Trains For America

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Autotrain Sanford, Florida Amtrak station groundbreaking

This is not exactly news, but the Sanford groundbreaking is Monday, May, 18.

The new station will include a 600-passenger reception hall and terminal facilities to accommodate expansion of auto train operations in the future.

The facility is getting more than $10 million in federal funding, which will be used to improve the auto train stationĀ and create construction jobs in Central Florida.

Yes, I caught it too and the idea of “expansion” could conceivably include a service to theĀ  Midwest, but that is pure speculation. Amtrak has a lot on its plate as things stand now.

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Filed under: Amtrak, Regional USA Passenger Rail

11 Responses

  1. Peter Laws says:

    Auto-Train, the private company that originated the service in the 1970s, tried a Louisville-Florida train … and it killed them. Look at the number of people within, say, a day’s drive of Lorton, VA, and then find a similar place in the Midwest. There isn’t one.

    Likewise, look at the density of attractions around Sanford – there is no other place like that in the US that I can think of.

    You might be able to make the case that there should be some tri-levels attached to other full-service trains, but I can’t imagine that there is another market than can support a duplicate of Amtrak’s current Auto Train.

  2. Because of various agreements between the unions, this facility can only be used for AutoTrain passengers. Sanford is not a stop for the SilverSErvice trains.

    As for midwest service, speculation is that it might be possible by sometime in 2011. We will get a report on that sometime in July once the Amtrak report goes to Rep. Corinne Brown’s committee.

    However, based on what has been told to various groups, so far, here is what we may have:

    Texas Eagle will extend to Los Angeles on a daily basis, possibly as early as the fall timetable change.

    A stub train consisting of coaches, business class, and diner will connect to the above train at SanAntonio and operate between NewOrleans and SanAntonio.

    No word yet on east of NewOrleans, but speculation is that it will be an all coach service at first, with diner. Thus the transcontinental service is dead, killed in large part by the host railroads who ran the train so late that it’s losses, due to bustitution etc. were unacceptible. Even so, it was a vital, heavily used service whose ridership did not deteriorate until CSX maintenance cut back on the number of east end trips, and Amtrak’s lack of equipment, forced rolling stock to divert to other services. I believe the new service will be well used, but I won’t use it myself until there is a sleeper east of NewOrleans. This is probably not going to happen until more equipment is procured. Amtrak has said, that they do not rule out the possibility of a transcon service using through cars, however. Otherwise, we wait with baited breaths.

  3. DHL says:

    Amtrak ridership is soaring but little money has been available to accomodate the demand. Thus old equipment operating on mostly freight trackage has been only been able to do so much.
    The Autotrain has been a highly profitable route due to its proximity to DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Willington, and the NYC metro area. All of those major population centers are within a 3-4 hour drive of the Lorton IMO to have a succesful Midwest route the station would need to be located within a 4 hour drive of Chicago. As for more long range service, it needs to be widened.

  4. JOHN LOIACONO says:

    How much does it cost 1 way from Sanford Fla. to Lorton Virginia.
    1 car and 1 adult. Aug. 4th or 5th. I can’t get a 1 way price on the website.

  5. Tim Mack says:

    John, The fare for 1 adult + 1 std vehicle would have been $280 one way from the website per space availability.

  6. Tim Mack says:

    Opps. My correction, $380. That’s $228 for adult & $152 for car.

  7. martha de sanctis says:

    I’m missing my camera and checking to see if perhaps I left on train #i0. we were second from the rear seat on the left side. I would appreciate it if you would check the lost and found. also in lorton,va on my way home I lost a gray neck pillow. I seem to be getting old.also my husband and I like the new change with the diner separeted from the lounge.

  8. JOLHN SNAUFFER says:

    I HAVE USED THE AUTO MANY, MANY TIMES THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS. IT IS BY FAR THE BEST WAY FOR ME TO GET FROM MY HOME IN FLORIDA TO MY FORMER HOME IN PENNSYLVANIA. THE RIDE IS GOOD, THE SERVICE ON BOARD IS GREAT AND IT USUALLY IS AN ENJOYABLE TRIP. AND OF ALL THE TIMES I HAVE MADE THE TRIP, I DON’T EVER REMEMBER THE TRAIN BEING LATE!!! GO AMTRAK!!!

  9. James G. NYC says:

    I absolutely agree that the amtrak auto train is the best way to go form NYC to Florida… aside from the fact it takes over 24 hrs total time from NYC driving time the wait till departure and the 17hrs till Sanford but its save the stress on your car and its safe and on time i used it twice in the last year and a half …..

  10. Pamella Conrad says:

    I have used Amtrak at least 3 Xs going to and from Florida to Virginia. Is there also a trip that takes you from Florida to NYC? If so I would like to know the difference in price, as well as one way. How far in advance must I make the purchase? I want to be on Long Island before the end of July. Kindly contact me and if I do not hear from you, I hope I can call.I also want to sit downstairs as I am older and need to be near the bathrooms, although I am able to have the meals upstairs. Thank you. P.C.

  11. David Gunn says:

    @Pamela Conrad Amtrak operates a number of trains from Florida to New York – called the Silver Service. Link here: http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer/AM_Route_C/1237608339450/1237405732511

    These trains are single-level equipment, so there is no issue of upstairs and downstairs.

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