Going on vacation usually requires a form of transportation whether it's the car, train, boat or plane. But only one type of service allows you to transport your car and your family from one destination to another.
The Auto Train that runs from Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida featured a fun step in the evolution of car transport services.
Founded on the idea that families would be more comfortable vacationing in their own cars rather than rentals combined with the fact that many people don't enjoy long car trips down interstates, but would rather relax and let someone else get them where they are going.
Auto trains can be found in many countries, but the successful one in the United States runs from Lorton to Sanford connecting Washington, D. C. to Orlando, Florida.
The car transport is facilitated by auto racks, which were created for the Canadian National railroad. The features of these huge railroad cars with end doors and contained bi- level racks that cars could be driven onto and parked.
These 75 foot cars were huge for their time and could carry 8 cars in each. The cars would be parked and secured for transport while the families made their way to their seats or private compartments on the train. These auto-racks are the forerunners of the modern enclosed auto racks.
Auto-train's popularity with older travelers as it ferried they and their cars from D. C. to Florida never quite caught on in other parts of the country. Amtrak acquired the Auto-Train Corporation in 1983 and continues operations of the Auto-Train on its daily routes from D. C. to Florida.
From the traveling senior to the traveling teen to the traveling family, the auto-train offers a very unique service in that it is the only one that will transport a family and their car.
The cost is not prohibitive and the Auto-Train carries about 200,000 passengers AND their cars yearly. The convenience of being able to take your own car on vacation without having to add thousands of extra mileage to the odometer makes the Auto-Train a vacationer's auto transportation dream answer.
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