Not since 1950 have the Philadelphia Phillies screeched into New York's Penn Station to play the Yankees in the World Series. Monday night, however, a chartered Amtrak train from Philadelphia to New York City delivered the team via rail amidst rush hour commuter madness. According to the New York Times, the decision to travel via train was a logical one: the distance to New York is too short to fly and a bus could sit in tunnel traffic longer than the Acela ride from start to finish. Either way, it brings the baseball players to their opening game amidst a wave of nostalgia, as baseball and train travel are historically united.
The modern-day Phillies have been taking Amtrak for several years for games in Washington, D.C., but the team ordinarily takes a bus to New York. They now join several professional sports teams traveling the Amtrak Northeast Corridor, including the Knicks, Flyers, 76ers and, occasionally, even the Boston Red Sox.
Amtrak arranged special security to clear a path through the commuters and fans (and hecklers) so the team could unload safely in Manhattan. According to Amtrak, the athletes join throngs of fans who will use the train to travel 91 miles between Philadelphia and New York to watch the Series. The players will take private, chartered trains, but fans can choose from several different services to make it to the ballpark.
Amtrak polled commuters on the Northeast Corridor (between NYC and Philly) about their baseball team preferences. Public-transit fans chose the New York Yankees over the Philadelphia Phillies by a 1.7-to-one margin. When given a choice between team T-shirts, 334 passengers received Yankee T-shirts, and 197 passengers favored the ones for the Phillies.
Want more eco-sports news? Find out how baseball stadiums are going green.
Additional photos: Kathy Willens/Associated Press.