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Old 05-12-2004, 09:58 PM   #61
cherylp3
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Feb was not that busy when I went - you could take your chances and wait.
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:51 AM   #62
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I have taken the Auto Train 4 times over the past 4 years and I really love it. My son (age 10) has a great time on it. I've been in coach (which was ok) and sleepers (which are better) and have enjoyed both trips. I love the fact that I have my own car while in FLA. There is alot of swaying and bumping and it can be unnerving at times, but it wasn't that bad. I don't usually see great discounts through Amtrak, so I tend to book early, because the longer you wait, the higher the prices, as people start booking up the sleepers. I did coach in October of 2002 and because it was after the summer season, we were able to stretch out as there were alot of empty seats. I recommend the train to lots of people, especially if they are afraid to fly.
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Old 05-13-2004, 03:02 PM   #63
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Our experience has been, the earlier you book, the better the discount.
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Old 05-25-2004, 01:14 PM   #64
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Hi,

I had to reply to this post since my husband works for Amtrak.

JudithM - We do not get special priviledges with seat assignment riding in coach. We have to request where we would like to sit just like everyone else. BUT we can be put on awaiting list doing the slow season to be upgraded from coach to first class. It's only happens if first class is NOT sold out.

Amtrak does not own the rails to FL, they are owned by CSX. CSX give the autotrain the right of way on a timetable but is CSX is having problems with their time schedule they do stop the autotrain for their trains. It is something Amtrak has no control over.

The lower level of the train is more bump and noisy then the upper level. The upper level has more swap then the lower level and not as noisy. So you have to pick which is more comfortable for you.

The earlier you book the cheaper it is on the autotrain but if a discount comes out you can call and have the price readjusted.

Also Amtrak sometimes will separate the types of travelers - all the families together, all the elderly together and all couple/non-kids together. This helps with trying to keep each traveler in their own enviroment.

Hope this helps so of you,
Debbie

Last edited by garydeb; 05-25-2004 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 05-27-2004, 11:08 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally posted by garydeb
The earlier you book the cheaper it is on the autotrain but if a discount comes out you can call and have the price readjusted.
Really???

I purchased our AutoTrain tickets months ago, but was unaware that should a discount become available I could have that applied as well.
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Old 06-01-2004, 07:08 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally posted by garydeb
I had to reply to this post since my husband works for Amtrak.

JudithM - We do not get special priviledges with seat assignment riding in coach. We have to request where we would like to sit just like everyone else. BUT we can be put on awaiting list doing the slow season to be upgraded from coach to first class. It's only happens if first class is NOT sold out.
We will have to disagree about where Amtrak employees & their families sit on the Autotrain. We were told by the family sitting with us both southbound & northbound that they put employees (&/or their family members) downstairs. I have no problem with Amtrak allowing their employees & their families to upgrade to first class. I still believe whether Amtrak admits it or not, they prefer their employees downstairs at the expense of customers with handicaps/disabilities. My opinion ...

Quote:
Originally posted by garydeb
Amtrak does not own the rails to FL, they are owned by CSX. CSX give the autotrain the right of way on a timetable but is CSX is having problems with their time schedule they do stop the autotrain for their trains. It is something Amtrak has no control over.
The maintenance condition of the rail road beds in the United States is deplorable. Because the tracks are mostly used by freight, the owners don't care about the detailed conditions like smoothness. Unfortunately this adversely affects the passenger travelers. We have traveled on trains in Europe, & the trains are smooth, fast & comfortable.

