New Amtrak Auto Train Book in print

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Jim Musgrove

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The Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac RR Historical Society has published a new book about Amtrak's Auto Train written by Doug Riddell. It can be purchased via their Company Store at www.rfandp.org.
 

fixj

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
185
I have a book by Doug Riddell called Auto Train published in 2016. Is this the same book?
 
J

James Musgrove

Guest
No, that was the book on just the original auto train. This book features the transition between the auto train and Amtrak's Auto Train. Lots of good info about how Amtrak went about it. Almost 200 pages of text and photos. This is Doug's second book for the RF&P RR HS.
 
J

James Musgrove

Guest
Did you know that in 1974, Amtrak planned to thwart Auto Train Corporation’s dreams of tapping the lucrative Midwest-Florida travel market by launching its own competitive service—AutoTrak, between Indianapolis, IN and Poinciana, FL? Were you aware that it was once necessary to secretly get Amtrak President, W. Graham Claytor, Jr., aboard the Silver Meteor at a road crossing near Jacksonville, FL, for fear that nearby local officials would find him, arrest and jail the famed railroad executive? It’s true.


“Amtrak’s Auto Train, the second book I’ve dreamed of writing, that has been made possible by through the backing of the RF&P Railroad Historical Society, is not your typical history book. Oh, this 192-page volume contains hundreds of color, as well as black and white images, from renown rail photographers, but we’ve also included snapshots taken by myself and Amtrak Auto Train employees, that provides a behind-the-scene look at the railroad’s “flagship,” from the ashes of the original Eugene Garfield Auto Train Corporation, through today’s Superliner-equipped, General Electric P40-powered Virginia-Florida auto ferry service. Along the way the book explores triumph to tragedy—the success Graham Claytor firmly believed would result by resurrecting the original red, white, and purple auto-train, to the deadly April 18, 2002 derailment near Crescent City, FL.
 
J

Jim Musgrove

Guest
Since I will be taking the Auto Train in 2020, I am considering purchasing the book. But, $60 + $7 for shipping is a bit steep for a book.
Considering that there have only been 3 other books about both of the auto train systems, I don't think that this material has been covered enough. Doug has done an excellent job on this book and put a lot of effort in contacting people who worked on the train. This book is a great companion to the first auto-train book he wrote. RF&P RR HS members get a $10 discount. If you should want to join the Society, you can find an application at www.rfandp.org.
 
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James Musrove

Guest
Just wanted to let everyone know that the book Amtrak's Auto Train by Doug Riddell is selling very well and for only $60. Doug writes in a very familiar style and this book would be a great addition to everyone's library. Doug also wrote a book about the original auto-train and it is almost sold out.
 
J

James Musgrovve

Guest
Just wanted to let everyone know that there are less than 100 of the original auto-train books left, but enough of the Amtrak's Auto Train book to go around. Get both at www.rfandp.org company store.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
836
Just wanted to let everyone know that there are less than 100 of the original auto-train books left, but enough of the Amtrak's Auto Train book to go around. Get both at www.rfandp.org company store.
If the price was knocked down to something more reasonable(i.e. $20-30), I'd consider getting a copy. Sigh. By no means I'm a cheap***, but I don't think it's just me that $60 seems a little much for that book. I hope someday to read that book, though. Too bad I don't think this is a likely book to end up at say, Half Price Books.....
 
J

James Musgrove

Guest
I can respect your reluctance to buy the book at its $60 price, however, I think that this cost is in line with what most books of this type sell for. In fact, Morning Sun has raised their prices to $69 for their books. This book is rather unique in that it provides the reader with an inside look at how Amtrak brought the auto train concept back to life. Doug Riddell writes in a style that is very easy to read, just as he did with the first auto-train book.
 
J

James Musgrove

Guest
A copy of the Amtrak Auto Train book was shared with the crew at Lorton and it was well received. Just wanted to let you know.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
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OK,

First I will admit bias, as I am one of the "renowned photographers" who contributed to Doug's Amtrak Auto Train book (though I am not sure renowned is accurate for me!).

Both of Doug's books are excellent, and nearly all of the photos are in color, there are probably over 300 photos in each, and car diagrams in the Amtrak one; both are glossy and hard back. They also tell the whole story about both trains. The new Morning Sun book is a worthy compliment to both, covering both Auto-Train Corp and Amtrak Auto Train with only a couple duplicate photos, but very little on "the story". For both historians and modelers interested in these trains they are "must haves".

Look, I know many of us are on a budget and have to make choices. Frankly though I find $60-70 for a quality informative and specialized product such as these books a bargain. The world of "free stuff" and information on the internet has dulled us to the value of many things. Unfortunately $20-30 books are usually either a low quality mostly black and white soft back or a book no one wanted that is in the bargain bin (next stop, recycling bin).

