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Orlando Car Train

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Understanding the Orlando Car Train Amtrak’s Auto Train Service
  2. Preparing Your Vehicle for the Orlando Car Train
  3. Benefits of Using the Orlando Car Train Service
  4. Costs and Booking the Orlando Car Train Service
  5. Experiencing the Journey What to Expect on the Orlando Car Train
  6. Conclusion
Orlando Car Train

The Auto Train or Orlando Car Train, a unique service provided by Amtrak, offers an innovative solution for those looking to travel between the northern and southern parts of the East Coast, specifically from Lorton, Virginia (near Washington DC) to Sanford, Florida (near Orlando). It's the only train in the U.S that allows you to bring your car or motorcycle along for the trip. Rather than embarking on a long drive, passengers can enjoy a relaxing journey aboard the train, arriving at their destination with their vehicle waiting for them.

The Amtrak Auto Train departs daily from each station, providing an overnight journey that covers approximately 855 miles. The route takes around 17 hours, eliminating the need for an overnight stop. The VA Auto Train Station in Lorton and the FL Auto Train Station in Sanford are designed for easy loading and unloading of vehicles, ensuring a seamless experience for passengers.

Understanding the Orlando Car Train: Amtrak’s Auto Train Service

Traveling on Amtrak's Auto Train is more than just a means to get from point A to point B—it's an experience. This unique service provides a comfortable and convenient way to travel between Virginia and Florida, without the stress of a long drive.

Onboard, passengers can enjoy a range of amenities designed to make the journey enjoyable. There is free WiFi available, allowing passengers to stay connected throughout the journey. For meals, there's a full-service dining car offering a variety of options. From hot breakfasts to three-course dinners, the dining car caters to different tastes and preferences.

Accommodations on the Auto Train range from Coach seating to private rooms. Coach seats are spacious and comfortable, while the private rooms offer extra amenities like beds, personal service, and access to showers.

The cost of Amtrak Auto Train tickets varies depending on the type of accommodation chosen, the season, and the demand. But regardless of the cost, the convenience and comfort of the Auto Train journey make it a worthwhile investment.

The process of booking Amtrak Auto Train tickets is straightforward. Tickets can be purchased on the Amtrak website, over the phone, or at any staffed Amtrak station. It's recommended to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure your preferred accommodation and ensure space for your vehicle.

In conclusion, the Amtrak Auto Train offers a unique travel experience, combining the convenience of having your own vehicle in Florida with the comfort and amenities of train travel.


Preparing Your Vehicle for the Orlando Car Train

Before you embark on your Auto Train journey, there are certain guidelines set by Amtrak to prepare your vehicle for the trip. Following these steps ensures a smooth vehicle loading process and a stress-free start to your journey.

Firstly, it's important to clean your vehicle, both inside and out. This is not only for aesthetic reasons but also because Amtrak does not allow hazardous materials in vehicles. So, a clean car helps the inspection process go smoothly.

Next, remove all personal items from your vehicle. Amtrak's policy states that no personal items should be left in the vehicle during transit. This includes electronics, cash, jewelry, or any other valuables. The only exceptions are standard vehicle items like the jack and spare tire.

Check your vehicle's fluid levels and ensure the gas tank is less than half full. This is a safety requirement for transport. Also, disable or turn off any alarm systems to prevent them from being triggered during the journey.

Lastly, arrive at the station gates early. The vehicle drop-off and check-in process can take some time, especially during peak seasons. Amtrak recommends arriving at least two hours before departure. The vehicle staging area can get crowded, so it's best to allow plenty of time for this process.

Benefits of Using the Orlando Car Train Service

The Auto Train service brings numerous benefits that make it an appealing alternative to a traditional road trip. One of the key advantages is the ability to bring your vehicle along for the ride. This means you can enjoy the convenience of having your own car or motorcycle with you in Florida, without the wear and tear of driving it down yourself.

Secondly, the Auto Train lets you skip the stress of a long drive. Instead of navigating highways and dealing with traffic, you can sit back and relax in the comfort of the train. Whether you want to catch up on work, read a book, or simply enjoy the scenery, the journey is yours to enjoy as you please.

Another benefit of the Auto Train is its eco-friendliness. By choosing train travel over driving, you're significantly reducing your carbon footprint. This makes the Auto Train a more sustainable choice for long-distance travel.

Lastly, the Auto Train offers an option to reserve priority vehicle offloading. This service ensures that your vehicle is one of the first to be unloaded upon arrival, letting you get on your way quickly.

In essence, the Auto Train experience combines the convenience of having your own vehicle in Florida with the comfort and relaxation of train travel. It's a unique solution that caters to the needs of both the traveler and the environment.


Costs and Booking the Orlando Car Train Service

The cost of booking a journey on the Amtrak Auto Train varies, depending on several factors. These include the type of accommodation you choose, the season in which you travel, and the level of demand.

For example, coach seats are the most affordable option, offering spacious seating and access to all the train's amenities. However, if you prefer more privacy and comfort, you may opt for a private room. There are different types of private rooms available, each offering varying levels of space and luxury. It's worth noting that all private rooms come with complimentary meals in the dining car.

Booking your tickets for the Auto Train is a straightforward process. You can book online through the Amtrak website, over the phone, or at any staffed Amtrak station. It's advisable to book early, especially during peak travel seasons, to ensure availability for both your seat and vehicle transport.

Experiencing the Journey: What to Expect on the Orlando Car Train

Once you've booked your tickets and prepared your vehicle, it's time to embark on your Auto Train journey. From the moment you arrive at the station to the moment you retrieve your vehicle at your destination, the Auto Train experience is designed to be as comfortable and convenient as possible.

Upon boarding, you'll find your accommodations clean and ready for your journey. If you've booked a private room, you'll find it equipped with comfortable bedding, outlets for your devices, and climate controls. Regardless of your choice of accommodation, you'll have access to the train's amenities, including free WiFi and a variety of dining options in the dining car.

The journey itself is a chance to relax and enjoy the changing scenery from the comfort of your seat or room. You can read, work, watch movies, or simply watch the world go by. As night falls, you can settle in for a good night's sleep, waking up refreshed and ready for your Florida adventures.



The Amtrak Auto Train service offers a unique way to travel from Virginia to Florida. It combines the convenience of having your own vehicle in Florida with the comfort and relaxation of train travel. With spacious accommodations, a full-service dining car, and the ease of vehicle transport, the Auto Train offers an experience far removed from the stress of a long drive. Whether you're planning a vacation or heading south for the winter, the Auto Train is a hassle-free way to bring your vehicle along for the ride. In conclusion, the Auto Train isn't just a mode of transport—it's a part of your journey, adding its own unique memories to your travel experience.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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