Auto Train----Original : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I think I have the distinction of being the only engineer to ever operate the original Auto-Train ( a portion thereof for test purposes) into St. Petersburg, Florida. This was done, so I was told at the time and if memory serves me correct, for the express purpose of relocating the Auto-Train facilities from Sanford, Florida to St. Petersburg. If I remember correctly this was about 1975 or '76. I believe we used one Auto-Train engine, don't remember the series as I honestly did'nt pay any attention to that type of info. back then, one lounge/diner combo, two auto racks and an Auto-Train caboose. Maybe some of you guys that collect this type of info. can expound on this, thought it might be an interesting topic(where are you Joe Oates, I know you've got this info?!) Any answers?------Darrell A. Gleason, Engr., Amtrak,Dover, Fla.

-- Darrell A. Gleason (, June 10, 2000


I rode on the original Auto Train back in 1978 and have gotten to see both the Lorton, VA and Sanford, FL terminals. When I arrived in Sanford on February 16, 1978 I got to see a pair of Seaboard Coast Line GP 40s roll into the yard. On that trip I got to see quite a bit of Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac action as well as Seaboard Coast Line action and I got to see the Family Lines paint schemes on some of the cabooses and freight cars as well. It was kind of sad to see it go back in 1981. Now with Amtrak running the train you see quite a difference in they way the original Auto Train looked back in 1978 with the General Electric U33Bs pulling the train with the white, purple and red painted cars along with the Auto racks with all the cars in them heading for Sanford, FL to today's Amtrak equiped train complete with the Superliner equipment and the P42 units pulling the train from Lorton, VA all the way to Sanford, FL.

-- Bradford Paulson (, August 11, 2002.

According to the staff on board the train at St. Pete,the purpose of the trip was to promote Auto-Train service on florida's west coast. All passenger-carrying equipment was open for inspection to the public,and a photo session was carried on by the railfans present.

-- paul coe (, October 17, 2000.

I have a few slides shot as the Auto-Train came off the A line onto the transfer track back on Oct 27,1974. The unit was 4012 w/a short enclosed auto carrier & 2 dome cars. They were on their way to St. Pete. Joe came by yesterday and viewed the shots I have.

-- Stanley Jackowski (, June 16, 2000.

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