Parking For Auto Train?

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rrdude

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Sounds like an oxymoron, but I truly need an answer. Because of business schedule, I need to MEET my family at the AT terminal in Lorton. Obviuosly, we'll have two cars, and DON'T want to take them both to Florida. Can anyone suggest where I could park my car, at about 2:45pm, and then WALK to the AT terminal? I know of the shopping plaza almost X the road from the terminal, but am not sure if I parked my car there, it wouldn't get towed???

Leaving tomorrow, LOL, so suggestions are needed, FAST.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Assuming they have a parking area for employees, wonder if they'd allow you to park there.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Go for the shopping plaza, take the chance. At your time frame is anything else workable?

Taxi, getting a ride?
 

VentureForth

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Hmmm... Anonymous guest with a direct phone number. I'd certainly take THAT advise!! :D
 

dlagrua

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It is unlikely that Amtrak will let you park your extra car at the Autotrain station but you can call and ask. I would not park in the mall across the street as it is not a 24 hr facility. Past about 11 PM you will be the only car there and that's very noticeable. If a merchant calls the police, they may consider it an abandoned vehicle and you may get towed away There is a Walmart in the area and they allow 24 hr parking. Walmart lots are meccas for overnight RV's and most have someone there 24/7.
 

SubwayNut

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Did you consult the Lorton, VA Station Page, this is what it says:

Station Building (with waiting room)



8006 Lorton Road
Lorton, VA 22079

The Auto Train station in Lorton is just 25 miles south of Washington, DC, with easy driving access to attractions in the mid-Atlantic region. No other trains serve this station.

Motorcycle tow vehicle and other overnight parking is not permitted. Area storage businesses offer extended parking. Call 1-800-USA-RAIL for more information.
 

rrdude

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Yeah, I saw all that stuff. Park-N-Ride less than a mile too...But since I finish up presenting a webinar at 2:45pm, I've got ZERO time to walk / cab to station.

I'm gonna try to leave my car at the Shell station, get a tune-up while it's there...
 

afigg

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Yeah, I saw all that stuff. Park-N-Ride less than a mile too...But since I finish up presenting a webinar at 2:45pm, I've got ZERO time to walk / cab to station.

I'm gonna try to leave my car at the Shell station, get a tune-up while it's there...
That is a very tight schedule. How long do you need to park the car for? Several days? A week? The Lorton station is not exactly close to any long term public parking facilities.

Before I saw how little time you have, I was going to suggest you might try to park your car at the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station parking garage. It is not widely advertised, but the parking garage at the Franconia metro station has long term parking for up to 10 days. The Metro info page says 15-17 spaces but it actually a whole row set aside at the far end of the parking garage with about 40-50 spaces marked for long term parking. If there is a space available, then one could take a cab from the Metro station to the AT Lorton station. About an 8 mile trip, so the stations are not close and you would need at least an hour to do this in case the traffic is bad or there are no cabs waiting at Franconia. I'm going ahead and posting this as an FYI for anyone who might be looking for cheap multi-day parking options prior to getting on Amtrak at Alexandria or WAS.

PS. The Huntington Metro station also has long term parking. I have not used Huntington, but I have used the long term parking at the Franconia Metro.
 
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rrdude

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I got NO time between when my webinar ends, 2:45pm, and when I need to join my family, who will already be on the AT. We'll be gone ten days, so my car can sit at the shell station after they do the tune-up...

Originally thought I could pre-record my webinar, but Citrix's GoToMeeting don't play nice with AV files.......
 

Ryan

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You can't ride down there with your family and do the webinar from the station?
 

rrdude

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I thought of that, but I need a second monitor, and the background noise, distractions, might be a little much. If they had a meeting room, then I'd be golden, but I am not aware of any.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I don't know how things work in your neck of the woods but here in Texas if you park where a landowner or management service doesn't want you to the involuntary towing fees start around $250. After ten days of storage you could be paying a thousand dollars or more to get your car back. Which makes the tuneup option sound downright cheap by comparison. Is there some reason the presenter/organizer cannot record the meeting on behalf of everyone else?
 

the_traveler

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I may be wrong, but it sounds like rrdude IS a presenter in the webinar. Especially when he stated the need for a second monitor. There may be Q&A, and the presenter has to answer questions asked, thus it can not be recorded.
 

