Skip the Bus from DC to NYC, Take the Train!

Skip the Bus from DC to NYC, Take the Train!

Why take the bus from DC to NYC or Philly? If you book at least 14 days in advance, you can save up to 25% on train tickets to the same destinations and skip all the traffic!

Our Northeast Regional trains are great for weekend trips to see friends and family. For starters, our seats are super comfortable with a minimum of 39 inches of legroom (<–read that again!), electrical outlets for your laptop, FREE WiFi and extra storage space for your luggage.

Busy Amtrak Train

There’s also a Café Car offering sandwiches, salads, snacks and hot and cold beverages (including wine and beer) if you get hungry during your trip.

When you want to use your train trip to catch up on work or school assignments, there’s always the Quiet Car. Cell phones are silent and conversation is kept to a minimum. It’s also the best place for some serious power napping, just try not to snore!

In Business Class, you’ll enjoy even more legroom, a complimentary digital newspaper and a beverage in the Café Car with access to conference tables on a first-come, first-served basis.

And if you’d like to take your furry family members along for the ride they can now accompany you aboard the Northeast Regional, several regional routes (Amtrak Cascades, Downeaster, Springfield Shuttles and Illinois services), weekend Acela Express service and all long distance trips less than seven hours.. For the comfort of your pet, there are a few things you need to know before booking your next trip with your pet. Head here for all of the details.

Why do you take the train instead of the bus? Tell us in the comments below!

44 comments
stosher
stosher

. . ;)   . .. plus there's more than one bath room  √  /s, the dosh ohana , Guest rewards ® members from Hawai'i <3 AMTRAK ® , th eonly way to Fly . .  • 

BarbaraLeigh
BarbaraLeigh

I loves the trains better because they have enough legs room plus the bus takes too long to get where u wants to go. And I don't have to change trains. One train take me where I needs to go. Love's ya Amtrak. Keep it moving.

Miss Luke
Miss Luke

In the 1980s, I went to college in New York, and also lived in the NYC area for a couple years after graduation.  My parents lived in Alexandria, just outside DC.  So I practically lived on that Amtrak train for about 7 or 8 years!  I loved taking the train -- so much more relaxing than flying, and frequently had interesting conversations with people sitting next to me.  My only peeve was that the coach trains were almost ALWAYS delayed -- sometimes by as much as an hour or more -- and I was unwilling to fork over the (quite considerable for a college student) difference in fare to ride Metroliner.

jnsqxelle
jnsqxelle

The bus drivers are usually stressed out due to being overworked and underpaid. The last time I took the Greyhound there was a crazy bus driver driving erratically, screaming at passengers, making threats etc It was bizarre and terrifying. Part of the reason Amtrak costs more is because it pays the employees better. Generally speaking Amtrak can hire quality because they pay well. I trust any Amtrak employee with my life more than any burned out and distraught bus driver. So Amtrak regional is more spacious, more comfortable, more relaxing, safer, cleaner, and I can charge my devices, enjoy scenic views, or get up and stroll through the aisles to the cafe car and gave lunch or a cup of coffee. You wait indoors and can even sit down at the train station. You get to keep your luggage with you. The conductors scroll through and answer questions or can remind you when your stop is next. There are magazines, bathrooms and trash receptacles in each car, and there are more security measures than the bus. I dont have to stand in a bus line outside or wait around trying to dig my luggage out from a pile. Yet despite all those things, I would still take Greyhound once in awhile if they paid their drivers enough that the drivers could be healthier and happier and so Greyhound could afford to be choosy about hiring. My last bus experience was so stressful and scary that I would have been better off hitchhiking. I value my health and peace of mind so instead I have mastered the art of getting the best deals on Amtrak and I use the Amtrak guest rewards card to save money through discounts on tons of other things so the difference I spend actually pays for itself!

I find that Acela is overpriced and less well designed seats/aisles so awful plus full of aggressive shallow corporate types....ugh. So I NEVER take Acela anymore.

Yet AMTRAK REGIONAL SERVICE is a gem and sometimes $49 one way during sales - which is competitive with Greyhound and $79

one way is all I pay for regular price. If you learn the art of getting the best rates, this is completely doable. Plus I save enough money using the rewards card that it really ends up being the most economical choice!! Plus you can accrue miles and get free travel.

