View Full Version : Auto (cycle) train

08-08-2005, 09:06 AM
I thought I'd post my experiences on the auto train I used to transport my bike from Florida to Virginia. I started out from Orlando on Thursday. You have to arrive 2 hours early so I arrived at 2 PM. There was already a long line of cars but I was able to drive to the front of the line where the motorcycles were loaded. I quickly checked in, got my ticket and was directed to load my bike. The bikes load on pallets ( 2 bikes per pallet) and secured with tie down straps.

I had to wait 2 hours to board the train. Once on, it started relatively quickly. The ride on the train was suprisingly interesting. Watching the scenery go by as we rolled through the southeast US was a different type of travel experience. On a plane, you're usually counting the hours until landing. The time passed very quickly. They showed a movie in the lounge car and dinner was ok- better than airline food. By the time I returned to my berth after dinner, the steward had turned down the bed. I quickly went to sleep and slept through most of the night. I woke up pretty early in the morning in North Carolina as the morning mist was starting to burn off from the sun (see pics).

We ended up being about 3 hours late (arrived at 11:30 instead of 8:30. May have been due to the fact a sinkhole had opened in the vicinity of the tracks just north of the Sanford, FL station and the train had to go 10 MPH here.

After arrival at the station in Lorton, VA, we waited 45-60 minutes for the bikes to be unloaded. There was no damage after careful inspection. I road the bike off the palet and was good to go. Overall I think the auto train was a very good experience. It was cheaper than the motorcycle transport companies ($401 for 1st class cabin and bike transport) and the ride in the train was very interesting. Hope this helped anyone trying to make plans for bike transport.

08-08-2005, 09:37 AM
That sounds like the way to do it. Do you live in Florida or Virginia?

08-08-2005, 10:15 AM
I've lived in Orlando for the past year but am moving to Bethesda, MD in October. My father lives in Charlottesville, VA where the bike is now. It's only a couple of miles from the Blue ridge Parkway. I went for an incredible ride down the BRP on saturday. Will post some pics.

08-08-2005, 10:23 AM
Do you have to be on the train or can you drop the bike and take a flight to your destination and pick up teh bike there. If it is possible how much is it.

08-08-2005, 10:40 AM
With Amtrak, you have to be on the train with the bike. I'm sure there are other train shipping companies that can do this for you.

08-09-2005, 07:33 PM
Sounds like a nice way to travel. From the looks of it they have good accommodations for the bike too! I could definitely deal with that. Watch the scenery, have a couple of cocktails and chat it up a bit. Not bad...

08-10-2005, 07:54 AM
Thanks for the info, mcskeeto. I'll keep the auto/cycle train in mind.

Those are some awesome pics too - That shot of the house in the morning mist was spectacular, as were the ones from BRP (I gotta get down there and check that piece of road out some day)!

Sorry your RSVR had to spend the trip next to that Electra Glide, though.

RSVMillenian, I think you'd do better to hire a transport service for around $250 to ship the bike if you were to fly seperately. The $401 sounds like a decent deal for traveling by train with the bike. Also, with the flying option, you'd still have to get transport from the airport to where your bike ends up. With this train deal, you're always with the bike.

They should do a sequel to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (one of my favorites) and call it Planes, Trains, and Motorcycles. Of course, they'd need a different guy to play Del Griffith...

08-11-2005, 10:57 AM
When I was a growing up in Pittsburgh, my family would vacation in Florida every year. Most of the time, we took the AutoTrain. I love Florida, but as a kid, I liked the train ride even better. We didn't stay in a berth either, we rode in one of those cars with the upper deck all glass for a nice view. The seats were very comfortable and reclined way back (much more than in an airplane).

Do you happen to know what the price is without staying in a berth?

AutoTrain :plus: :plus: :plus:

08-12-2005, 08:55 AM
I think the price for a seat is about $250 total for the bike transport included. Very reasonable.

08-13-2005, 03:32 PM
I think I know how I am getting to next year's MotoGP :burnout:

08-14-2005, 07:11 PM
I think I know how I am getting to next year's MotoGP :burnout:

Unless next year's MGP is at VIR and your comin' from FLA, you're SOL.

08-14-2005, 08:15 PM
Seems like a good way to go to Daytona Bike Week (if you're from the NE).