Taking the Amtrak auto train come Florida indigenous the northeast is an choice for traveling to the Sunshine State. Yet is it precious it? What are the pros and cons? Is it really cheaper to take it the train? This write-up explores these questions and also shares the author’s experience traveling top top the Amtrak auto train from Lorton, Virginia come Sanford, Florida.

Amtrak auto train to Florida


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Why take the Amtrak auto train come Florida?

The main reason travelers take it the Amtrak auto train come Florida is due to the fact that they choose not to drive. Us go ago and forth from new York to Miami every as soon as in a while and also the driving deserve to be exhausting. Website traffic on the I-95 deserve to be complicated and just sitting in a vehicle for hours on finish is exhausting. Friends had taken the auto train and recommended it. “Let’s examine out the auto train,” us said. Therefore we started our research and also explored choices on the auto train.

Auto train cost, tickets and also reservations

I have to admit I had actually a little bit of problem nailing under the price of mine ticket. I first identified what I believed was a pretty good price of $89 for coach. A coach seat is one i beg your pardon reclines a bit yet not entirely flat. You have the right to doze top top it however it will certainly be like sleeping on a plane, not very restful. I believed the price appeared reasonable however when ns plugged in the date on the Amtrak site, the price shoot up. ~ trying several various dates, ns did uncover a $89.00 coach fare but that to be waaaaay in the future. The lesson right here is, a great way to conserve money is to book as far in the future together possible. The $89.00 does not incorporate the price of delivering the vehicle which is second $200.00.

The price for other accommodations additionally depends on how far in advancement you book. The closer the date, the more expensive the fare, similar to what some airlines do.

You have the right to buy your tickets digital or in ~ the station.

From a expense perspective, that is not necessarily cheaper to take the train, back it might be. There are countless factors come consider. Will you walk coach or sleeper accommodation? If girlfriend drive, will certainly you linger and take a leisurely, several-day road trip from the northeast to Florida or try to make it in one non-stop drive?

For distinguishable comparison purposes, we were two people in a “roomette” ~ above the auto train. Us paid $742.00 for 2 world to walk from Lorton, Virginia come Sanford, Florida. That’s $542.00 plus $200.00 because that the car. We also had a bike attached come the ago of the car. Us were initially coming from brand-new York therefore we had to journey to Lorton to acquire on the train. That cost needs to be factored in if you space coming indigenous somewhere other than Lorton. Because that this comparison, however, we’re just starting from Lorton.

Had we propelled from Lorton, Virginia come Sanford, Florida, the price for two human being would have actually been about $350.00 including gas and tolls, one hotel night and also food. That’s a $392.00 difference compared to the auto train. Of course there’s the wear and also tear of the car and also of the passengers. For us it to be worth it for the experience yet we wouldn’t do it every time we take that route.

Amtrak auto train route.

The train travel non-stop from Lorton, Virginia in the Washington DC area come the city that Sanford, in central Florida just external of Orlando, a major tourist destination due to the fact that that is where Disney civilization is located. The return path is in opposing direction, Sanford, FL to Lorton, VA.

How lengthy does the journey take?

The pilgrimage takes 17 hours and also 29 minutes. That’s simply the travel time and also does not incorporate the time associated in loading the auto into the train in ~ the departure allude or discharge it at the destination.

Loading and unloading can take a while

Cars start loading at 11:30 and also loading close the door at 2:30. As soon as you get to the loading area you leave everything in your vehicle except your valuables and a bag or two for what girlfriend will require on the train. Then you inspect in in the waiting and also are offered your ticket come board, dinner menu and also dinner time. You wait in the wait room until boarding. The train actually pipeline at 4:pm.

On the other end, the takes another great chunk of time come unload every the cars. Once we arrived in Sanford, that took united state an hour and a half before our car was unloaded.

As can be expected, the an initial cars to fill will it is in the critical to unload. For the reason, it renders sense to pack your automobile closer come the loading meeting of 2:30. Just to be on the for sure side, gift on line at 1:30 to load your car, would typical you won’t need to wait so lengthy to receive it top top the other end.

Accommodations top top the Amtrak auto train.

Amtrak provides several options for the Lorton, Virginal to Sanford, Florida route. The an initial is “coach.” This is the many economical option and also doable for the almost 18 hour ride however you room still sitting all this time so, if you have the right to afford it, upgrade.

The following option is basically two coach seat in a small compartment the pull the end to form a bed. The shelf over it pulls down to create a bunk bed so there are two beds in this compartment euphemistically referred to as a “roomette.” This is suitable for two human being or one human being who wants to sleep in a bed vs a reclining seat. The toilet is in the hall and also shared with various other passengers.

Another alternative is a “family room” an ideal for 2 adults and also 2 kids. It has actually private bathroom and shower.

The last option is a “bedroom” i beg your pardon is twice the dimension of a roomette with in-room bathroom, sink and also shower. This is for people who desire ample space.

It’s difficult to obtain a good photo the the compartments because they space so small. The dimensions of the roomette is 3’6″ X 6’6″.

See more: Average Cost Of A Disney Cruise, Is A Disney Cruise Worth It

We made decision the roomette and also although yes, it’s cramped, we were fine for the size of the trip.