No I don't work for Amtrak --I just LOVE Amtrak regional service. Yet I am not a snob and the cheap bus price IS great. And in the summer those buses are frosty cool with mondo air conditioning, which is great! I may take the bus again once in awhile when I think it feels right but I must say that I am not rich at ALL, and I still never regret paying for (good deals ) on (regional service) Amtrak.

socajam
socajam

I have no idea where you get the notion that Amtrak is empty.  I take Amtrak all the time DC/NY and it is always full.

It is amazing that people seem to think that Amtrak is the only one going with a begging bowl to Congress for money. People need to educate themselves. The airlines and gas industry are given enormous concessions courtesy of the American taxpayers and guess what they in turn charge us for every thing. Very soon, one would be paying to use the bathroom on the planes because it is all about charging the public as much money as possible to increase their already humongous profit margins.

So yes, Amtrak is no better than the greedy airlines and gas industries, but guess who receives the most from Congress: the airlines and gas industries. If Amtrak were to only receive 25% of what these greedy companies receive, they would be in a better position.

It is sad that people spout such lies, all it takes is do some research and see how we are being robbed by the airlines and gas industries through our elected representatives. The airlines industry is afraid of Amtrak and is shows,  because they are fully aware that if Congress only steps up and fully take Amtrak into the 21st century, their profit margins will dropped significantly.

As for empty trains, try taking  the 4:40 a.m. train out of NY to DC, that train full 100% full all the to DC and that is one example.

Amtrak may be expensive to some, I use to take Greyhound, but the situation at the Port Authority in NY leaves a lot to be desired, especially late at nights.  That place needs a good overhaul and I cannot see that coming any time soon.

Megabus, drops off downtown and their pick up location is not that secure, especially if it in cold or raining.  The Chinatown bus, well that is up to the individual, but when it comes to my safety I would rather look at the bigger picture. If something where to happen on Amtrak/Greyhound or even Megabus, insurance will be available, can one say the same for the Chinatown bus?

INSTAGRAM_SUCKS
INSTAGRAM_SUCKS

Greyhound now has new leather seats, free wi-fi with a charger socket for each passenger, and far more legroom than you would get on a plane. It's the most expensive DC-NYC / NYC-DC bus service and still presents massive savings over Amtrak. If you're willing to forgo the wi-fi and some of the legroom, you can take one of the Chinatown bus lines out of DC and go for $40 round trip. Amtrak is simply not an economical choice, especially since even airfare is often cheaper. Small wonder Amtrak needs federal help every year. The company seems fully content to have plenty of empty seats as long as they can charge double what Greyhound does. No matter how comfortable their trains are, I'll always take the bus instead. 

jcnyc
jcnyc

Sorry but while the idea of train travel is great, the execution of it in America is not worthwhile. These are the reasons why

-Unless I'm taking the train at 4am, I can find a roundtrip flight between NYC-DC for the same price as a train.

-Trains are frustratingly delayed especially during peak times and the total travel time evens out with buses that cost a fraction as much

-So why would I take a train that costs more than a flight, but is not faster than a bus??

Anyone that's traevled to Europe or experienced Japan's Shinkasen trains know that American train travel is in the dark ages. While I'd lve to take a train that actually made sense, they currently do not make any sense to me.

Rugbycan
Rugbycan

I took the train from Pittsburghto Washington and it was a breeze. Yes My Jose was sensitive to the bathroom and it was a bit longer time wise but the price was right, the scenery wad nice, and the company quiet. Why would Zi go by train and pay five times the price? The train is nice but I can't afford it period.

jnsqxelle
jnsqxelle

I travel every other month between NYC and DC/Balto and have for years and I ADORE Amtrak. I am flabbergasted that anyone prefers a bus. I am poor and there have been a times that a bus is all I could afford so I am grateful for the option. I'm not a train snob but I am a train lover. I like that I can eat a ramen noodle bowl for less than 50 cents and when broke have hsppily had ramen for dinner a few times but when I can laterafford a nice pleasant healthy balanced meal, I don't turn up my nose at it or think eating wrll means I am now made of money!!!

I suspect some people really like ramen and might choose to eat it even when they could afford a 3 course meal. And it wouldnt truly be worth more to them because they already get what they love and its el cheapo too! Win win for them! So here's to the bus lovers!

