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Passenger Trains > More Autotrain questions


Date: 04/14/01 21:10
More Autotrain questions
Author: frequentflyer

1.What is the lure of taking the Autotrain(for nonrailfans) when you can fly from the NE to FL. real cheap and rent a car for $120-130 a week?

2. If Autotrain had all tri-level auto carriers,like BNSF Max cars or tri levels from Thrall,how many would it take to hold 200 cars? The average vehicle count for an Autotrain.

3. Could not the Autotrain run at 79 mph if the autoracks had high speed trucks on them?

4. Are the road crews based in Stanford or Lorton?

5. When the crews change in Florence SC,is that a water stop as well as a fuel stop?

Thank you for your answers.



Date: 04/14/01 21:33
RE: More Autotrain questions
Author: FrankHatfield

You ask:

"1.What is the lure of taking the Autotrain(for nonrailfans) when you can fly from the NE to FL. real cheap and rent a car for $120-130 a week?"

It's a nice train ride. Even for nonrailfans.

Don't underestimate the hassles and unpleasantness of taking the airlines, and don't underestimate the pleasure of a train trip, even for nonrailfans. George Warrington and his cronies seem to underestimate BOTH.

Frank



Date: 04/14/01 21:54
RE: More Autotrain questions
Author: railrider

Remember that many of the "snowbirds" going to Florida stay for several months, thus making a car rental impractical. The schedule calls for a 14.5 hour ride to go 855 miles. That's an average speed of almost 60mph. Not bad!



Date: 04/15/01 09:22
RE: More Autotrain questions
Author: Lackawanna484

My parents take the auto train every year for the convenience.

Drive to Lorton, 3 hours. Load, have dinner, go to sleep. Wake up, and you're in Florida. Drive three hours, and they're "home" in Florida. They ship a few boxes via UPS, which arrive a day or two later.

One year, they dawdled and couldn't get reservations, so the drive took four days and they were both exhausted for weeks. I can't imagine auto train hauls much in July, but you can't touch it in November...



Date: 04/15/01 13:49
RE: More Autotrain questions
Author: gnr1938

FF,

<1.What is the lure of taking the Autotrain(for nonrailfans) when you can fly from the NE to FL. real cheap and rent a car for $120-130 a week? >

One, you can load all your own junk in your car or van and don't have to worry about lugging it around in an airport and then to a rental car. As for the rental car price you quote, that may be during dead season for a sardine can econobox. To rent an equivalent minivan to our own while we were in Florida in mid-March would have run almost $400. The other lure is the comfort of traveling and being able to spread out and relax and not get packed into a 737 and praying your luggage doesn't get damaged or shipped to AZ.




<2. If Autotrain had all tri-level auto carriers,like BNSF Max cars or tri levels from Thrall,how many would it take to hold 200 cars? The average vehicle count for an Autotrain. >

Well, I don't know about the BNSF Max cars, but the triples they have right now hold 12 cars and I mean cars only. You bi-levels for vans, cycles, and SUV's which there are usually quite a few of, especially the new BMW and Lexus ones. On our trip there was a Rolls Royce Corniche(spelling) and a Ferrari Boxer. Average vehicle count depends on time of the year. It is not a constant.



<3. Could not the Autotrain run at 79 mph if the autoracks had high speed trucks on them? >

They already run very close to this now. We frequently were above 70 mph coming and going to Florida.



<4. Are the road crews based in Stanford or Lorton? >

Lorton. They don't even spend the night in Sanford unless an unusual individual situation arises. So its basically 36 hours on and then 3 days off last they told me in March.



<5. When the crews change in Florence SC,is that a water stop as well as a fuel stop? >

Yes it is. It was also a septic pump for us on the trip back north because the morons forgot to pump out our tanks in Sanford. This mishap forced the closure of every toilet on our sleeper which was an all deluxe one. AS a result, it made our northbound trip a free one and miserable too.



Date: 04/15/01 14:13
RE: More Autotrain questions
Author: jdb

Question 2: How many cars for the Auto-Max?

Can carry 22 Honda SUVs. Three down low between the trucks of each unit (thats six) and eight on the second and third levels.



Date: 04/15/01 15:27
RE: More Autotrain questions
Author: rdg484

About the Auto Train's speed: It is RATED for 70 MPH, but I have times the mileposts and found a lot of 45 and 46 second miles, all south of Richmond, VA on the former ACL main line. This line was once equipped with automatic train stop and therefore, allowed the Champion, back in the day, to run at 100 MPH!



Date: 04/16/01 14:43
WE NEED MORE OF THEM
Author: Kentucky86

I think Auto Train would do well on the cross country market. East coast to West...



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