The Auto Train with a new car

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Dakota 400, Nov 2, 2019.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Nov 2, 2019 #1

    Dakota 400

    D

    Dakota 400

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,437
    I have qualms about booking Auto Train with a new car during my return home from Florida this Winter.

    I'd appreciate learning others thoughts about my concern. Thank you.
     
  2. Nov 2, 2019 #2

    Acela150

    Acela150

    Acela150

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    8,573
    Location:
    In a Sea of Foam
    I'm curious as to why you have an issue with it.
     
  3. Nov 2, 2019 #3

    cocojacoby

    c

    cocojacoby

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    234
    Yeah, what is your concern? You think us Auto Train passengers all drive crappy old cars?
     
  4. Nov 2, 2019 #4

    bratkinson

    bratkinson

    bratkinson

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Messages:
    735
    Location:
    QB 101
    One idea would be to take pictures of your car in the waiting line at Auto Train. That way, if it comes out at the destination with any unexpected scrapes or dents, you have proof of when and where the damage must have occurred.

    But, as anyone who ever bought a new car knows, someday, somewhere, far sooner than expected, the first dings will occur! Whether it's the first week or two or even a month or so, they WILL happen. That's one of the advantages of driving an older car. I don't care if I get another ding or two, or three. I even have a can of custom matched paint to fix them!
     
  5. Nov 2, 2019 #5

    dlagrua

    dlagrua

    dlagrua

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,060
    Location:
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Not sure if they still do it but last time on the Autotrain an Amtrak employee took videos around all of the cars when you dropped them off. If you are that concerned you can take the video yourself but I would believe that problems are rare.
     
    Dakota 400 likes this.
  6. Nov 2, 2019 #6

    jiml

    jiml

    jiml

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2019
    Messages:
    473
    Location:
    Toronto area
    There is a video on YouTube of an employee doing exactly that.
     
    Dakota 400 likes this.
  7. Nov 2, 2019 #7

    RichieRich

    R

    RichieRich

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    157
    Absolutely still do. And they point out things when filming that I've never noticed! There are those people that falsely claim damage for a pre-existing condition...should be charged with fraud. I've taken classic cars down to shows in FL with no problem. Why is it their biggest guy loading my 55 Tbird? LOL LOL
     
    Dakota 400 likes this.
  8. Nov 2, 2019 #8

    Dakota 400

    D

    Dakota 400

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,437
    I have just taken delivery of the most expensive car that I have ever owned. Keeping it in the best condition without dings, etc. is what I am hoping to do.
     
    seat38a likes this.
  9. Nov 2, 2019 #9

    Dakota 400

    D

    Dakota 400

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,437
    I have seen that video and am glad that Amtrak is still doing that.

    Thanks bratkinson for the suggesting of taking photos of the car after arrival at the Auto Train terminal.
     
  10. Nov 3, 2019 #10

    mmatarella

    mmatarella

    mmatarella

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    I have been using the Auto Train since before Amtrak ran it dozens of trips and never experienced any damage. That said walk around and examine it before you drive off.
     
  11. Nov 3, 2019 #11

    seat38a

    s

    seat38a

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,025
    Location:
    Orange County California
    Totally understand your feeling. Obviously some people haven't bought a brand spanking new car before or they have no qualms about getting dings and dents before the first payment.

    My parents bought a new Lexus and I bought a new car. We did a road trip to Texas and back with intermediate stops along the way this past August. Lets just say neither one of us were volunteering our cars for the trip. I rented a Camry at Hertz for the trip, since we were still in the honeymoon phase of the purchase and would rather throw our own bodies in front of the car to protect it. :D

    Lets just say, I did things to that Camry that I would never do to my own car. :D
     
    Bob Dylan likes this.
  12. Nov 3, 2019 #12

    F900ElCapitan

    F

    F900ElCapitan

    Lead Service Attendant AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2018
    Messages:
    273
    Location:
    Frisco, TX
    Ha! I thought you were talking about the upcoming Cross Country Cafe cars joining the Auto Train! :p
     
  13. Nov 3, 2019 #13

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    10,889
    Location:
    Америка
    If it's really that important to you then you might as well leave it at home and keep it away from public streets. Trained and insured Amtrak staff would seem to be the least of your worries.

    Every car I've ever owned was purchased brand new. The key is to not drive something so expensive that damaging it keeps you up at night.
     
    daybeers, Thirdrail7, tricia and 2 others like this.
  14. Nov 3, 2019 #14

    seat38a

    s

    seat38a

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,025
    Location:
    Orange County California
    Not sure if the Auto Train lets you choose where they load your car like shippers do when you have your car moved by road. When you pay to have your car shipped cross country, you pay more to have your car on the top rack since it eliminates the chances of road debris and corrosive fluids dripping on your paint from the car above. I'd be more worried about whats dripping onto your new car more than it getting dinged up.
     