I am Trains all the way though. REGIONAL SERVICE ONLY PLEASE. I find Acela to be subpar.

On regular Amtrak, I love:

-being comfortable in seats more comfortable than my furniture at home. I look forward to relaxing aboard the train

-I like the clackety clack rhythm and movement of trains which never has given me motion sickness

-the train seats let you stretch out but its also easy to get up and stretch your legs,walk to the bathroom or cafe car etc

- I like having my bag nearby instead of being smushed under strangers muddybsuitcases below the bus or smelling like gasoline on arrival, i love not having to navigate a cluster of grabby people to get my luggage. When the train arrives at my station I simply stend up and go, taking my luggage. Simpler. Dignified

If I want to put away my sweater I can do that mid-ride too. Handy to have access

-train stations are cleaner and better than bus stations.

-a glass of wine with the Amtrak cheese and crackers tray is yummy and dare I say? Civilized! I can unwind with a book, music, or a movie and arrive with a fully charged phone. I have at times wished the train ride were LONGER

-the bus is just more cramped for me. I have a bad back and long legs so I admit there may be others who are more comfy on buses than me but I had bad experiences with broken seats on overcrowded buses jammed up next to other passengers. For me its worth the price difference just to be able to stretch out and arrive feeling good. The bus also takes a little longer but the extra discomfort makes it feel Much longer.

-customer service. In my experience, Amtrak has extraordinarily polite, kind, intelligent people answering the phone 90% of thr time

-guest rewards points got me a free trip to see my Dad in Florida this year!

- Train bathrooms are farther apart from passengers. Take 1 bus ride next to the bathroom and your nose will understand me

-trains are safer. I never fear that the train will slide into a ditch on a rainy day.

-the breathtaking scenery! Along the coastline and through fields and wooded countryside and gritty urban lsndscaoes of Americana. I will take the worst train view over gazing out at an endless line of bumper to bumper pollution-spewing traffic on I95

-this os just my personal experience but I find train conductors to be more pleasant and helpful than the bus drivers

-trains are more romantic and old fashioned. I love train station architecture.

Erlybird54
Erlybird54

@jnsqxelle Yes, I agree. Taking the train is a lovely experience. Love the clickety-clack, too!


NotAFoolNorMadeOfMoney
NotAFoolNorMadeOfMoney

Amtrak is not price competitive.  I can go from Baltimore to NYC round trip for less than a one-way Amtrak ticket. Yes, I would prefer to take a train, but I am not a fool nor am I made of money.

Erlybird54
Erlybird54

I love taking the train. I think it is in my blood. My great-grandfather was a Pullman porter, and I have his train watch! I have fond memories of taking the train from Washington, DC to Clarksville, TN with my sisters and grandparents a bajillion years ago! We had sleeper cars - my sisters and I in one car, our grandparents next door. I loved the train rocking us to sleep. I still do. The bus is more affordable, but I like to take advantage of special offers on train fares so I can visit my family in Washington, DC.

wwhopper
wwhopper

I am thinking there are some of us who are Train People and some who are Bus People, no reason the two can't exist in the same universe, and actually it is good to have options.


Because of this conversation, I am going to give the bus a try from DC to NYC sometime in 2016. Though I have to say, I am a Train person.


Wouldn't it be nice if there were funding to improve train service, as well as repair our bridges and highways. So much to do!


Glad everyone still travels!

BeeBen
BeeBen

Amtrak, with fares far higher...sometimes three or four times as high...as the bus?  Amtrak...which has maintained its coaches so that they ride noisily and roughly...quite something to say when a train on steel rails is rougher than a bus on pavement! Amtrak...which often can't seem to get to where you are going on time?  Amtrak...whose Wi-Fi is slow, drops out all the time (a Wall St. Journal article today complains about Amtrak's Wi-Fi)?  Amtrak...which claims its Northeast Corridor "makes money" while gouging its passengers and talking like a pauper begging for a hot meal, when it goes before Congress begging for more and more money????


SURELY YOU JEST.

socajam
socajam

@BeeBen 

So you are saying the airlines do not receive any concessions from Congress.  It is amazing the false world some of us live in. No wonder the airlines and gas industries are able to make us pay for everything. Next it will be for using the bathrooms. 

