Transporting cars by train interstate
Transporting cars from state to state by train can become a very effective option if you will know some particular details in this regard. Here we will provide you with very basic information which will be very helpful for the planning and preparations.
Steps to follow
Here is a standard sequence of the main steps you will need to follow to make the process of transporting cars interstate by train easier and smoother.
Looking for a rail company. Unfortunately, nowadays you can find in the United States just a few rail companies which are dealing with individuals. The reason for that is because it’s not very profitable and convenient for the carrier to arrange loading and unloading of one single car than of multiple vehicles at the same time. In most cases, when you see railway carriages full of various cars and other vehicles, it’s of some big companies or government. So far, the main opportunity to transport car to another state by train on the Eastern coast is with the Amtrak company. Her routes are covering the distance between Washington and Florida, which is, of course, not too much, but at least you will not have any difficulties in arranging the delivery of the car. On the other hand, if the rail company will have some free space, you can always discuss the possibilities of the rail transport for cars interstate.
In some cases, the transportation company you are dealing with is not the rail company itself but dealing with some of them. This can become a good option to find a space for your car on the trains that normally don’t deal with individuals’ vehicles.
- Scheduling. Lack of flexibility is one of the main weaknesses of the interstate car transport by train. In some cases, it may take weeks to arrange the delivery, that is why this method of the transportation may not fit those who are willing to get the car delivered as soon as possible. The earlier you are applying for the service, the easier it will be to plan the delivery. Also, you need to remember that your car will need to be at the railway station at the appropriate time as the trains cannot afford to be delayed for such a small reason. Knowing the date and the time in advance will allow you to better plan the logistics.
- Choosing a method of delivery. Like in more traditional auto transport service with a truck, car transport interstate by train is possible in two main ways:
- open delivery is more common as it has a lower price. The vehicle in this case will be placed onto an open-framed platform with the capacity of dozens of cars. The main disadvantage of this method is that you should expect to get your car dirty as it will not be protected from dust and dirt on the road. And if the weather conditions will be not so great, you can consider the second option;
- enclosed transporting of cars by train interstate is a good opportunity to protect the vehicle from any influence of the environment as well as from the looks of people. This is especially important if the trail will make some stops and your car is valuable and expensive (more than 100,000 dollars). The owners of classic, sports, exotic and rare cars usually prefer to pay a higher rate but to get an enclosed type of the delivery. The car in this case is being placed inside the container, and you need to check with the rail company if they are providing you with a shared or a separate container. The last one is very convenient in case you are moving to another state and interested in delivering all the personal belongings and massive furniture.
- Choosing the convenient railway stations. In many cases you as a car’s owner will not have too many options in this regard which is also one important disadvantage of the interstate train car transport. For example, Amtrak has only two cities where you can load and unload your vehicle – Washington and Sanford. But sometimes trains are doing some long stops on the way, so it’s always better to check this opportunity with a particular rail company.
- Signing a contract. You need to carefully check all the details before signing, especially in regards to the insurance policy of the carrier. In comparison with auto transport companies where in the overwhelming majority of cases the insurance is already included into the quote, car transport on trains interstate can be different. In case your vehicle has a pretty high value, it makes sense to arrange an additional coverage (and to choose the enclosed delivery).
Purchasing a passenger’s ticket. This point makes the whole procedure quite limited as not every car’s owner is willing and can afford to travel when needed to transport car from state to state by train. For example, if the car is being sent to the relatives or if the person prefers to get there by plain. But this passenger’s ticket in many cases is a must for this method of the car’s transportation. Therefore, when you are comparing the prices of different kinds of the delivery. The lowest price of the ticket is 89 dollars (at least in case of the Amtrak) while you can also choose some of the more convenient options. Thus, for families a family bedroom for 424 dollars can be a much more interesting and comfortable option. And even if you choose for yourself the most expensive variant, the total cost of the train transportation will be lower than if you are choosing a truck carrier. That is why trains are still quite a popular method, especially if the budget is pretty limited.
You can easily see it with the following example. Average auto transportation company will charge you around 800 dollars for the delivery of your vehicle from Sanford to Washington while you can spend less than 300 dollars (with the cheapest coach seat included) when sending your car by train.
- Logistics. The last thing you need to think about is how to deliver your vehicle to and from the railway stations. This can become an additional part of the expenses, and in some cases pretty essential one. If you live very remotely from the city district, you should expect not only fuel consumption but also meals and even the necessity to rent a room for the night. This all will make the final cost of the train transportation higher. Also, you may not want or can travel together with the car, so you will need to find an appropriate person.
When talking about the delivery of the vehicles with the train, it’s important to mention one more essential benefit you will get. The trains are moving much faster than trucks, and if the auto transportation company can provide you with up to 10-14 days estimated waiting time for the car to be delivered across the country, by train you can expect to get it in 1-2 days. With the only exception. Many railroads have a lot of loops to make a stop in a particular city or town on the way, so the route will not be that straight as you could get with the truck transportation. Therefore, the car (together with you) can “travel” for pretty long unless it will arrive at the final destination. This point has to be carefully considered before you agree on the deal with the rail carrier.
It’s always useful and rational to consider alternatives. And while most car’s owners prefer to use the most common transportation by such famous companies as Sherpa Auto Transport, Bargain Auto Transport, uShip, Montway Auto Transport and others, it can be pretty easy to arrange a train delivery. You just need to make sure the final price will be competitive and the whole process is convenient for you.