In fiscal year 2008, the Auto Train carried 112,188 cars and 1,757 motorcycles, resulting in a gasoline savings of about 5,048,460 gallons (20 mpg at 900 miles).
by Walt Smyth
Saint Petersburg, Florida
My wife and I recently attended the 50th reunion of my United States Marine Corps Officers Basic School Class (5-60) in Quantico, Virginia. We had planned to drive up until we saw one of your ads on the computer. We decided to look into the Auto Train for the trip up, planning to drive back to Florida. We booked a roomette and drove over to Sanford on the afternoon of Saturday, September 18.
We had a most enjoyable trip. The ticketing and boarding procedures were flawless, all of the Amtrak personnel were extremely professional and courteous, we had great accommodations, enjoyed a complimentary wine tasting before leaving, and had a comfortable compartment. The dinner was outstanding, with excellent service and a memorable meal. We had a fun time, and my wife who is a smoker was able to use the smoking compartment in the Lounge Car.
We got to Lorton almost two hours ahead of schedule (the attendant explained that the economy had decreased freight traffic for CSX so there were fewer delays) and enjoyed a relaxing, scenic and friendly trip.
We had so much fun on the trip up, that we decided that instead of driving back to Florida, we'd take the Auto Train using Coach service, leaving on Thursday, September 22. We had a similar positive and most enjoyable train ride, great food, wonderful service and attentive and courteous staff.
We are looking forward to doing this again, not only for the convenience, but for the sheer fun of the trip, excellent service, friendly Amtrak staff, great meals and efficient cost effective transportation. Almost everyone we spoke with on the train felt the same way.
We talked with several other reunion attendees about our experience, all of whom were interested and most of whom were not familiar with the service, and at least one couple has scheduled a trip to Florida later this year.
We were thoroughly delighted with the Auto Train experience and will recommend it to any friends thinking about a trip north or coming to Florida. Thank you.