Amtrak Restores Auto Train Service Nov. 22

WASHINGTON – Amtrak announced that Auto Train service will resume Saturday, Nov. 22, from both its terminals.

The Auto Train carries passengers and their automobiles between Lorton, Va., and Sanford, Fla. The service was temporarily suspended Nov. 19 when cracks were found in the underframes of the rail cars that carry automobiles. No passenger-carrying cars were affected.

“Although no incidents resulted from these cracks, we suspended service in the interest of safety,” Amtrak acting President and CEO William Crosbie said. We deployed welders and materials to both Auto Train facilities and worked round-the-clock in 12-hour shifts to resume this very popular service as soon as possible.”

Amtrak owns 80 of the auto carriers and will apply modifications to all of them. Between 36 and 52 auto carriers are required each day to operate Auto Train service. Amtrak expects maintenance crews to have repaired 36 auto carriers by Saturday, enough to resume the daily overnight runs that eliminate nearly 900 miles of driving between the Northeast and Central Florida.

Auto Train is one of Amtrak’s most popular trains, handling more than 234,000 passengers and their vehicles in Fiscal Year 2008 ended Sept. 30. Saturday’s combined northbound and southbound Auto Trains are slated to carry 777 passengers, 250 automobiles and 82 vans and SUV’s. Motorcylces are also handled on Auto Train.