Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby dgvrengineer » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:40 pm

Did anyone hear the cause of the Auto Train auto carriers derailment last week. I haven't seen or heard anything about the cause except a rumor that it might have been a broken rail from a railfan rumor board.
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby R&DB » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:22 pm

Highly unlikely. All of the locos and passenger cars made past the derailment site, but the first auto rack didn't. More likely some thing happened to that particular rack at that particular time. Not track related, but equipment related.
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby slchub » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:08 am

Indeed. It was broken rail.
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:34 am

Mr. Slchub, has anyone learned to what extent the autos in those racks were damaged?

Enquiring mind wants to know
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby R&DB » Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:17 pm

Is that from CSX?
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby dgvrengineer » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:28 pm

I was running a passenger train a few years ago when the conductor call and asked if I felt the huge bump. I hadn't felt anything even though he said it felt like they were going to derail. A couple of miles ahead, a tie inserter was in a siding & after we passed he went out and derailed in the exact same spot. It seems the outside rail of a curve had broken somewhere under the train as the locos had gone over with no problem, but the cars got a nasty jolt. Fortunately, that was all that happened to us. Could have been a nasty disaster. So the moral of the story is, rails can and do break under a train even though part of the train traversed with no problem.
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby hazmatmess » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:16 pm

Currently on the Auto Train doing 68mph through Bonneau SC. Left Sanford 15 minutes early. This was a surprise to the kids to end our Disney vacation and were they surprised! Boarding was easy and fast. Staff has been very friendly especially towards the kids. We have a family bedroom and it’s really nice. We had the 5pm dinner. Wife and I had the steak and my son had the chicken nuggets and my daughter had the mac and cheese. Dinner was really good. Plastic plates were kid of a let down but whatever. I LOVED the unsweetened iced teat. Very refreshing. After dinner we hung out in the observation car for a few hours and watched the sights go by. Kids had hot chocolate and we went to our room at 930. Wife and kids fell asleep fast. And I am just enjoying the fact that I do not have to drive. Now my wife understands why we took this home instead of going down like she wanted to. Imagine driving home from Florida after a week in Disney? Miserable. And the drive down was really good too. But back to the train. The beds are surprisingly comfortable. The mattress are a little thicker than a futon but firmer. Not my mattress but it will be fine for the night. I’ve slept on worse. The kids are really enjoying the ride. And my wife is too. She’s surprised that it’s so nice. Time to get some rest.
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:20 pm

Yup. I've taken it twice recently. Probably Amtrak's best train!

P.S. Drove 24 hrs. non-stop Boston to Florida once. Never again.
Last edited by bostontrainguy on Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby ThirdRail7 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:49 pm

You're currently +31" departing FLO. It is a weekend so you won't have to worry about VRE interference. If things hold, you'll have a nice, early arrival....which I probably just jinxed. :wink: Have an uneventful trip.
I want my road foreman!
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:14 am

hazmatmess wrote:The kids are really enjoying the ride. And my wife is too. She’s surprised that it’s so nice. Time to get some rest.


Memories for a lifetime. Hope it's the start of a great family tradition.

Thanks for reminding all of us about what matters most in train travel.
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby east point » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:57 am

hazmatmess wrote:C I LOVED the unsweetened iced teat.



Watch out for those typos. We don't watch out enough.
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby R&DB » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:57 am

hazmatmess » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:16 pm


Hope everyone enjoyed the trip! We've ridden it three times round-trip. We liked it better in the '80s and '90s, but it is still Amtrak's best.
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:18 pm

R&DB wrote:
hazmatmess » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:16 pm


Hope everyone enjoyed the trip! We've ridden it three times round-trip. We liked it better in the '80s and '90s, but it is still Amtrak's best.


And maybe even better in the 70's. I still remember sitting in the "Starlight Lounge" listening to live entertainment in a magnificent Sante Fe "Big Dome" under a man-made starlight ceiling, watching movies in the diner, eating in a dome car. It was pretty cool but the unique equipment made it really special for any railfan. Who knew red, white, purple and yellow would work as a color scheme?
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:46 am

bostontrainguy wrote:I still remember sitting in the "Starlight Lounge" listening to live entertainment in a magnificent Sante Fe "Big Dome" under a man-made starlight ceiling, watching movies in the diner, eating in a dome car. It was pretty cool but the unique equipment made it really special for any railfan. Who knew red, white, purple and yellow would work as a color scheme?

Mr. Trainguy, my first AT ride was December 1972, and the remaining 23 on the Amtrak varietal, which I've much preferred ("batting a thousand" with Amtrak's showers).

Possibly the most memorable was a '92 journey when the Sleeper Diner was an ex-MILW Super Dome. Before it came to Amtrak, Princess Cruises gussied it up for a short lived OAK-LA "luxoservice". It even had gold tinted windows - and the excellent food was prepared on board - including "Prime Rib" that might actually been USDA Prime (OK; Top Choice).

But at my age, and no real desire to even leave my Bedroom, my 750ML of Grape Juice, my Times and Journal, as well as having the "properly rewarded" Attendant fetch whatever vile slop is on the Menu at 5PM rather than waiting around for same at 9 (and seated with some people who I could just as soon do without and they likely could do without me).

My railfanning days are history; AT is simply a means to drop 400 some miles off my drive, stock up at a Northern Virginia Grape Juice factory, such as Chrysallis in Middleburg, maybe see a long time retired Marine friend now a DODC @ Quantico, and otherwise "be gone" to my usual overnite "tie up" in Akron.
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Re: Amtrak Auto Train Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:18 pm

And that is exactly why the train continues to be so successful. It is a practical means of transportation for people from "point A to point B".
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