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5.0 out of 5 stars Auto Train Traveler, November 4, 2010
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This review is from: Auto-Train (Images of Rail) (Paperback)
We have traveled on this great train before and are looking forward to our second trip in March. We have been in email contact with Wally Ely and he just seems like such a nice gentleman. We have never traveled on the original auto train, but on the Superliners. The book is truly an expressiion of admiration of the founder, Dr. Eugene K. Garfield, whose vision made this train happen, from 1971 to 1981 and from 1983 to the present. The members of the train crews aboard this train are devoted to the best service for passengers. If I had never traveled on the Auto Train and found this book. I would make it my highest priority to make reservations and hurry to get on board. Thank you, Wally, for such a good book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good historical information, January 29, 2010
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This review is from: Auto-Train (Images of Rail) (Paperback)
This book has a good amount of history covering ALL auto-train activity. It includes the original Auto-Train and the Amtrak incarnation.

The only disappointment I have with the book is that all pictures are in black and white. The colors of the original Auto-Train in white, purple and red, were one of the things that made it so unique. It would have been nice if there was at least one color photo in the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great coverage of an important part of contemporary American raiload history, November 22, 2009
This review is from: Auto-Train (Images of Rail) (Paperback)
Typically, titles in Arcadia Publishing's photo-filled Images of Rail series go back hundreds of years, but Wally Ely's Auto-Train is as contemporary are crowded highways and Amtrak vacation trips to Florida.

Auto-Train traces the genesis of Dr. Eugene Garfield's idea in the late 1960's to ferry vacationers and their automobiles the 1,000 miles between Lorton, VA, (outside of Washington, DC), and Sanford, FL, (near Disneyland).

The story of Auto-Train's beginning as a private venture, one of the few fresh and marketing-driven ideas in passenger railroading for decades, has never been told as well as it is in this book. There are hundreds of photographs showing the Auto-Train and its passengers in the early years.

From the start, Auto-Train was family-friendly and well organized. Passengers rode in coaches and sleepers with spectaclar legroom, while their cars rode in special auto carriers at the rear of the train.

In many ways, the Auto-Train story is a microcosm story of the United States' attempts to fashion a nationwide passenger service structure...on aging railroad lines owned by someone else with different agendas, i.e., freight trains. Relations between Auto-Train and its freight-oriented hosts were particularly difficult when Auto-train tried to start a second route, between Stanford, FL and Louisville, KY. The goal was to tap Florida traffic to and from Chicago and the MidWest.

Continuing delays caused by Freight-train caused the Louisville train to be withdrawn at great loss. Private ownership and the trains ceased in 1981, but in 1983, Amtrak took over operation of the Auto-Train. Amtrak operation has just celebrated its 25th anniversary.

This is a great book for fans of contemporary railroading. The stories and photographs communicate what it would be like riding Auto-Train or--even more of a treat--riding in a locomotive cab traveling at high speed with a 34-car train over 3/4 of a mile long.

The big question that comes out of reading Auto-Train is why is there only one Auto-Train, when there are so many opportunities for both business and leisure travelers to take their cars with them and enjoy a relaxed, comfortable trip without the indignities and uncertainties of congested air travel.

Auto-Train would be a great gift for a family member or friend who might have previously traveled to Florida on the Auto-Train. Its photographs include many railroad structures and views of car loading and unloading that non-employees never get to see.
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Auto-Train (Images of Rail)
Auto-Train (Images of Rail) by Wally Ely (Paperback - November 4, 2009)
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