Author Topic: the auto train  (Read 447 times)

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Offline imref

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the auto train
« Topic Start: July 30, 2011, 05:06:03 AM »
Anyone ever take this to Florida?  I've been on it since 3:30 yesterday afternoon, it's now 5 am and we're passing through Charleston after having to stop at 10 to replace a faulty engine. Nice train, good food, but slow as all hell. We're 4 hrs behind schedule.

Offline PANatsFan

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #1: July 30, 2011, 07:45:52 AM »
20+ years ago it was great :lol:

Offline imref

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #2: July 30, 2011, 09:28:14 AM »
9:30, just outside of jacksonville.  2hrs to go.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #3: July 30, 2011, 01:40:55 PM »
Trains in general are fun, but Amtrak is a mess.  They have to give the right of way to every single freight train, so you spend half the trip sitting on a siding waiting for a zillion tonnes of coal to rumble by.  In this country I fly and rent a car.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #4: July 30, 2011, 02:47:09 PM »
I think you meant orange juice not coal.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #5: July 30, 2011, 03:22:15 PM »
Yeah, that and kilo bricks of Bolivia's finest.
I think you meant orange juice not coal.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #6: July 30, 2011, 03:51:37 PM »
Yeah, that and kilo bricks of Bolivia's finest.

Hey, I'm not paying for my Toyota and these fitted hats with my good looks...

Offline 1995hoo

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #7: July 30, 2011, 04:03:22 PM »
We rode the Auto Train in June. Also in 2005. Weekday trains are ALWAYS late because CSX owns the tracks. Weekend trains are usually early due to reduced freight traffic on weekends.

It's a very convenient service. This trip we used it on the way down and drove home. Much cheaper than two people flying and renting a car. But for trips of under two weeks it may not be worth it due to the time it takes.

Offline Terpfan76

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #8: July 31, 2011, 12:02:22 AM »
Hey, I'm not paying for my Toyota and these fitted hats with my good looks...

Size 8 right here... and it's not as comfortable as I'd like lol

Offline Nathan

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #9: July 31, 2011, 12:03:44 AM »
Size 8 even gives me a headache because they're too tight.

Offline Terpfan76

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #10: July 31, 2011, 12:06:42 AM »
Size 8 even gives me a headache because they're too tight.

For real, I'm guessing KFC has HGH in it.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #11: July 31, 2011, 08:24:02 AM »
Size 8 even gives me a headache because they're too tight.

When my hats start getting tight I know it's time for another haircut.  Another 50lbs and I'm going to shave my head cueball style.

Offline imref

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #12: July 31, 2011, 10:20:01 AM »
finally got into sanford at around 11:30 and off the train by noon - 21 hours in total.  But you know what, other than Justin Biebers' "Never Say Never" being the nightly movie in the lounge car, the kids never ever complained about the trip.  I couldn't imagine what it would have been like to drive the 14 hours or so.  Cost was about $1,200 round-trip.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #13: July 31, 2011, 10:21:15 AM »
finally got into sanford at around 11:30 and off the train by noon - 21 hours in total.  But you know what, other than Justin Biebers' "Never Say Never" being the nightly movie in the lounge car, the kids never ever complained about the trip.  I couldn't imagine what it would have been like to drive the 14 hours or so.  Cost was about $1,200 round-trip.

That's not too bad.  Is that for four people?  Might have to do that next year for Spring Training.

Offline PANatsFan

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #14: July 31, 2011, 10:22:52 AM »
finally got into sanford at around 11:30 and off the train by noon - 21 hours in total.  But you know what, other than Justin Biebers' "Never Say Never" being the nightly movie in the lounge car, the kids never ever complained about the trip.  I couldn't imagine what it would have been like to drive the 14 hours or so.  Cost was about $1,200 round-trip.

Having been in the car so many times for that trip with 2 siblings as a kid, it's not that bad. We'd just stop in GA and pick up again the next day.

Offline imref

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #15: July 31, 2011, 10:23:12 AM »
That's not too bad.  Is that for four people?  Might have to do that next year for Spring Training.

yeah - 2 adults plus 2 kids.  They have a "kids ride free" deal, but only on weekdays.  We used the AAA discount and it turned out to be cheaper than paying full price for 2 adults (round-trip), 2 kids on the way down, and 2 kids free on the way back up (which is a weekday trip).

Offline PANatsFan

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #16: July 31, 2011, 10:34:11 AM »
yeah - 2 adults plus 2 kids.  They have a "kids ride free" deal, but only on weekdays.  We used the AAA discount and it turned out to be cheaper than paying full price for 2 adults (round-trip), 2 kids on the way down, and 2 kids free on the way back up (which is a weekday trip).

Have fun at Disney, I need a vacation so freaking badly it's causing physical pain.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #17: July 31, 2011, 10:38:55 AM »
Have fun at Disney, I need a vacation so freaking badly it's causing physical pain.

Just get the "Party in a Box" and call it a weekend.

Offline 1995hoo

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Re: the auto train
« Reply #18: July 31, 2011, 02:10:13 PM »
finally got into sanford at around 11:30 and off the train by noon - 21 hours in total.  But you know what, other than Justin Biebers' "Never Say Never" being the nightly movie in the lounge car, the kids never ever complained about the trip.  I couldn't imagine what it would have been like to drive the 14 hours or so.  Cost was about $1,200 round-trip.

This part was the big difference for us on our recent trip—no kids here. We took the train down and drove back (left Disney at 5 PM Friday, July 1, drove to Green Cove Springs to visit a friend, then left there 12:15 PM Saturday and drove all the way home that day, getting home to Kingstowne at 12:12 AM). We took the Auto Train at the start of the trip because we figured that making the long drive made more sense at the end of the trip, especially on a three-day weekend with an extra day to sleep in.

Marquis De Sade, it's a pretty good way to get to spring training. As he mentioned, it drops you in Sanford. You can either take FL-417 south to the Bee Line to I-95 or go across US-46. If you go down there every year, get yourself a SunPass Mini for your car. That's the automatic toll device that you're supposed to attach permanently to your windshield. BUT I tried fastening it with Scotch tape and it worked perfectly well. So you can remove it, swap it from car to car, etc. The reason for getting the Mini is that it costs $5 but they give you $5 credit in tolls if you use it within 30 days. The more permanent device that looks like an E-ZPass costs $25 nonrefundable. F that.

The other nice thing about taking the train is that they serve you dinner and you can drink wine without having to think about getting back in the car. BTW, the menu is different in the coach class dining car and the sleeper class dining car (the latter is better and has better wine).

BTW, if any of you interested in the train accrue American Express Membership Rewards points, note that you can cash them in for an Amtrak gift certificate. We used points and got $300 off the train fare.

I think Amtrak does a very good job with the cars—when you pull up they go all around your car with a video camera to document its condition to eliminate any disputes about damage. If you have a "valet key," just put all your stuff in the trunk, lock out the remote trunk release, and lock the glove compartment, and then give them the valet key for driving it onto the train.