Other options involve Amtrak to Union Station in DC, taking the Red Line from Union Station and then transferring to either of two other lines to Reagan National Airport. From Reagan National, the semi-express Metro Bus Route 5A will take you to Dulles. The map will show additional permutations, but I recommend New Carrollton to West Falls Church as being the least complicated. No reason to make things difficult as you are about to leave on an overseas trip.

2. Instead of New Carrollton, you could stay on Amtrak to Union Station in DC (it is the last stop). From there, you could take the Red Line to Gallery Place and transfer to the Yellow Line to Reagan National Airport. From Reagan National, take the semi-express Metro Bus (Route 5A) to Dulles.

3. Another alternative is to take the Red Line from Union Station to Metro Center and transfer to the Orange Line and continue to West Falls Church.

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: Going to Dulles from Philadelphia: a few questions

Thanks, I appreciate the info and confirmation on Amtrak being the easiest. :) Pricing on that route doesn't look too bad at the moment, so I'll definitely be saving big with flying IAD. (And actually not much time difference in the whole trip, as flights out of PHL seemed to all have a connecting flight in JFK anyway.)

5. Re: Going to Dulles from Philadelphia: a few questions

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