Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: AutoTrain

  1. #1
    On the road to Find Out leaveword's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Middleburg, Virginia
    Posts
    22

    Question AutoTrain

    Anyone make the trip from Lorton, Virginia to Orlando on the Amtrak Autotrain? Looking for beta on how it works with the motorrad. Please advise! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cal
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Suches, Ga
    Posts
    94
    It works fine, you load first, take your own straps and soft ties, it will give you ease of mind. Word of caution, you ride the bike up on the pallet follow the instructions and you will be OK.

    As far as accomodations reserve a compartment will give you privacy and a place to sleep prone.

    You leave Lorton around 4 PM and are in Orlando by 8 AM.

    Cal

  3. #3
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Landenberg, PA
    Posts
    2,690
    The ride south should be nice. But coming north this time of year? Beware of the snowbirds! Get a sleeper compartment!

    We made the trip in April a few years ago. While the floor show was amusing at first, the snowbirds antics soon became as old as they were. Among the comments:

    "I sit in THAT seat every year and she's in my seat! Make her move!"

    "Pills....where are my pills?"

    "I need the rest room more than you do so you will have to wait while I go ahead."

    "Why can't we watch tv (in the club car)?" I prefer to watch tv. (the tv's only play video)

    I have nothing against Senior Citizens...except when they behave like overaged kindergarteners!

  4. #4
    Registered User PHMARVIN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    933
    Quote Originally Posted by Newstar View Post
    I have nothing against Senior Citizens...except when they behave like overaged kindergarteners!
    Hi, Tracy,
    Be careful. You'll be one one of these days! I know. I was raised in Central Florida in the '50's and '60's. I just turned 62, so I'm getting there.
    Ride Safe,
    Phil Marvin - El Paso, TX
    '94 K75A/3
    '95 K75RTP

  5. #5
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Landenberg, PA
    Posts
    2,690
    Phil, I'm fighting a losing battle on middle age! Sadly, I know just where I'm heading.

  6. #6
    On the road to Find Out leaveword's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Middleburg, Virginia
    Posts
    22

    Thanks, guys

    Thanks for the tips everyone. REALLY looking forward to this trip. Yes, I have a sleepercar booked. I had a great experience at my local dealiership, Morton's BMW in Fredericksburg VA. I asked for advice and they forwarded my request to a frequent Autotrain rider who called my mobile phone and talked to me for 15 minutes with all the beta. Thank you Morton's and what a great group of folks we are. Proud to ride a boxer.

  7. #7
    Registered User FSwish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    15
    I am planning on traveling the other direction in late July, would be interested in seeing pictures of how the bike is strapped down so I can plan on what I need to bring to the station.

    Thanks,
    Fred
    '09 K1200LT
    '04 R1150 Rockster
    BMW-MOA, RoTB, NEF

  8. #8
    Cal
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Suches, Ga
    Posts
    94
    Fred

    All you need is soft ties and ancra straps (they do provide them). Now what is slightly daunting is to ride your bike up their ramp and into the channels in the pallet. If you are not comfortable riding, walk the bike up under power.

    Cal

  9. #9
    Hopelessly lost subagon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Plant City, FL
    Posts
    148
    I made the northbound trip 2.5 years ago. Here are a lot of pictures taken at Sanford.

    http://cycle.frogfruit.com/v/trip_ri...big_trip/1012/

    These were the pictures taken at the start of the trip and thus the AutoTrain.

    Click on each "album" (picture) to see more pictures.

    There's some info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto_Train

    I brought tiedown straps but didn't use them. The loaders used towels to protect the bikes.
    Mike Barfield - Plant City, FL
    '07 R1200 GS - '75 R90/6 - '93 R100GS PD - '71 R60/5 - 2 X '73 R75/5 LWB - '83 R80 ST
    Picts

  10. #10
    On the road to Find Out leaveword's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Middleburg, Virginia
    Posts
    22

    Worked like a charm!

    Thanks, guys. My only regret about the Autotrain was that I couldn't get an affordable passage back up north, but that was offset by two of the most amazing riding days on I-95, which was practically empty, in perfect weather averaging about 85 over 1,000 miles from Orlando back home to northern VA. Heaven!

    The photo below shows how they load the bikes in Lorton, VA. As you can see, I had to remove one of my city cases, so decide in advance which one you need in your cabin (left or right), remove it then ride up accordingly. The loaders were courteous and extremely good at their job and proud of what they do. The shift boss who loaded my bike was a motorcyclist. He told me the staff have all undergone WAAAY more training this past year to ensure that every bike loads properly.

    Oops, I don't know how to get the photo in here! It's on my computer....???

    I had trouble finding a non-annoying place for my city case in the tiny cabin. It won't fit under the seat/bunk. I ended up putting it on the other seat in the daytime, then above me on the upper bunk at night, but two people with city cases will have to lower the top bunk right away, and they'll pass an uncomfortable night.

    Earplugs didn't quite do the trick. Maybe bring noise-cancelling headphones to sleep in?

    In Sanford I bought a Mini Sunpass and spent half an hour registering at an internet cafe using my own computer. I loaded it with fifty bucks, which more than lasted the week, and just stuffed it in the bottom of a bag to show to a cop in case I was ever pulled over. This was the best move I made on the trip. I used the toll roads all the time, and I just rolled through checkpoints knowing that Sunpass would fotog my plate and deduct the charge from my Sunpass balance when they got around to it. You can limit your Sunpass in both time and money, so if you preset an end date, after your trip is over there is no chance that anybody else can scam tolls from your card. Pretty useful item. The five dollar cost of the card gets you five dollars in tolls.

  11. #11
    On the road to Find Out leaveword's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Middleburg, Virginia
    Posts
    22

    Fred's question

    Fred, if you can help me work out how to get my photo on this forum, I have the photo you want.

    Don't bring anything. Their new training is comprehensive, they tie down to the frame of every single bike and not to the forks or handlebars, so no seals are damaged, and there was NO DOUBT in my mind that their system was complete using their own equipment.

    Riding up the ramp and into the block was no problem for me on a R1100S. The tech coached me confidently to just aim and give it gas. No need to be tentative. Once your front tire is in the block, the bike isn't going anywhere.

  12. #12
    Registered User FSwish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    15
    When you reply to the thread you can attach a file using the paper clip icon next to the smiley face on the message tool bar. The file has to be saved as a lower resolution to stay within the 156 KB allowed, you can do this using a picture editor. You could also try PM me and I can send you my home email that will except higher resolution pictures, may need to send a couple emails pending on qty and size.

    Thanks,
    Bought tickets for the end of July conference in DC and looking to head to Vermont for the RA rally.
    Fred
    '09 K1200LT
    '04 R1150 Rockster
    BMW-MOA, RoTB, NEF

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eastern KY
    Posts
    3,104
    Hauling bikes on trains and riding FL toll roads???????????????

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •