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Home > Archives > Loading a car onto an auto carrier, 2016.

Loading a car onto an auto carrier, 2016.

Color digital image depicting an automobile being loaded onto an auto carrier used on the Auto Train (Lorton, Va.- Sanford, Fla.); image dates to February 2016.

Loading a car onto an auto carrier, 2016.

Once at the Auto Train stations in either Lorton, Va., or Sanford, Fla., passengers drive through a vehicle gate, receive a claim-check number which is also affixed to their vehicles, and then proceed to the loading area. Informational brochures given to passengers have a special section inside the cover with space to write down one’s car loading number and seat number. Travelers continue on foot into the station with their overnight luggage while the vehicles are video-documented and driven into the bi-level auto carriers, which are split up onto several parallel tracks.

The Auto Train is the only Amtrak service to simultaneously transport passengers and their motor vehicles, including cars, SUVs, trucks, motorcycles, small boats and water-skis. With locomotives and coach, sleeping, dining, lounge and auto-carrier cars, the Auto Train is considered the longest passenger train in the world, often measuring about ¾ of a mile.

“Riding the Auto Train is a unique experience and a family oriented one," says Route Director Kathy Brewer. "We are building relationships from generation to generation. We have longtime riders whose grandchildren are now riding.”

Photographer: Chuck Gomez for Amtrak. From the Amtrak Corporate Collection.