Amtrak Auto Transport
Amtrak runs a special Auto Train service that allows its passengers to take their vehicles – be they cars, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, boats, or jet-skis – along with them when they travel along the East Coast.
This service is convenient for passengers who like to drive themselves around in Florida, as well as for passengers who need to hop around a lot but do not want to spend a lot of money on taxis or tourist vehicles.
The Auto Train travels nonstop between Lorton (Virginia) and Sanford (Florida).
Amtrak Vehicle Limitations
Of course, there are some limitations to the kind of vehicle you can bring along with you.
- Cars must not be more than 65" in height
- Vans and SUVs must be 88 inches or less in height
- All vehicles must have a ground clearance of at least 4 inches
NOTE: These are the restrictions in place when this article was published. Please double-check with Amtrak before planning to take the Auto Train.
Here are a few practical tips if you are planning to take your vehicle along with you on Amtrak's auto train:
- The Auto Train departs every day at 4:00 P.M. If you are taking your van or motorcycle, then you must check in by 2:00 P.M.; anything other than vans or motorcycles requires you to check-in no later than 3 P.M. Remember, the Amtrak guys enforce these timings strictly; so take care to reach there in time.
- Once you give in your vehicle, leave the key in the ignition and turn off all the alarms.
- The Auto Train does not offer checked baggage service and requires passengers to leave their baggage in their vehicles. However, you are allowed to carry two small handbags.
- Do not leave any items in the car that you may need for the journey – for example: medicines, laptop. This is because you cannot access your car during the journey.
- There are three dinner sessions on the Auto Train, and the one at 6:30 P.M. is the best. If you don't want to miss this session, then you must check-in by 1 P.M.
- Amtrak requires you to bring photo identification when you pick up your ticket and also on the day of departure. So don't forget to carry your passport or your driving license.
Traveling on the Auto Train is an experience by itself. So, go right ahead, book your room on the Auto Train and get ready for some serious fun and frolic, along with friends or family, in sunny Florida!
More on Auto Transport and Amtrak