Auto train without a car?

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norfolkwesternhenry

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Can I travel on the Auto Train without a car, because if I even need to go Florida, I prefer superliner cars, and could catch a ride to Lorton/Sanford. Also I want a non-stop train experience. Also, max speed?
 

AmtrakBlue

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Can I travel on the Auto Train without a car, because if I even need to go Florida, I prefer superliner cars, and could catch a ride to Lorton/Sanford. Also I want a non-stop train experience. Also, max speed?
No, you must have a vehicle for the auto train.
 

Bob Dylan

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Some have rented a car and then took it on the Auto Train, but rates tend to be lower in Florida especially on the off season.

You can also take a motorcycle on the Autotrain but no bicycles!

I think you'd be better off riding the Meteor or the Silver Starvation in a Roomette if you can do without a Diner and can get a Low Bucket Roomette!
 

Acela150

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Some have rented a car and then took it on the Auto Train
This would be my suggestion. :)

I have been on super liners about 20 times in my life. The only reason I prefer them over anything is the Sightseer Lounge. After a recent experience in the Diner-Lounge type car I also like those cars. But I think that the Viewliner's are a little more manageable as far as Roomettes go. Bedrooms. It's been quite some time since I've been in a Superliner Bedroom. Same with the Viewliners. Overall I like the single level cars.
 

rms492

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I thought I heard you should not rent a car because you are allowing Amtrak staff to drive your car to load and unload from the car carriers.... Wouldn't this

Violate the rental car terms? (only u or authorized drivers) And imagine if the train derails... What a nightmare it would be dealing with Amtrak, rental car co, and insurance co.
 

cirdan

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Couldn't you theoretically book for a car, but then turn up without one.

If anybody asks, say you had an accident or the car broke down or something.

They're hardly going to ask for proof, are they?

And neither are they going to turn you out of the train if you've got a valid booking.
 

Bob Dylan

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Also you could try and find someone compatible traveling alone that has a car and share the cost of the room ( Bedroom) or Coach, then ride the Meteor or Starvation back North. ( from Winter Park or Orlando).
 
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the_traveler

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I thought I heard you should not rent a car because you are allowing Amtrak staff to drive your car to load and unload from the car carriers.... Wouldn't this

Violate the rental car terms? (only u or authorized drivers) And imagine if the train derails... What a nightmare it would be dealing with Amtrak, rental car co, and insurance co.
I think there are some short term exemptions to that rule. You can not allow John or Jane to drive the car from Kansas to Tennessee, but think of a tow truck driver or a valet parking lot attendant. Are you going to say "I'll drive it on the truck" or when you pull up to the hotel or restaurant "I'll park the car myself, even though there is no self parking lot" just because you did not add them as authorized drivers? I think AT is one of those exemptions.
 

GaSteve

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Couldn't you theoretically book for a car, but then turn up without one.

If anybody asks, say you had an accident or the car broke down or something.

They're hardly going to ask for proof, are they?

And neither are they going to turn you out of the train if you've got a valid booking.
Maybe, but I'll bet they won't refund the cost of the car transport.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Let's remember that the OP isn't old enough to drive.
 

dlagrua

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The only way that it is possible to book a seat or a room on the Autotrain would be if you booked with a couple or persons who are taking a car. The way I understand it, four people can purchase tickets with one auto transport fee if they are in the same party.

The OP should know that the auto transport fee is mandatory with ticket(s)

As for the SSL on the A/T; good luck finding a seat . Full Autotrain capacity is 600 passengers with one SSL. We've taken six trips on the Autotrain and after the first trip gave up on the SSL. The SSL is also a long walk from the sleepers..
 

rms492

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Okay the Traveler, should I let the rental car company that I am taking it on board Amtrak Auto Train? Will they authorize that?

Or better not to say anything? But like I said what if the car is damaged (or worse totaled in a derailment), then what??
 

CCC1007

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Okay the Traveler, should I let the rental car company that I am taking it on board Amtrak Auto Train? Will they authorize that?

Or better not to say anything? But like I said what if the car is damaged (or worse totaled in a derailment), then what??
Then Amtrak pays off the damage to the vehicle just like any other vehicle, it's just that the rental company that owns the car will get the settlement rather than the driver. I see no issue with this, as long as the value of the damage is covered by the party responsible.
When the auto train derailed in 2002, I'm sure they figured out what to do with the damaged vehicles, and I'm sure that all of the employees still around from that time would help management to get it done right, as upper management seems to have changed more than once since that incident.
 

Cina

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It's a foggy situation, but something similar I thought of is taking your rental on ferries. Some rental companies say you can only take rentals on car ferries with permission from the rental, and that even with permission, the renter is liable for any damages incurred while the vehicle is on the ferry.

