When It Makes Sense to Transport a Car by Rail

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When It Makes Sense to Transport a Car by Rail
When It Makes Sense to Transport a Car by Rail

When people think of auto transport, the first thing that comes to mind is usually transporting your vehicle via a trailer. The second, for international shipping, is via ship. However, one type of auto transportation that often gets overlooked is transportation via rail.

Car Transportation via Rail

It doesn't always make sense to choose this option, but there are times in which it does.

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The Advantages of Rail Transportation

Rail transportation isn't for everyone, but some of the advantages that it can offer are:

  • It generally costs less than shipping a vehicle via an auto transport truck.
  • It is better for the environment due to a lower carbon footprint.
  • It has most major routes covered in the United States and Canada
  • It can be useful for part of the transportation process in landlocked countries internationally, such as in Central Asia.
  • It offers fully enclosed transport options.

The Disadvantages of Rail Transportation

Of course, rail transportation also comes with a host of disadvantages, which are:

  • There's still the need to drive and pick-up the vehicle from a designated place, meaning that door-to-door delivery is not an option in many cases.
  • It takes longer than shipping via truck in most cases.
  • It's only useful for long distances.
  • It might include more paperwork and red tape.
  • You might have to use it in conjunction with other transport types if you don't live in a major metropolitan city.
Rail Transportation Options

Transporting your vehicle via rail does come with some different options, similar to traditional auto transport. The two main options are transporting your vehicle by either open transport or enclosed transport.

If you chose the open transport option, it might be cheaper, but your vehicle will be exposed to the elements, including dirt, dust, and bugs. It is still a safe method of transportation via rail, but just keep that in mind if your car is valuable.

The enclosed transport option means that your vehicle will be placed in a train car that is enclosed, meaning that your vehicle will have full protection. It is more expensive, but it is useful if your vehicle is very valuable, such as being a classic car or a luxury vehicle.

Should You Go With Rail Transport?

Unless you live close to a major city where rail transport would be an option, you have to transport your vehicle internationally in a landlocked country, are environmentally-conscious, and/or might want to save some money if it's cheaper, rail transport is not necessarily the best option. Traditional auto transport, when arranged through a credible company, can be just as safe and offer you more personalized transport options, such as door-to-door delivery.

Contact A-1 Auto Transport today for a free instant quote and a consultation with one of our customer service representatives to discuss all of your auto transport options. We will work with you to figure out the best solution!

Related information
Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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