  15. Nov 3, 2019 #15

    jiml

    jiml

    jiml

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2019
    Messages:
    473
    Location:
    Toronto area
    That explains that last Camry rental from Hertz!:D
     
    F900ElCapitan and seat38a like this.
  16. Nov 3, 2019 #16

    seat38a

    s

    seat38a

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,025
    Location:
    Orange County California
    Not sure how Amtrak would handle it, but my previous car was hit my the mailman. His supervisor came out to the scene and they took full responsibility for it since the mailman hit a parked car in my driveway. Well they dragged it along for 2 years and then claimed statue of limitation had run out for compensation from the Federal Government and said that I could still sue them in federal court. All nicely sent via certified mail. :rolleyes:

    Last year, I got a notice for a parking ticket for a car I no longer own from a city many counties way from me. To contest it, I had to send proof that the car was sold and the DMV no longer considered me responsible for the car. Well, they cashed the check and then sent me a letter explaining that proof of sale and notice from the DMV wasn't enough and that they were going to keep the money as fine paid. Also in the letter, it explained that if I didn't agree with it I could file a civil complaint in court which would cost $400.00 dollars to contest a $69.00 parking ticket.
    :rolleyes::rolleyes: Not sure any amount of picture taking would expedite compensation when going up against a government entity.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
    Dakota 400 likes this.
  17. Nov 3, 2019 #17

    seat38a

    s

    seat38a

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,025
    Location:
    Orange County California
    LOL. Yeah we hiked down to Phantom Ranch and back plus did other stops along the way there and back which did not have paved roads or were covered in gravel, hence not wanting to take new cars. Scratched up the Camry pretty good on gravel. We drove all the way to Amarillo Texas to have steak dinner at The Big Texan Steak Ranch before heading back west. And no I did not do the 72oz steak challenge. :D

    Our waitress looked at us like we were crazy when I told her that we drove from California for 1 night in Amarillo TX just for the steak and to see Cadillac Ranch before heading back. :D The two cowboys going around the tables singing and playing guitars for tips thought it was hilarious. Both old men followed girls out to California and had their hearts broken before heading back home to Texas in their younger years. They sang On The Road Again for our table in honor of our road trip and I parted with a $10.00 bill for the song and conversation.
     
    Dakota 400 and jiml like this.
  18. Nov 3, 2019 #18

    Thirdrail7

    T

    Thirdrail7

    Conductor AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2014
    Messages:
    4,159
    daybeers and Dakota 400 like this.
  19. Nov 3, 2019 #19

    Acela150

    Acela150

    Acela150

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    8,573
    Location:
    In a Sea of Foam
    Are we talking a new Honda? Or a New BMW? The definition of "the most expensive car I've owned" is broad.

    Needless to say the contractors who load and unload the cars take video of each and every car before they even move it. I believe that was stated above.

    I read that and got a chuckle out of some of the words used. I've never heard the word "collusion" used so much since the current Presidential Administration took over. LOL!
     
    Cho Cho Charlie likes this.
  20. Nov 3, 2019 #20

    Cho Cho Charlie

    Cho Cho Charlie

    Cho Cho Charlie

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,115
    Location:
    Near an Amtrak station
    Since such things bother you so intensely, possibly you should have delayed your most expensive purchase, until after your trip?

    The reality is, that some where, some time, some thing is going to happen to this car. It could be while you are driving it, or someone else. :eek:
     
  21. Nov 3, 2019 #21

    Dakota 400

    D

    Dakota 400

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,437
    Every car I've ever owned was purchased brand[/QUOTE]
    It won't keep me up at night, but I would like to keep it in the best condition possible for the longest period of time.
     
  22. Nov 3, 2019 #22

    Dakota 400

    D

    Dakota 400

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,437
    A 2020 Buick Envision with a MSRP somewhat North of $48,000. (I didn't pay nearly that amount, of course.)
     
  23. Nov 3, 2019 #23

    Dakota 400

    D

    Dakota 400

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,437

    To answer your question: No. I intend to spend quite some time in Florida this Winter and my 2009 LaCrosse has had 4 expensive issues that required repair. One more expensive repair is needed (which impacted my trade-in value; no surprise) and one more possible repair that the service people say need to be done, but of which I am skeptical. All of this since late May. I have been told by many of my friends that "when something major starts to happen with a car, it probably will be a cascade of events". That's my experience.

    I'm realistic, I know that something is more likely to happen than not. But, I want to try to be proactive in protecting this investment. A poster mentioned about the possibility of some fluids dripping onto the car if the car is on a lower car carrier rack on the Auto Train. I have purchased a protection plan that will repair such damage if such should happen.

    I was an owner of a car that suffered big time acid rain damage in the late '60's and early '70's. Never want to go through the hassles of getting that situation resolved in my favor!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  24. Nov 4, 2019 #24

    seat38a

    s

    seat38a

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,025
    Location:
    Orange County California
    Many of my friends worked as parking valet in college at hotels and shopping malls (It's a CA thing). I was told that this is typical modus operandi for any business that involves touching your car. Fillers and rubbing compound was their weapon of deceit. Sounds like the Amtrak people tried the same trick and failed to get away with it. The whole idea is to get the driver to drive away without noticing at which point they are SOL since it could have happened anywhere outside of the lot. Its not uncommon at Valet only places for the drivers to tip $20 and tell the valet he or she will park their cars themselves. My friend who owns a Porsche is one of them. Won't let any valet touch his car. Its also typical for some valets to refuse to park expensive cars and have the owner do it themselves. Saw this happen with a McLaren couple of months ago at a valet only restaurant in LA.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
    daybeers and Bob Dylan like this.
  25. Nov 4, 2019 #25

    Dakota 400

    D

    Dakota 400

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,437
    seat38a, thank you for your post. Something to think about as I consider what to do.
     

Share This Page



arrow_white