Chhel
Chhel

I am glad you asked the question.  This is my chance to unload all my frustration with Amtrak. I have taken the train and the bus to NY many, many times.  For my money, the bus is the best way to travel, hands down.

1) Amtrak trains are really expensive and Acela is a joke (gets you there about an hour earlier for 3 times the price, are you kidding me?). Acela was really created for Wall streeters, lobbyists and consultants who can then pass the costs onto their clients.  It was not meant for the average Joe.


2) The trains leave on time about 60-75% of the time but they almost never get to NYC on time. I have never figured out why.  The trains often slow down for no absolute reason.  It is not like they encounter a lot of traffic.

3)  The cheapest fare on Amtrak (that is almost never available at peak travel times) is still 2 x greater than the bus fares. 

4) Parking at Union Station is exorbitantly expensive and the metro stops soon after midnight (so getting hom after taking the trains arriving after midnight in DC is a hassle as taxis are hard to get and can be quite costly).  Buses take off from DC, NoVa and Bethesda and are very convenient for those living in these areas). 


5)  Buses now provide WiFi, outlets for charging phones, etc.


It is time to take the cost factor into account and unless Amtrak does that, it will be unable to compete with bus services.

Thanks, Nate   

west156th
west156th

I use take a round trip train from DC to NYC, it's comfortable and no hassle traveling with arriving sometimes "on time". However, I no longer take the train because of the cost. Although I get more leg room and a Café car, I also get to have a few extra bucks in my pocket when I arrive at my destination. Spoiler alert for Amtrak marketing department, the negative comments received in response to the question " Why do you take the train instead of the bus? Should have read "Why do you take the bus instead of the train?" Simple answer the bus is less expensive and you can reserve a seat. 

LindaMarieSmith
LindaMarieSmith

I like the train but for my budget buses are better. They are also usually pretty fast, often going from Baltimore to NYC is three hours. The other problem for me with the train is the fact that there are no trains back to Baltimore from NY until the wee hours of the morning. If I go to NY to see an opera that is over around 11pm, I have to sit in Penn Station for a couple hours in order to get home. The MegaBus offers more off hours options and is way less expensive.

SUNLIGHT1
SUNLIGHT1

KOSHER BLESSED TURKEY WHERE BLESSED CAME FROM BELONGS TO GOD INCLUDES GOD THANKING GOD CORRECTLY.

AlanGottlieb
AlanGottlieb

Skip the Train. Take the Bus!! On the Amtrak Regional there are no reserved seats! My wife and I boarded a Regional recently at NYC Penn to Washington. We walked through several cars unable to find any empty seats and had to stand all the way to Philadelphia. Then, another Amtrak train had mechanical problems and we had to stop and pick up the passengers from the stopped train. Next, there was debris on the track and the train had to back up several miles to get on another track. The total time to DC was five hours. In Europe, seats are reserved, and you can be sure you have a seat if you bought a ticket. In addition, Amtrak is expensive, especially for a family traveling from NYC to to Washington or vice versa. So, take the plane or the bus.

socajam
socajam

@AlanGottlieb 

I travel the train regularly from DC to Penn and return, I can categorically say that it is a lie that one gets on the train especially at NYC Penn and seats are not available. If you were to say there were no seats together for my wife and I to sit, then yes, but please do not lie on Amtrak. Even further down the line seats are always available, may be not together, but seats are not still available.


I agree with your point that one should be able to reserve seats, maybe Amtrak can make more money this way and charge for reserving seats.  Would I pay for this service YES.  I love their "Quiet" car, no cell phone, endless chatter and kids running - just peace and quiet.  Book in advance and tickets can be bought cheaper, options to reschedule without penalties (something the bus charges for) which I use quite a lot, lots of leg room.

I have yet to meet a rude Amtrak staff (not saying they are not around), but I have traveled from DC to NY, DC to Hollywood (FL), DC to Chicago, NY to Boston, Chicago to Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh to NY and the staff have been extremely helpful and courteous. Bathroom facilities are better than on the buses (which means I do not have to stop drinking water a couple of hours before traveling).


Could the trains be better, of course, but blame Congress for that.

wwhopper
wwhopper

The Train, Absolutely! Between the cost of tolls and gas, and the aggravation of driving up I95, it makes total sense. The other options are the bus or flying.  Lets try flying, between getting to the airport, going through security, making sure you don't have anything that can't fly (I travel with a lot of gear) then depending on the weather or other factors, flights get delayed.  Then on the other end, you have to get into NYC from out in the depths, instead of being right at Penn Station, and able to get anywhere in the city, right then and there.


