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#4634278 - 01/14/18 07:48 AM Amtrak Auto Train to Florida
Jarlaxle Offline


Registered: 02/02/12
Posts: 8163
Loc: New England
So...motorcycle trip this summer. Planning to hit Panama City (wife's relatives), Pensacola (Naval Air Station museum), Mobile (USS Alabama), and Galveston (USS Texas). My wife mentioned the Auto Train, and it seems like a reasonable plan. It runs from Lorton, VA (Fairfax County, about halfway between DC and Fredricksburg) to Sanford, FL (near Orlando), leaves around 4pm, gets to FL about 9am. We can cut probably 700 fairly-boring miles, as well as get from Virginia to Florida while getting a good night's sleep. (We would get a sleeper.)

Anyone here taken the Auto Train?
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#4634327 - 01/14/18 08:47 AM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: Jarlaxle]
madRiver Offline


Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3533
Loc: New England
If price that out vs transport and two likely dirt cheap plane tickets.

Amtrak is so expensive compared to domestic flights. We recently did $100 round trip direct to DC from Boston Logan. Beyond slow Amtrack I belive was $240 similar.

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#4634338 - 01/14/18 08:54 AM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: Jarlaxle]
Audios Offline


Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 884
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
He wants to take his motorcycle, so plane tickets are out, as well as transport. I think its a great way to cut back on fatique, see the east coast in a way you havent before, and just relax before your road trip in florida. Id do it, I mean price is an issue, but it is saving you fuel, food, and a hotel for those 700 miles, and they would be on a bike so usually its alot harder on you than a car. Go for it, try it once and see how you like it.
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#4634342 - 01/14/18 08:57 AM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: madRiver]
Jarlaxle Offline


Registered: 02/02/12
Posts: 8163
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: madRiver
If price that out vs transport and two likely dirt cheap plane tickets.

Amtrak is so expensive compared to domestic flights. We recently did $100 round trip direct to DC from Boston Logan. Beyond slow Amtrack I belive was $240 similar.


I would ship myself LTL freight before I would fly.
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#4634383 - 01/14/18 09:22 AM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: Jarlaxle]
Snagglefoot Offline


Registered: 12/31/17
Posts: 1705
Loc: Alberta
Probably the longest auto train there is runs from Perth Australia to Adelaide, a distance of 2700 km. There are only a couple of curves in the line.It crosses the Nullarbor desert. Donít forget the Cheetos.

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#4634433 - 01/14/18 10:05 AM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: Jarlaxle]
andyd Online   content


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7138
Loc: Marshfield , MA
JA, the trouble with the car -train, is that it eliminates the wrong leg of the trip. I 95 south of Providence to DC is the part to miss.
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#4634449 - 01/14/18 10:13 AM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: Jarlaxle]
NormanBuntz Offline


Registered: 07/27/13
Posts: 2121
Loc: Outer Banks, NC
I know three people who've used the Autotrain, with zero positive comments.
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#4634498 - 01/14/18 10:52 AM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: Jarlaxle]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3039
Loc: NJ
My friend takes it every year. He's a snowbird and spends a month or two in Florida each winter. I would just drive myself but he likes the train.
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#4634508 - 01/14/18 10:57 AM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: Jarlaxle]
gman2304 Offline


Registered: 08/11/11
Posts: 3047
Loc: n.c.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XFvZzGThBI

This guy has nice videos from Tampa to Skyline drive in Va and back. I think he has two videos on youtube. Personally, after watching the videos, I'd rather ride.

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#4634526 - 01/14/18 11:08 AM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: andyd]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: andyd
.. it eliminates the wrong leg of the trip. I-95 south of Providence to DC is the part to miss.


It's slow & congested no matter what method you use.
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#4634531 - 01/14/18 11:12 AM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: Jarlaxle]
gman2304 Offline


Registered: 08/11/11
Posts: 3047
Loc: n.c.
Originally Posted By: Jarlaxle
So...motorcycle trip this summer. Planning to hit Panama City (wife's relatives), Pensacola (Naval Air Station museum), Mobile (USS Alabama), and Galveston (USS Texas). My wife mentioned the Auto Train, and it seems like a reasonable plan. It runs from Lorton, VA (Fairfax County, about halfway between DC and Fredricksburg) to Sanford, FL (near Orlando), leaves around 4pm, gets to FL about 9am. We can cut probably 700 fairly-boring miles, as well as get from Virginia to Florida while getting a good night's sleep. (We would get a sleeper.)

Anyone here taken the Auto Train?


Actually, the best part of the ride will be from Lorton,Va through Va, NC, Tn and western Ga. Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway is the best motorcycle riding in the country! Hardly boring!

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#4634544 - 01/14/18 11:18 AM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: gman2304]
cpayne5 Offline


Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 605
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: gman2304
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XFvZzGThBI

This guy has nice videos from Tampa to Skyline drive in Va and back. I think he has two videos on youtube. Personally, after watching the videos, I'd rather ride.


That's cool. Pretty much the reverse trip I had. I can see Skyline Drive out my back window and took the Autotrain to Florida - final destination Tampa.

We made this trip in May 2009. My wife and I took my parents (bucket list trip for my dad who was dying of cancer) to the white sand beaches of the gulf coast of Florida. We reserved two of the "best" rooms - the ones with bathrooms, I think.

We live an hour from Lorton. It took a couple of hours to load. Amtrak rides on tracks that it doesn't own, so its trains have the lowest priority. Many times we sat on tracks in the middle of nowhere, waiting for a freight train to pass.

It was loud and bumpy - clickety clack, clickety clack. I was the only one of the four of us that slept over night. My wife and parents couldn't sleep at all.

My only complaint is that the train trip takes longer than a car trip down 95. Add in the time waiting at the stations and you can save a lot of time by just driving.

In the end, I wouldn't be opposed to riding the Autotrain again, but I prefer to just drive (and my wife says never again - ha!). The train was loaded with older people and people with motorcycles - both groups who the train probably makes total sense for.

In the end, it's a neat thing to do. I would give it a try!

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#4634636 - 01/14/18 12:25 PM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: cpayne5]
dlundblad Offline


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 10011
Loc: Indiana
Originally Posted By: cpayne5
In the end, it's a neat thing to do. I would give it a try!


x2

Disregard the price and all logic associated with that. You're on vacation.
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#4634643 - 01/14/18 12:37 PM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: Jarlaxle]
andyd Online   content


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7138
Loc: Marshfield , MA
I haven't driven to FL since '73. Been to the Carolinas a few times. I used I-81, I-64 to rt 29 or I-77. I-64 to 29 is Walton country. Lot nicer drive.
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1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

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#4634659 - 01/14/18 12:58 PM Re: Amtrak Auto Train to Florida [Re: Jarlaxle]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5236
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Been there and done that several times. Yeah, it takes longer for sure, but it's great if you enjoy watching the scenery from a train.

Accommodations are not awesome, but it's an experience. I don't regret having done it.
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