So if we apply that to the Auto Train, it's possible that if the rental were damaged during a derailment or otherwise, Amtrak would accept responsibility."In the unlikely event of damage to your vehicle in transit or during loading or unloading, Amtrak will accept responsibility only if you report the damage to an authorized Amtrak representative before leaving the terminal; the Amtrak representative must determine that the damage occurred while the vehicle was in Amtrak custody."

That's my logic anyway, which may be quite flawed.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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The only way that it is possible to book a seat or a room on the Autotrain would be if you booked with a couple or persons who are taking a car. The way I understand it, four people can purchase tickets with one auto transport fee if they are in the same party.

The OP should know that the auto transport fee is mandatory with ticket(s)

As for the SSL on the A/T; good luck finding a seat . Full Autotrain capacity is 600 passengers with one SSL. We've taken six trips on the Autotrain and after the first trip gave up on the SSL. The SSL is also a long walk from the sleepers..
Does the Auto Train always have a SSL now? I thought there was only one in the Auto Train equipment pool.
 

afigg

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Then Amtrak pays off the damage to the vehicle just like any other vehicle, it's just that the rental company that owns the car will get the settlement rather than the driver. I see no issue with this, as long as the value of the damage is covered by the party responsible.

When the auto train derailed in 2002, I'm sure they figured out what to do with the damaged vehicles, and I'm sure that all of the employees still around from that time would help management to get it done right, as upper management seems to have changed more than once since that incident.
However, Amtrak may pay less than what the rental company wants in damage reimbursement from the renter. For example, if the (rented) car is a write-off due to a derailment, Amtrak (or its insurer/agent) might only reimburse to the book value of the vehicle while the rental company may insist that the renter or his/her insurance policy pay for a full "replacement" value. In these circumstances, an AT passenger with a rented car could get caught in a $$$ gap between 2 large corporations with little leverage to get one corporation or the other to cover the gap and have to cover it out of pocket.

Of course, if one is riding on an AT that has a derailment bad enough to damage the automobiles, the damage to the rented car may be way down one's list of immediate concerns.
 

fixj

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The last two times I took the Auto Train (June 2015 and April 2016) there was NO SSL in the consist. They had two lounge cars in place of SSL.
 

CCC1007

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I think there is one ssl in the pool of lounges, it is a replacement for the AT lounge that was damaged in the derailment I mentioned earlier, as there were only six in the pool and one is in maintenance, one is a spare and two are on each of the consists.
 

BCL

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Then Amtrak pays off the damage to the vehicle just like any other vehicle, it's just that the rental company that owns the car will get the settlement rather than the driver. I see no issue with this, as long as the value of the damage is covered by the party responsible.

When the auto train derailed in 2002, I'm sure they figured out what to do with the damaged vehicles, and I'm sure that all of the employees still around from that time would help management to get it done right, as upper management seems to have changed more than once since that incident.
However, Amtrak may pay less than what the rental company wants in damage reimbursement from the renter. For example, if the (rented) car is a write-off due to a derailment, Amtrak (or its insurer/agent) might only reimburse to the book value of the vehicle while the rental company may insist that the renter or his/her insurance policy pay for a full "replacement" value. In these circumstances, an AT passenger with a rented car could get caught in a $$$ gap between 2 large corporations with little leverage to get one corporation or the other to cover the gap and have to cover it out of pocket.
Of course, if one is riding on an AT that has a derailment bad enough to damage the automobiles, the damage to the rented car may be way down one's list of immediate concerns.
To a rental car agency, the value of a car is really what they can sell it for. The traditional model is that they'll never recoup their costs on rental rates and fees alone, but the sale of used cars with meticulous maintenance records is where they make it up.

That's not quite the same now, as they're keeping cars in service much longer, but resale value is still key to actually making any money, along with discounted fleet purchasing.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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The OP is 13. It's going to be at least a few years before the rental car option is... well... an option.
Wow, you're correct. Good catch!

And a 13 yo can't book travel on the Auto Train, with or without a car. It would violate the rule that unaccompanied minors can't do any overnight travel.
 

norfolkwesternhenry

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Jun 6, 2016
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Then there is a toilet next to your head, no SSL, and NO FOOD!! Even with food on the SM, I would rather take the train with better views, more comfortable, and a proper dining car, 300 people will not be fed with capacity for 30, of 400 people with a capacity of 70 will be fed and happy.
 
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norfolkwesternhenry

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this would be me and my Grandma, going down to ride Brightline/ AAF and see Miami/Orlando. I am not a Disney world person, look for the art deco, the heritage, (not the diners), not quite your av. thirteen year old.
 
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