Quote:
Originally posted by garydeb
The lower level of the train is more bump and noisy then the upper level. The upper level has more swap then the lower level and not as noisy. So you have to pick which is more comfortable for you.
I suspect you mean sway not swap . If you are saying the train sways even more upstairs than downstairs, then I am even more convinced I will not ride the Autotrain again as is.
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Old 06-01-2004, 07:49 PM   #67
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just back from recent auto train trip

This was our 4th time in 2 years on the auto train and the absolute worst. It seemed like it was getting worse with each trip but this last time I was scared to death. Even the employees said it was one of the worst trips. Apparently the driver must have had a hot date because we were delayed a bit getting out of Florida due to the heat(not really a problem -I was glad to go slow) but when we were trying to make up for the lost time the train was flying through most of virginia and it was horrible. Everytime the train hit a tressle or a track merge the trained jumped back and forth so violently you could feel the jolting the train was taking as it tried to steady itself on the rails. If there wasn't an angel watching over us we surely would have derailed. Taking that jolting at 70 miles an hour was like being on test track with a 2 year old jerking the stearing wheel back and forth. I will never ride the train again. I'm afraid of flying but the fear of jumping the tracks is worse. We were 2 hours late getting into lorton and I would have rather been 8 hours late with a smooth ride that I could relax with. My prayers go with those of you who already bought your tickets.
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Old 06-07-2004, 08:24 AM   #68
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Question Auto Train $$$....

My nephew is driving his car down to Orlando the end of August with his father and I suggested they just drive as far as Washington,DC and then hop the Auto Train to Orlando.My nephew is attending UTI down there and needs his car.
I looked up the price on Amtrak for the Auto Train and one-way for the two of them and the car is $264.00.
Is this a good price??
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:15 AM   #69
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I think thats a good price.

I recently got a quote of $561 for 2 ppl round trip in August.
(Note I get AAA discount.)

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Old 06-08-2004, 07:08 AM   #70
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Debbie,

Your nephew can also check into a student rate that can even lower the cost of the autotrain. Also check for AAA and senior rates. Great Name!!!

-Debbie (garydeb)
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Old 06-26-2004, 03:35 PM   #71
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We just got back from an trip on the autotrain, a major word of warning. When you pull in you'll get a notice of possible delays due to track construction. We were told basically they are running late most week days due to multiple slow downs due to the work. We went down on a weekend so we were ok, but coming back up we came up on a Wednesday-Thursday and were 4 hrs late getting into Lorton. We've heard that this is occuring pretty often.
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Old 06-26-2004, 08:49 PM   #72
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I wonder if they are fixing the rail line or if there was a problem due to heat and they want to avoid accidents like last year.
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Old 06-30-2004, 08:55 AM   #73
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Depending on when you are going in Feburary you might want to book early, as some of the train can get pretty booked up, it seems to always be cheaper to book early......
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Old 07-13-2004, 06:02 AM   #74
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We just got back from the auto train. We went from lorton-sanford on 7/4 arriving 7/5. We actually got there early and had to sit on the track until someone came in to the Sanford station to get the trains separated and everyone unloaded. We found it a pleasant experience, however, we weren't at all prepared for the motion sickness our children had. They've never been car sick, but while coloring, playing gameboy on the train, both got very nauseous and one got sick. On the way back we were better prepared with dramamine, left about 30 minutes late from the Sanford station and got in an hour late in Lorton. They had our car off in 20 minutes and we were on our way. We were impressed both times with how quickly they unload the cars. On the way down, we were the last people in the terminal, and it only took them 40 minutes to get our car off. Not bad!
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:24 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally posted by lkc0538
We just got back from the auto train. We went from lorton-sanford on 7/4 arriving 7/5. We actually got there early and had to sit on the track until someone came in to the Sanford station to get the trains separated and everyone unloaded. We found it a pleasant experience, however, we weren't at all prepared for the motion sickness our children had. They've never been car sick, but while coloring, playing gameboy on the train, both got very nauseous and one got sick. On the way back we were better prepared with dramamine, left about 30 minutes late from the Sanford station and got in an hour late in Lorton. They had our car off in 20 minutes and we were on our way. We were impressed both times with how quickly they unload the cars. On the way down, we were the last people in the terminal, and it only took them 40 minutes to get our car off. Not bad!
Was this a trip for four? How much did the train cost you?
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