My family traveled on the Auto Train in November one-way (South to
North). We drove to Florida, as we wanted to make some stops on
the way. The train was not crowded, as we were traveling the less desired
segment. In the fall/winter, more people travel South, and in the Spring,
more travel North. The price was also lower this way. We had plenty
of room to stretch out, which was good, as we didn't purchase separate
sleeping accommodations (too expensive). The seats reclined, and had
footrests, and we were given small pillows. We brought our own full
size pillows, and afghans to be more comfortable.
The ticket price includes dinner and breakfast. Dinner was a choice
of pot roast, grilled chicken breast, or vegetable lasagna with all
the trimmings, including a carafe of wine and cheesecake for dessert.
The kids meal was chicken nuggets. Breakfast was cold cereal, hot muffins
or bagels, bananas, orange juice and coffee. In the afternoon, there
was also hot water for hot chocolate or tea, and coffee. Also bowls
of salty snacks. A movie was shown in the evening (PG), and there were
cookies and lemonade.
Our car attendant was friendly and helpful. He explained that they
try to put families in the same car, and seniors in different cars so
everyone gets along better. We left slightly early, and arrived in Lorton,
VA an hour early. It took about an hour to get our car after we arrived.
We enjoyed our trip, but traveling in Nov. when the days are short,
we didn't see much scenery once it got dark (before dinner). One hint:
when you check in for the train, you have to choose a dinner reservation
time. Our choices were 5:00 and 6:30. We opted for the later time, and
it worked well, as the travel novelty was starting to wear off by then;
it gave us something to do. Lights were turned off in our family car
about 9:00, but you could still have your own personal reading light
above your seat. If you have any other questions, e-mail me.
These trip reports, in the trip report archive, include
comments on auto train experiences.
I noticed a fair amount of
information about the Amtrak Auto Train on your wonderful MousePlanet
site. You may be interested in taking a look at the website that I maintain
that provides in-depth information about the Auto Train... I'm not connected
in any way with Amtrak and the website is wholly non-commercial. It
started as a simple "riders guide" that I wrote about the
Auto Train when I discovered there was little such information on the
Internet. I take the Auto Train down the Florida each year to visit
my parents, ending with a visit to WDW, and update the material as necessary
after each trip...