Q:

How does Amtrak's Auto Train work?

A:

Quick Answer

The Amtrak Auto Train allows passengers to travel with their vehicles, which are loaded on special train cars. The overnight journey includes meals and the option to travel in coach or in a sleeper car. The train runs between Lorton, Virginia, near Washington D.C., and Sanford, Florida, near Orlando.

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Full Answer

Reservations for the Auto Train must be made in advance. Regular tickets may be purchased online, but the Priority Offloading option must be booked by phone. This allows a vehicle to be one of the first offloaded at the destination. To board, passengers need a reservation number or a name, along with an approved government-issued ID. Auto Train passengers have an earlier check-in deadline to accommodate the loading of their vehicles.

Luggage service is not available, but passengers may leave non-valuable items in their vehicles. Pets are not allowed on the Auto Train. Amtrak suggests disconnecting car alarms because they may go off during the trip, resulting in a dead battery at the destination.

Any type of vehicle with a maximum height of 88 inches, a maximum width of 84 inches and a minimum ground clearance of 4 inches is acceptable. Vehicles with dual wheels are the exception and are not allowed.

For motorcycles, the maximum width is 51 inches, and the maximum height must be 72 inches from the top of the handlebars or windshield to the ground. Motorcycle ground clearance must be at least 5 inches. Tires may be no more than 7 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep.

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