Inner City Stations
Alexandria Station - Zone 2
There is no parking available at this station.
Check out this station's yelp* reviews:
A nice-looking historic station, within easy walking distance of the King Street Metro station. Also a great alternative for people who want to take Amtrak up to DC, but don't want to have to deal with the crowds and confusion of Union Station.
I love the location of the Alexandria Amtrak station, within walking distance to Metro, the station is clean and always warm and the staff is pretty friendly. Its not an airport so I dont expect too much from Amtrak stations. My only problem is parking....Amtrak customers only have about 20 spaces to fight over so if you have the luxury of getting dropped off by a friend or family member, I suggest you do that.
This VRE and AMTRAK Station in Alexandria is one of the older, more classical looking stations in the DC area. But that's where the "old" stops. It is bustling with activity. Its prime location across the street from the imposing George Washington National Masonic Memorial, in the intersection of Duke, King and Russell Streets and Mt Vernon Avenue is a central point in the DC area. Likewise, it is also connected with a pedestrian underpass to the Alexandria Metro Rail station. It is the last VRE station serving both the Fredericksburg and Manassas Lines going out of DC, and also serves numerous Amtrak trains going and coming, for which there are cross-honor agreements with VRE, facilitating the commute. The DASH and Metrobus lines also use this station as a center point. The station is also an easy walking mile from the Alexandria Waterfront, scant few blocks from the center of Old Town Alexandria, and adjacent from the burgeoning Alexandria office complex and commercial high-rise towers. It is also ADA compliant, providing a needed service for both physically challenged people as well as encumbered folks with bags. In case of Metro Rail problems, it serves as an easy way of getting to and from DC. There are underground parking areas nearby, but not as a part of the station.
This location is very convenient as it is practically attached to the King Street metro station. If I had to guess, I would say the train station was built in the early 1900s but it has been kept up well. Actually, the historic feel is what I like most about it.
I am not a regular on the train but the workers remember me. (Maybe it was because I once almost lost my lid when they wouldn't honor my AAA discount) I'll take notoriety any day.
The biggest downfall to this station is the parking situation. Parking is free for passengers but it is very limited. Please have someone drop you off because I need a spot to be vacant when I arrive.
The girlfriend and I were going up to New York City for the weekend. Rather than do something pain inducing like driving or flying up there, we decided to go by Amtrak. Alexandria Station is a practically a stone's throw away from where we live so it was too convenient a stop for us to board our train.
The station itself was originally built in the early 1900s and is small, quaint, and harkens back to travel during that bygone era. There are no modern video displays depicting train arrivals and departures or TVs to kill time while waiting for you train. The seeming only modern convenience was the two computerized ticket machines set up by the ticket counter, which was manned by a ticket agent. The seats are hard, wooden benches, which are inside the main building. There are no food or drink concessions or even vending machines. At least the station has a modern restroom and, from my observation, was clean and well maintained. It does get busy with the frequent VRE trains in addition to Amtrak service during the work, but it's serviced by only two tracks so there's virtually no chance you'll get confused and board the wrong train.
Alexandria Station certainly feels out of date and out of time, but its convenience and simplicity make for an easy, comparatively enjoyable, travel experience. It certainly isn't like flying out of Dulles or Reagan.
I don't know if I'm just really moronic early in the morning or what but it took me forever to find this station. After wandering back and forth on Duke Street countless times I finally managed to be at the right angle to see the stupid Amtrak building. So don't be dumb like me, after you come out of the King Street metro exit, hang an immediate left and go under the tracks and up the hill to the station (towards the Masonic Temple).
This station isn't the newest or nicest Amtrak has to offer (it was built in 1905), but it was fine for a 30 minute wait. It was warm with lots of seating and bathrooms that weren't horrendously scary. The employees are helpful and are used to the fact that most people riding Amtrak from this station are newbies. I would gladly choose to leave from here on future trips in order to avoid the chaos of Union Station.