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Old 12-04-2012, 01:37 PM   #1
Cuddlemama
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50 Days Till The Autotrain...

And we're both nervous and excited. We leave on 1/25 from Lorton, but are booking a hotel the night of 1/24 and driving down from NY a day early in case the weather is being a pain in the rear. It's so hard to predict driving conditions in the Northeast in January.

So, give me all your best suggestions for making this an enjoyable trip? Do you think our trains will be crowded on the way down and back (down 1/25 and back 2/9)? How can you tell if your train is running crowded or not crowded?

We're going coach and the kids are almost 13, almost 11, and 8. They've all got iPod Touches and/or iPhones and we have iPads. Only the iPad has 3G, though, so they'll have to do without internet on the train. Everyone's getting new headphones for Christmas.

My youngest can't have gluten, so we're packing a bag of drinks and snacks that will hold her over for a couple of days, since we can't find out for sure if there will be safe food on the train for her during the trip. We'll make sure to add bottles of water for ourselves, too, since we're prone to getting thirsty.

Any recommendations for where we should try to be seated? Best meal times for a family of 5? Stories to share or photos and tips to help us get through the rest of the wait?

~Leigh
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:01 PM   #2
rockydek
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Auto Train

The Auto train is great...We come from Boston , get up at 4am and make it to Lorton in 7 hours.
The kids will enjoy the train ride...The train only stops once.
The meal is enjoyable. The seats are comfy..I would bring pillows for your head when you sleep.. When you pull into Lorton...Amtrak will tell you to get everything you need ,out of your vehicle...They will film around your vehicle and then put it on the car train..You will not have access to it until you arrive in Sanford.
Depending on how crowded the train is...Sometimes you will be allowed to use extra seats (nice for sleeping).
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:14 PM   #3
Tink's Pixieduster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuddlemama View Post
And we're both nervous and excited. We leave on 1/25 from Lorton, but are booking a hotel the night of 1/24 and driving down from NY a day early in case the weather is being a pain in the rear. It's so hard to predict driving conditions in the Northeast in January.

So, give me all your best suggestions for making this an enjoyable trip? Do you think our trains will be crowded on the way down and back (down 1/25 and back 2/9)? How can you tell if your train is running crowded or not crowded?

We're going coach and the kids are almost 13, almost 11, and 8. They've all got iPod Touches and/or iPhones and we have iPads. Only the iPad has 3G, though, so they'll have to do without internet on the train. Everyone's getting new headphones for Christmas.

My youngest can't have gluten, so we're packing a bag of drinks and snacks that will hold her over for a couple of days, since we can't find out for sure if there will be safe food on the train for her during the trip. We'll make sure to add bottles of water for ourselves, too, since we're prone to getting thirsty.

Any recommendations for where we should try to be seated? Best meal times for a family of 5? Stories to share or photos and tips to help us get through the rest of the wait?

~Leigh
There is a lengthy thread on the DIS about the Auto Train. http://www.disboards.com/showthread....ght=auto+train There are a lot of shared ideas and even some photos. If you post your questions again there I know you will get some good suggestions.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:07 PM   #4
Jimsig
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As for sitting, try to sit in the middle of the cars for a smoother ride. Sitting at the ends put's you over the wheels and though not terrible, you will feel it when you go over the switches.

Don't leave anything of value in you car (GPS-jewlery-etc), or make sure it's hidden very well.
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