Monday, May 9, 2016

Strangely on the train

Loading the car
We like trains, including the Auto Train now. Check in process went smoothly, in part due to our early arrival. In fact, my car was loaded on the carrier before I got my dinner seating time. (Look in the far back of the carrier and you can just see the distinctive taillights.)

I can see that a last minute check in could provide a more stressful experience. After an hour or so, the staff directed us to our car and "roomette". I had selected a two person, left side, upper model.

The "Roomette", full width
A roomette consists of two opposing chairs and a table along with a very narrow storage area. The whole space measures no more than 3.5 x 6.5 feet. In the evening, the top bunk folds down from the ceiling and the two chair slide together to form the bottom. All in all, the room seemed pretty cozy but surprisingly quiet.

Lounge car
We had dinner at 7:00 in the dining car. It wasn't the best meal of the week but it wasn't bad either.

Sleeping went just OK. I woke up frequently, probably due to the novelty of the setting and the unusual noises. But being able to lie flat made the sleep that I did get feel pretty restful.

Breakfast rivaled that seen in cheap motels.

The arrival and check out process took some time but we cleared the station in about an
hour including the time to take out the bikes and assemble them.
Off loading

More seasoned train riders suggested taking a lower roomette and eating earlier. The lower units have less side to side swaying motion and no transit foot traffic. They also have many more bathrooms available.

In conclusion, the Auto Train, off season, seems like a very cost effective and efficient means to get to central Florida. However, the only marital relations you should plan on are those of consideration and forbearance. There is no space for anything else.

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