The RF&P HS is a great organization and got these published with Doug, so check them first. The ACL & SAL HS also stocks them and they should have some available at the train show in Duluth, GA toward the end of August.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
836
I can respect your reluctance to buy the book at its $60 price, however, I think that this cost is in line with what most books of this type sell for. In fact, Morning Sun has raised their prices to $69 for their books. This book is rather unique in that it provides the reader with an inside look at how Amtrak brought the auto train concept back to life. Doug Riddell writes in a style that is very easy to read, just as he did with the first auto-train book.
OK,

First I will admit bias, as I am one of the "renowned photographers" who contributed to Doug's Amtrak Auto Train book (though I am not sure renowned is accurate for me!).

Both of Doug's books are excellent, and nearly all of the photos are in color, there are probably over 300 photos in each, and car diagrams in the Amtrak one; both are glossy and hard back. They also tell the whole story about both trains. The new Morning Sun book is a worthy compliment to both, covering both Auto-Train Corp and Amtrak Auto Train with only a couple duplicate photos, but very little on "the story". For both historians and modelers interested in these trains they are "must haves".

Look, I know many of us are on a budget and have to make choices. Frankly though I find $60-70 for a quality informative and specialized product such as these books a bargain. The world of "free stuff" and information on the internet has dulled us to the value of many things. Unfortunately $20-30 books are usually either a low quality mostly black and white soft back or a book no one wanted that is in the bargain bin (next stop, recycling bin).

The RF&P HS is a great organization and got these published with Doug, so check them first. The ACL & SAL HS also stocks them and they should have some available at the train show in Duluth, GA toward the end of August.
Good points, to the both of you. Maybe down the road, this would be a rare book I would be open to paying $60 for? I feel I'd be more open to buying this book, if it were $30-40(or heck, maybe even $45) myself. Ah well, to each their own I guess. Plus I do hear you, that certain publishers have raised the costs of their books to like $70. Ugh!
 
J

James Musgrove

Guest
The August 2019 issue of Railfan & Railroad magazine carries a very positive review by Steve Barry of the Amtrak Auto Train book.
 
J

James Musgrove

Guest
The Amtrak Auto Train book is selling fast. Anyone still wishing to get a copy should do so soon.
 

zephyr17

Conductor
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
4,032
Around 60 is right in price range of what most quality, railfan oriented books go for. It isn't overpriced for that market.
 
J

James Musgrove

Guest
Just a reminder that the RF&P RR Historical Society still has copies of both auto train books that Doug Riddell wrote.
They would make great holiday gifts.
The Amtrak Auto Train book relates the story of how Mr. Claytor rescued the concept and made it the success it is today.
 
J

James Musgrove

Guest
The RF&P RR Historical Society is offering a special price on the Amtrak's Auto Train book to members of this forum. The book may be purchased for $40.00 plus $7 for shipping and handling. Send your order via US mail to RF&P RR Historical Society, PO Box 9097, Fredericksburg VA 22403. Indicate on your order that you are a member of this forum. This offer has been authorized by their Society.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
4
Greetings to all Forum members.

The Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad Historical Society has published the book titled “Amtrak’s Auto Train” written by Doug Riddell, a former Seaboard RR and Amtrak employee. It is the story of how Amtrak and President Claytor rescued this train from the ruins of its predecessor.

The Society is offering a special deal to all Forum members. You may buy a copy of this book for only $40 plus $7 shipping and handling, this is $20 below the suggested price.

Because this is a special offer, it can only be done by mail, not over the internet.

If you wish to buy a copy, mail your check or money order to: RF&P RR Historical Society, Post Office Box 9097, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22403-9097. Indicate that you are a member of this Forum on your request or method of payment.

You can find out more about the RF&P HS at www.rfandp.org on the net.

Thank you,
Jim Musgrove

Special Projects Coordinator
RF&P RR HS
 

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Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,567
Did you know that in 1974, Amtrak planned to thwart Auto Train Corporation’s dreams of tapping the lucrative Midwest-Florida travel market by launching its own competitive service—AutoTrak, between Indianapolis, IN and Poinciana, FL? Were you aware that it was once necessary to secretly get Amtrak President, W. Graham Claytor, Jr., aboard the Silver Meteor at a road crossing near Jacksonville, FL, for fear that nearby local officials would find him, arrest and jail the famed railroad executive? It’s true.
What was the story about Claytor nearly being arrested?
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
4
Anderson,

According to the author, the story involves two fishermen in a boat fishing beneath a railroad bridge in Florida when an Amtrak train passes overhead and a passenger flushes the non-retention toilet. The case went to court and Mr. Claytor had to appear to defend the company.

Jim Musgrove
 
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