Going from downtown to downtown is great! You are right there, within easy walk or subway to much of the city.


There is the bus, but really, have you seen the traffic on I-95 and at the tunnels? Not to mention the buses broken down on the side of the road?  I do not want to drive to the Big Apple, why would I want to on a bus ride there! Plus there is plenty of room on the train, where as the bus, not so much.


Cost, well, you do have to factor that in, but using AAA discounts and buying ahead of time, is the way to get discounts, of course Amtrak often has sales too, so sign up for them. Now lets talk about their frequent rider program, YEP, its good, and using those for free tickets, you can change at the last minute without any upcharges or problems, as long as there is room on the train.


So in the end, the train is the better value in my mind to travel.  Plus how nice is it to just be able to relax, get some work done, take a walk and stretch your legs, go to the cafe car for a bite to eat.  Try to get something to eat or a drink on the plane, or the bus, that is not happening with any style or grace!


So for me, Amtrak from DC to NYC is the way to go!   It only makes logical sense to ride the rails.

dareverndmooned
dareverndmooned

I do like AMTRAC compared to flying to NYC for several reasons.  I get downtown quicker, no burdensome security, less waiting times, and far more relaxing.  The Acela is the way to go.  The cost, however, is over the top.  

hambone1
hambone1

You must be joking. RT bus is $35, RT train is at least $160. Amtrak is not a viable option for any trip in the US, even plane fares are cheaper.

Absmom713
Absmom713

You can fly on a shuttle out of DCA for cheaper than a one way train ticket. Ridiculous.

BigUglyMike1
BigUglyMike1

Personally I do like Amtrak. We live on the Keystone corridor and can take either SEPTA or AMTRAK to Philly. If we are going to Philly, it is only $1 via SEPTA as were both have Medicare cards. If we are going to NYC, then we do take AMTRAK to avoid switching trains. 

Miss Luke
Miss Luke

@BigUglyMike1  Several years ago, I had to fly out of JFK airport for an international trip.  I currently live in Delaware, so I travelled by train to New York -- and I also took SEPTA and NJ Transit rather than Amtrak.  I timed it so that, even with switching trains, the trip didn't take THAT much longer than it would have with AMTRAK, and as you stated, it's MUCH cheaper.  I still love travelling with AMTRAK, but I just couldn't afford their round-trip ticket.

OpinionOfMadeleine
OpinionOfMadeleine

Are you kidding, Amtrak? There is no comparison. The train is WAY too expensive! The cheapest trains between NYC and Baltimore are $80 each way, and that's if you are lucky. Often the trains are $150 each way. Bolt, on the other hand, is usually $20-$25 each way.  Let's see, $300 vs. $50...whichever will I choose? Bolt has free Wi-Fi too. I just bring my own food. Bolt is also more reliable; they allow 3.5 hours for the trip and usually make it in 3.25 hours. Amtrak, on the other hand, is ALWAYS late...sometimes by as much as 20-30 minutes. The trains are also too cold. The cafe car food sucks and is outrageously expensive. Years ago, Amtrak was reasonably priced and the trips were enjoyable.  The food was good and reasonably priced. But those days are long gone. Once I even got a Bolt Ticket from Baltimore to NYC for $15 going and my return ticket was free! Beat that, Amtrak!

socajam
socajam

@OpinionOfMadeleine 

I pay $53 one way to NY (yes I have to book 14 days in advance) but to get a cheap  bus ticket, the same applies. I remember when Greyhound was cheap too, but the cost of their tickets for what you get is expensive.  I would put comfort over the traveling on the bus any day. My Amtrak train always leaves on time and I arrive in NY the time stated on the timetable.  Maybe I am lucky, but I have yet to been delayed on a train either out of DC or NY.

VerdeFleur
VerdeFleur

Megabus costs $40 or $50 round trip; round trip on the train costs four or five times as much.  I can get the lower rate on the Megabus a week in advance. When I need to make sure that I get to NYC on time I pay the extra amount for the train because the bus can be delayed by highway traffic. I assume the train will get there on time but leave early in case the train is delayed - hoping it will get there on time for the meeting or event. Can't always reserve two weeks in advance

DariusAidala
DariusAidala

My family always takes the train from Philly to DC and we love it over driving which can be hell. The ride is smooth and interesting visually and the cost is manageable vs. gas and parking if driving. My son loves the train as well and he has a well rounded appreciation of mass transit having traveled by train, plane and automobile.

