I’m going to try and keep up with this as we go, but forgive me if it stops and starts. Ds and I start the trip by ourselves, dd flies down to join us late tomorrow night, and dh stayed home this time.
My 12yo ds and I left PA this morning and hit the road at 9am after stopping at Wawa (the most wonderful stop and grab a sandwich/drink/snack store on the planet). We hit some occasional congestion, but made it to Lorton, VA in almost exactly 3 hours.
We’ve ridden the AutoTrain twice before, so we knew to head straight across the street to the strip mall. We like the pizza place. After some pasta and a calzone, we walked a few stores down and had our first ice cream for the trip!
We checked in at 1:30pm. It opens at 11:30am and last check in is at 2:30pm.
You park your car, leave the keys, and take your carry ons to the waiting room. Once there, you check in at the desk, receive your car and seat assignments, and choose which dinner
seating you prefer. The scheduled departure is at 4pm but they started boarding at 2:45pm, we were all on the train by 3:10pm, and after coupling with the last of the train cars, we were on our way by 3:25pm.
Some of the stats (I tried to type them as they were announced, but I could have messed them up…but they are close):
35 train cars
Dinner is at 5pm in the Dining Car (there is a 7pm and 9pm seating as well). The Lounge Car is directly in front of us, with the Dining Car directly in front of that. Since ds has a limited palate, we’ll be grabbing a personal pizza in the Lounge Car on the way to dinner for him.
The train is expecting to pull into Sanford at 9am tomorrow morning, as long as there are no delays.
Not sure if the photo will work.