When transporting your vehicle, there is certain information that you will want to take the time to gather, consider and know about. Choosing to transport your vehicle by train is one of the most flexible options to choose. There are two choices when it come to auto train transporting. If you would like to travel with your car, then you will want to look at Amtrak. Simply shipping your vehicle and having yourself or someone else pick it up at it’s destination point is an option as well, you would hire a private freight company.
There are certain requirements that you need to be aware.
When traveling with your vehicle, on Amtrak, you will need to be there at least two hours prior to your departure time, depending on the vehicle. There are certain types of vehicles that are able to board the auto train, and each has a different check in time as well as height and clearance issues.
An automobile needs to check in 1 hour prior to departure, it can only be up to 65 inches tall with at least 4 inches of ground clearance. There is to be no temporary luggage or bike racks, or luggage or bikes attached to the roof of the car. Bikes will only be allowed in racks attached to the back only. Car alarms need to be deactivated prior to drop off.
Van/SUVs must be there at least two hours prior to departure time. They can be between 66 and 88 inches with at least 4 inches of ground clearance. Temporary bike racks and luggage racks are not allowed if attached to the roof. Bicycles in racks may be attached to the rear of the van only. Auto train does not allow dual wheel vehicles.
Motorcycles must arrive two hours prior to departure time and can be up to 57.5 inches including windshield, with 5 inches of ground clearance. Sidecars are prohibited. You will be allowed to assist in securing and removing the motorcycle. Auto train also allows for other small trailers, jet skis and such with prior approval.
Auto train boarding does not allow for any checked baggage. Baggage may be packed inside of the vehicle, but know that you will not have any access to that baggage. With each vehicle type above the passenger is required to sign a loss or damage waiver for any bicycle that is attached to the back of a vehicle.
There are plenty of items to consider when using the auto train. It is very important for you to know the vehicle requirements for the vehicle that you are transporting. Make sure to bring photo id to the station when you pick up your ticket and when you depart. Auto train tickets must be purchased prior to you boarding the train. Consider the local traffic and make sure that you have plenty of time to get to the station in time to check your vehicle. Take all valuables with you out of your car. Take all items that you will need from the car prior to checking it. Again, you will have no access to the vehicle during the trip. Auto train boarding takes extra time aside from passenger boarding.