CalicoMom
CalicoMom

I have taken Amtrak round trip from DC to NYC several times. Always booked way in advance to get the $99 round trip deal. Have had some really interesting conversations with workers on late night return trips. Easiest way to get to NYC.

GregGola
GregGola

Amtrak is Too expensive. Bus round trip NYC to DC costs anywhere from 40 to 65 dollars. That is ROUNDTRIP! Constant delays on Amtrak makes the commuting time pretty similiar. Oh and Bolt also has wifi and plugins. Been using Bolt bus for my son to come home from college. Will continue unless train prices become reasonable again.

ColleenBarlettaPallas
ColleenBarlettaPallas

My daughter takes this train home from college in Baltimore all the time. Unfortunately, they are often delayed, and the cost has become ridiculous! I just booked her train home for Thanksgiving break yesterday ( more than 14 days in advance), and it cost me $344.00 round trip, and that was with a "student advantage" discount!


candy4u62
candy4u62

@ColleenBarlettaPallas  Bolt bus or Mega bus is the cheapest way to travel nowadays. Round trip is usually $40.00 and for you that would be a $304.00 savings. Have your daughter try it. Might save you lots of money..(Just a thought)

:-)

socajam
socajam

@ColleenBarlettaPallas 

I have no idea where this price comes from. From DC to NY round trip on Amtrak the cost is less than what you daughter is paying at $344.00 - something seems amiss here. There is no way that DC to Baltimore round trip cost that much. DC to NY round trip book 14 days in advance is $106.


People need to stop telling lies on Amtrak. I took the train from DC to Chicago (one way) and I paid less than what you are saying your daughter paid between DC and Baltimore - please???

Miss Luke
Miss Luke

@dareverndmooned @ColleenBarlettaPallas  YEAH it is!  I used to take it all the time when I lived in Riverdale MD and worked in DC.  In those days, though (early 1990s,) it was strictly a commuter train that didn't run on weekends and stopped after about 6 or 7 PM in the evenings.

ColleenBarlettaPallas
ColleenBarlettaPallas

@socajam @ColleenBarlettaPallas Are you calling me a liar?? That is exactly what I paid for her tickets, whether you believe me or not! Let's talk about the other problem....always late!! Reading comprehension please sweetie. I didn't say my daughter was going from DC to Baltimore.She is going from Baltimore to CT. Right now, as we speak, my daughter is sitting at the Baltimore station, and the train is an hour late! What else is new??? Don't call people liars if you have no idea of their situation!

socajam
socajam

@ColleenBarlettaPallas @socajam 

Back at you. did you say where your daughter was boarding the train. It seems a if common sense is not common anymore. All of us are fully aware when Thanksgiving/Christmas it. If one waits until last minute to book a ticket or or closer to their date of travel, that is hardly Amtrak's fault, the same goes for the airlines. I travel on Amtrak all the time and I can say I always gets the discount rate, because I book my ticket in advance, on occasions I may pay more when I procrastinate .  What you paid for your ticket is up to you I really do not care, but people need to be honest when the options are available to obtain a cheaper ticket if they were to book early.


Also your daughter could have taken the the bus or plane and be stuck as well, but of course this would not be the case because Amtrak is so dysfunctional. If you feel that I call you a liar that up to you, I make no apologies.

WAE13
WAE13

AMTRAK IS SO EXPENSIVE. I always prefer the train, but even with a 25% discount, the train is the most expensive way to get from NYC to Baltimore or DC. I can't afford it!

Matthew52338399
Matthew52338399

Unreliable electrical system that keeps failing. Speed restrictions due to failing tracks, bridges that need to be replaced. Signal system electrical system built in the early 1900's that fails almost every week. No way will I ever take Amcrap

DavidFeller
DavidFeller

I love riding on a train. I love the idea of being free to relax while traveling. I love the notion of polluting less by using mass transit. But... I hate Amtrak. Always delayed. Expensive. And just often enough,in D.C. in particular, staffed by surly folk.