More options for shipping a car by train have become available as rail service has become more environmentally friendly and widespread. For some, the idea of loading their car onto a train for a quick vacation and avoiding the hassle of renting a car at the other end holds great attraction, and, in that kind of situation, this method of car shipping makes a lot of sense. However, when making a long move, shipping a by car train has very limited application and can cause more difficulty than it prevents. It’s important to be aware of potential complications when considering shipping a car with a rail company, like an Amtrack auto train, as part of a larger move, or as part of the sale or purchase of a vehicle.
Disadvantages of Shipping a Car by Train
Only certain routes are available to those interested in train transport, and there are very few companies available who work each of those routes. Although the price might be slightly lower in some cases, a number of train shipment companies work hand in hand with professional auto transport companies in order to transfer your car from one location to another. In some cases, this may mean that it makes more sense to approach professional auto shipping companies and discuss shipping your car partly by train with them, rather than approaching the train company, which has limited competition.
Advantages of Shipping a Car by Train
If you live near to one of the routes which is frequently serviced by trains capable of shipping cars, you may want to inquire with local car shipping companies about the cost to ship a car by train. This can cut down the wear and tear on your vehicle as it makes its way through the first stage of its transport, and can also be a great way to make the majority of your car’s trip more environmentally friendly.
Unfortunately, most people shipping their cars don’t live along the small number of routes where shipping a car by train is possible, and, for those individuals, this method of shipping is simply not an option. Instead, they can inquire with local car shipping companies directly, using the simple form above, which asks a few questions about the make and model of your car, its starting point, and its destination, to receive free, instant online quotes from car shipping companies in your area.
To obtain a better idea of which car shipping service fits best, compare the prices and services offered by each auto shipping company, and discuss your specific needs with their sales representatives, who will be able to give you a detailed, written quote, which you can use to compare the available services in your area.
Train transport is a popular way of shipping cars long distances. Auto transport is often much cheaper than driving a car yourself, and to transport a car by train via is usually less expensive than moving companies or truck shipping. The reason transport is such a cost effective means of moving vehicles is that many cars can be moved at once. Where a driver can only move one at a time, a truck may be able to move 10 or 12 at a time, while trains can move hundreds.
Train Transport: Is it Right for You?
One difficulty is that, mostly, automobile train transport is not available to individuals. Some companies allow for shipment of automobiles of those passengers riding on the train to another location. However, if you buy a car located across country and need it shipped, or are moving and need transport for your car, your best bet is to find a broker who can arrange it.
When using a train to transport your automobile, you will have to choose an enclosed or an open car. Open transport means your car will be on a train car that has the same framework as a truck – open with just a frame and ramps. Enclosed transport is more secure. Your car is safe from flying rocks or other debris and dirt when inside. Enclosed shipment is an excellent option if you are shipping a very expensive car.
Make your arrangements two weeks in advance to ensure there is room on the route you desire. It is important to understand that train transport may take a little longer than individual delivery or truck transportation. Ask the company how long your train shipment will take, and make arrangements for pick up when the delivery is due.
In some cases, if you are traveling by train yourself, you can arrange for domestic auto transport on the same train. This allows you to have your car immediately when you arrive. Amtrak offers this service on select routes. If you use a ride along transport, arrive at least 1 hour ahead of your departure time to allow for loading. If the car you are delivering is extra large, like an SUV, or small, like a motorcycle, allow an extra hour when dropping off. In many cases, your train transport company can arrange door-to-door delivery. That way, you never have to worry about getting to the pick-up or drop-off location on time.
No matter which method of transport you choose, make sure you remove all personal belongings from your car prior to shipping. Get a signed bill of lading from the broker when you drop off your car, and inspect it thoroughly for damage when you pick it up after shipment. Car moving, whether you are on vacation or relocating across country, does not have to be stressful. Make the best use of the options provided by shipping a car by train and let your broker handle the rest.