Devil's Advocate

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After rereading the post I guess I had it all mixed up on who was actually doing the presenting. Presenting a remote meeting from an Amtrak station would take some major chutzpah. I've been "at work" with laptop in hand while lounging at a pool, chilling on a beach, relaxing in a hotel lobby, and even traveling on a train, but I've never been a meeting presenter in those situations.
 

fairviewroad

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Hopefully the OP can send us the sign-up info for his webinar so we can all join in the fun and critique his performance afterwards. ^_^
 

Ryan

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Just send me the script, Jerry. I'll run the show for you. Nobody'll ever be able to tell.
 

FriskyFL

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I've heard people participating in conference calls from toilet stalls at my workplace.
 
G

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Try calling them at (703) 493-8973 and ask directly.
Hmmm... Anonymous guest with a direct phone number. I'd certainly take THAT advise!! :D
Google took all of 0.33 seconds to confirm that this is the direct number for the Lorton Auto Train station.
I don't understand why this isn't the first thing the OP should do. The staff in Lorton might very well have a solution, which might even include them bending the rules a bit.
 

I always rode the Southern

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Did you check with the comfort Inn right across from the station to see if they would allow you to park in their lot for a fee, like many of the hotels do near the cruise ports?
 

rrdude

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I booked the Comfort, did my webinar, and at 2:45p got a frantic call from not only my wife, BUT two of my kids that "last call" for boarding was happ'n....

I bolted from the Comfort Inn, and drove the harrowing 1/4 mile to the Shell station...

I still had to get my car to the Shell, and go thru the paperwork...... I entered the service mgr's office thru the service bays.. MY BAD! Got theSame employees as alway evil eye..

As soon as he was done with the customer, I charged the service desk.....only to be told "there's a gentleman in front of you...."

Out of the corner if my eye, I noticed a SB regional speeding by....

Luckily the customer ahead of me was a "regular" and just in for an oil change...

2:58pm.

Getting txt's from my kids, my wife, webinar attendees..... Grrrr. This plan was unraveling, FAST.

I finally gave Bob my key, and bolted from the Shell station, laptop bag and pink Crocs in hand. Now it was only a short walk X the....... BUSIEST HIGHWAY IN THE FREE WORLD.

Where the F had all THIS traffic come from, now!

Deciding that no motorist in their right mind wud want to hit a man wearigf Pink Crocs, I started to X, thinkingSame employees as alway. tht traffic wud slowdown...

Wrong!

After some slick Frogger-Style jumping..... I made it X....

But WHERE was my family?

I met them on the platform, all forlorn tht I wud miss the boarding, n screw up the entire spring break.... (Like usual)

However, I am happy to report I am now in my bedroom en-suite, drinking vino, watching traffic, at a dead stop, on I-95 SB

I DO NOT recommend cutting it THIS CLOSE to anyone taking Amtrak.....Just the wat I roll
 

rrdude

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Looks like it posted twice too! Sorry, on a iPhone/iPad...

Just walked five cars to the lounge (CCC) car ....

WHAT A CLUSTERFU%#}%^

This IS a perfect example of "Screwing up a good thing"....

My kids are pissed right now, they walked five cars up and had nothing to Buy when they got to the lounge car and it's only 4:30pm

Course that was after my wife and I made the same hike, no cheese and crackers nothing like the regional. We bought nothing.

Saw several others leave the long long line and walk back to the sleepers, frustrated and unhappy

What used to be a nice start to a vacation, is now just BS...

See ya AUTO TRAIN, we won't be back.....
 

VentureForth

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Beginning of the run and they don't have anything to buy??? This is where I keep saying that Amtrak has a REVENUE problem, not an expenditure problem that requires real (or even fake) flowers to be removed. Your revenue problem ONLY goes away when every passenger on board has what they want and you still have supply - but just barely.

OK - back to the rush -

I am interested in knowing how long from the time you boarded until the train began to move. Presumably, all the switching has already taken place. Or has it? Why can't the last pax board at 3:59 PM for an ontime departure?
 
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