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Cars, people now boarding Amtrak

All aboard on this train doesn’t mean just people. It means minivans, cars and motorcycles, too.

All aboard on this train doesn’t mean just people. It means minivans, cars and motorcycles, too.

To board you have to be packing some serious luggage: every traveller must also be transporting a vehicle. Amtrak’s Auto Train, the only one like it in the nation, has only two stops: one near Orlando, Fla., and the other in Virginia near Washington, D.C. For more than 25 years it has carried vacationers and their vehicles, and a new $10 million station expected to open in Florida in 2010 may mean even more passengers.

For a good part of the year this is the Magic Kingdom Express — a way for families from the Northeast to visit Disney World and bypass what can be a 1,450 km drive. But the train isn’t just for families. It’s also for snowbirds escaping to Florida for the winter, for college students vacationing or visiting grandparents, and for the recently-out-of-college set using it to move to, or from, Florida and points north. Some 238,000 people used the train last year. Each train carries up to 600 people and a crew of about 30; Amtrak says it’s the longest passenger train in the world.

 
 
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