Taking the automated Amtrak train to Florida from the Northeast is an option for traveling to the Sunshine State. But it's worth? What are the pros and cons? Is it really cheaper to travel by train? This post explores these questions and shares the author's experience with the Amtrak railcar.Lorton (Virginia)Asanford, florida.
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Why take the Amtrak car train to Florida?
The main reason why travelers take theamtrak car trainto Florida because they prefer not to drive. We drive from time to time between New York and Miami and driving can be tiring. Traffic on I-95 can be daunting and just sitting in a car for hours is exhausting. Friends took Autozug and recommended it. "Let's have a look at the train car," we said. So we started our research and explored Autozug's options.
Car train costs, tickets and reservations
I must admit that I had a little trouble pricing my ticket. I first identified what I thought was a very good price.$89 for trainers.An economy class seat is a seat that reclines slightly but is not completely flat. You can nap on it, but it will be like sleeping on an airplane, not very restful. I thought the price was reasonable, but when I put the date on the Amtrak website, the price went through the roof. After trying several different dates, I found an $89.00 bus ticket, but that was in the future. The lesson here is that a good way to save money is to book as far in advance as possible. The $89.00 does not include the cost of transporting the car, which is an additional $200.00.
Prices for other accommodations also depend on how early you book. As the date approaches, the fare becomes more expensive, like some airlines.
You can buy your tickets online or at the train station.
Traveling by train is not necessarily cheaper financially, but it could be. There are many factors to consider. Are you traveling by bus or in sleeping accommodation? When driving, you will be late, and you will have a calm vacation for several days.optional tripfrom the northeast to Florida or trying to do this non-stop?
In comparison, we were two people in a "roomette" in Autozug. We paid $742.00 for 2 people from Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida. That's $542.00 plus $200.00 for the car. We also had a bicycle strapped to the back of the car. We originally came fromNew YorkSo we had to drive to Lorton to catch the train. This cost should be taken into account if you are coming from anywhere other than Lorton. However, for this comparison, we start from Lorton.
If we were driving from Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida, the cost for two people would be approximately $350.00, including gas and tolls, one night's hotel accommodation, and meals. That's a $392.00 difference compared to the automatic train. Of course, there is wear and tear on the car and passengers. For us it was worth the experience but we wouldn't do it every time we do this route.
Amtrak car train route.
The train operates non-stop from Lorton, Virginia in the Washington DC area to the city of Sanford in central Florida just outside Orlando, a major tourist destination as Disney World is located there. The return trip is in the opposite direction, Sanford, FL to Lorton, VA.
How long is the trip?
The journey takes 17 hours and 29 minutes. This is travel time only and does not include the time required to load the carriage onto the train at the point of departure or unload it at the destination.
Car loading starts at 11:30 am. m. and the load closes at 2:30. m. When arriving at the departures area, leave everything in the car except your valuables and a bag or two for whatever you need on the train. You then register in the waiting room and receive your ticket for food, evening menu and dinner time. You wait in the waiting room until boarding. In fact, the train departs at 4 pm.
On the other hand, it still takes a long time to download all the cars. When we got to Sanford, it took us an hour and a half to unload the car.
As expected, the first wagons to load will be the last to unload. For this reason, it makes sense to charge your car closer to the 2:30 am charging deadline. m. Just to be sure, if you're online at 1:30 am. m. to charge your car, you don't have to wait so long for it to reach the other side.
Accommodation in the Amtrak carriage.
Amtrak offers several options when traveling from Lorton, Virginal to Sanford, Florida. The first is "Trainer". This is the most affordable and viable option for the nearly 18-hour trip, but you'll still be seated the entire time, so upgrade if you can afford it.
The next option is basically two seats in a small compartment that opens up to form a bed. The top shelf pulls down to create a bunk bed, so there are two beds in this compartment, euphemistically called a "roomette". This is suitable for two people (two people who really like each other because it's so small) or one person who wants to sleep in a bed instead of a recliner. The bathroom is in the hallway and is shared with other passengers.
Another option is a "Family Room" suitable for 2 adults and 2 children. It has a private bathroom and shower.
The final option is a "bedroom" that is twice the size of a bedroom with a toilet, sink, and shower in the room. This is for people who want a lot of space.
It's hard to get a good picture of the fans because they are so small. Roomette dimensions are 3'6″ X 6'6″. We opted for the roomette and despite being small we were fine during the trip.
All sleeping accommodations include towels, linens, turndown service, meals, lounge access and dining car access. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the building.
Our flight attendant, Keith, was so kind to ask when would be a good time for our turndown service and answer general questions about the trip.
Sitting by the window and watching the swamps, rivers, farms and towns go by is a pleasant trip to Florida. This was certainly more comfortable than driving and constantly focusing on the road and traffic.
Menu car, dining car and lounge.
Upon check-in, guests can choose different times to dine in the dining car. We chose 7 pm. I wanted to see the lounge, so I went there and had a snack. The price was a reasonable $8.00. The lounge was cozy with good music, Motown, blaring.
For dinner, the steak, fish, chicken and pasta menu was certainly adequate. All meals are served with wine, soft drinks and dessert. There is also a children's menu. All meals are included in the ticket price if you choose sleeping accommodations. If you choose to take the bus, you will have to pay for food separately and eat in your seat, although we have advised that bus ticket holders will be able to eat in the dining car in the future.
Breakfast consisted of coffee, cereal, milk and juice with a small cake that was eaten in the room or at your place. Again superficial and functional.
Tips for enjoying your trip on the Amtrak Auto Train,
- Bring your own pillow or blanket, the beds are a little hard.
- Download movies and/or a book. Bear in mind that the trip takes more than 17 hours.
- Bring snacks. The food selection isn't extensive, so you might want to grab a bite after the food truck closes.
- Please bring comfortable shoes or slippers for walking in the bathroom.
- Of course, if you're in a room where the seats convert to bunks, the person who uses the bathroom the most at night should be on the bottom bunk.
arrive the night before
If you're arriving in Lorton from a different destination and don't want to be in a hurry to meet your load time, consider staying overnight in Lorton. there is a lotAccommodation in Lorton, VA. We stayed at the Lorton.Holiday Inn Expressit was 7 minutes from the train station.
There are also many attractions in the area. We visit the former Lorton Juvie, now converted into artists' studios.Das Workhouse Arts Centerwhich you can visit to see the artists at work and performing. The complex also houses theLucy Burns Suffragette Museumwhich tells how women fought for the right to vote. The museum is very well preserved and interesting. Behind the museum are the cells where suffragettes were held and tortured for demonstrating in front of the White House. The museum is free, but prison cells are $5.00.
We visited attractions in the Lorton area as we didn't want to go too far from the Amtrak station, but the Lorton area is full of things to do. VisitFredericksburg, Virginia, about an hour away if Civil War history is your thing.Washington DCit's only 30 minutes. DC is a city where you can spend a lifetime without getting bored.
If you go further south than Central FloridaMiamiwith its modern and versatilemiami neighborhoodoPlaya Sur, that's another 3.5 hours. Of course, there are also many interesting things to do inNational Parks and Cities near Miamiand the region's beaches.
What do YOU think about the Amtrak train to Florida? It was you? Was it a good choice for you? Let us know in the comments.
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