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So I'm heading north for a vacation, but would prefer to let Amtrak drive a good chunk of it for me. Anyone done this, or any special concerns putting my E in the choo-choo? Stock 2004, no external hardware added.
 

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Yeah make sure it's towed on a flat bed and not just the front 2 tires. It can mess up the drive train (no pun intended, but the sarcasm is)
 

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I looked into the Amtrack Car Train for my wife's grandparents a few years ago. They live in Naples and travel up to southern Ohio for the summers. They can no longer make the drive themselves and need help driving back and forth. I thought this would be perfect for them. Unfortunately the train is very limited in it's route and does not work for them. It does look like a great way to get across some distance and still keep your car once you get to the end point.

I would think that it would be easy for Amtrack to add these car haulers to more of their trains because I know we would use it for trips out west and even maybe a trip to Alaska.

I think even with minor exterior add ons the E will still fit on the train.
 

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Yes, the auto train only goes between VA and Orlando. That's why I said it doesn't work for most people. It would be great if they just added one of the auto cars to more of their cross country trains. Keep the mileage down on your car and still have it to explore the areas once you arrive at your destinations instead of getting a rental. Plus you can pack extra stuff in your car that you don't need on the train but might on your vacation.
 

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yeah, train trips may be a little slower but they can be a lot more relaxing and fun with a family. It is too bad they don't expand their services. You would think with the rising cost of gas they could jump on this service. "Families could keep their big SUV and still take long trips to where ever with out wasting a ton of gas on the drive there." Oh well.
 

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yeah, train trips may be a little slower but they can be a lot more relaxing and fun with a family. It is too bad they don't expand their services. You would think with the rising cost of gas they could jump on this service. "Families could keep their big SUV and still take long trips to where ever with out wasting a ton of gas on the drive there." Oh well.
The problem is that it's not very cost effective. One could easily drive the Orlando to VA distance in 1 day. I added up the costs for this once and decided to just drive up. The googled driving distance from Sanford, FL (the actual location of the station... not Orlando :) ) to Lorton, VA is 825 miles. The E will consume about 36 gallons of fuel at $3 per gallon, that's $108. For fun, let's say I stay overnight at a roadside hotel at $75. Add in food... $40. So far, I've spent $223. That's just for me traveling. Don't forget, I'm probably going to drive out of VA to my final destination. If I take the train it's $146 to ride coach, plus $231 for the car to ride in the trailer. That's a grand total of $377. I don't think I'm willing to pay an extra $150 so some train can drive me to a destination that is not even where I want to go. If you're traveling with more than one person, you'll pay an additional fare of $146 but if you drive, you'll only add the cost of food, so maybe another $40.
 

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But if you look at it for longer trips, though not available, and as part of the adventure and taking the labor of driving long distances with kids it could be all part of the trip.

The reason I first looked into it was for the wife's grandparents who need someone to drive them up as they like having a car at both houses but can't drive the long distances. For them money is not the issue it's convenience.
 

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But if you look at it for longer trips, though not available, and as part of the adventure and taking the labor of driving long distances with kids it could be all part of the trip.
I was quoting you but merely intending to point out that the cost of driving vs the auto train is why it may seem like the concept hasn't really caught on.
 

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Fully understand that point of it. I think the cost of taking a train in general as compared to even flying is a bit high and that is what is holding back the industry. The cost of keeping the train and the tracks fully operational is pretty high. I think if more Americans could experience the trains in Europe they would be more eager to look into taking a train in the States if they offered the same level of service.
 
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