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What's In This Article?
- What is the Work of Car Transport via Train?
- How Long does It Take to Move Car by Train?
- How to Ship My Car by Train?
- What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Shipping a Car by Train?
- How to Get a Car Ready for Rail Transport?
- What is the Cost of Transporting a Car by Train?
- Why Transport a Car by Train?
Getting a car from one place to another seems like a simple task, but in some cases, it can be a surprisingly tricky maneuver. There are times, particularly during a move, when shipping a car becomes necessary, be it because of distance, geography or the car's condition.
Shipping vehicles as train freight involves loading the vehicle on a train and transporting it as train cargo. It’s a safe option, though not necessarily faster than a truck. The process is pretty straightforward. The vehicle is loaded onto a train, transported from the departure point to your destination, and then unloaded.
When you ship your car by train, it will likely be slower than transporting it by truck. If the cost is prevailing, and you are not in a hurry to get your car back, then shipping by train is a good option. Depending on where the final destination is and the distance, it might take up to a few weeks for your car to arrive.
Typically, rails will wait until they fill up all the available space and only depart once. Again, if you need a quick transit, driving or shipping by truck might be better, but shipping your car by train might make sense as a more environmentally friendly, cost-effective solution if you have time to wait.
Technically, yes. It’s possible to ship a car by rail, but the circumstances under which you can do it are minimal, so this option will not work for most people. You can only do it using Get Auto Transportation’s Train Line and only on a single line that runs from Washington, D.C. to Orlando, Florida.
Even if you’re trying to transport your car somewhere between those two locations, like North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia, you’re out of luck since the line doesn’t stop along the way. Still, shipping a car by train is pretty cost-effective, even though it will likely mean paying for a secondary car moving service, so it might be worth it if you’re trying to get your vehicle from the D.C. region to somewhere in the south.
You must take proper steps to prepare your car any time you ship it, including shipping by train. Get Auto Transportation can provide you with all the information you need to know about how to prep your car for train travel, but keep the following tips in mind.
All valuables removed:
Get Auto Transportation allows shipping belongings in your car when you transport by train, but you shouldn’t put anything in there that you can’t risk losing. This includes important documents, medications, valuables, and items with sentimental value that you treasure. Our service team recommends that you move with these products on your person.
Check your car’s battery and tires before travelling:
You don’t want it to arrive at its final destination and cannot drive it off the lot. Ensure that your car’s tires and battery are in good condition so that everything will go well when your vehicle arrives at its end terminal.
Take pictures of any existing damages:
Some light vehicle damage is possible, so it’s best to take photos of your vehicle immediately before it goes on the rail so that if there is damage later on, you can prove that it wasn’t there originally.
Clean, wash and declutter:
A clean car will make it easier to spot any dents or other damages and photograph them. And, while in transport, the vehicle might experience some bumps, so any items in the car might get shifted and tossed. We recommend removing any spare change, air fresheners, and anything that can get thrown around.
Some vehicles have susceptible alarm systems, and the train's movements can cause them to go off. Be sure you disable any alarm systems your car may have.
Also, lock the vehicle for transport. There’s no reason for it to stay open while in transportation, and it will reduce the risk of theft. You would not have access to your car while in transportation. Get Auto Transportation advises packing a carry-on bag you can have as it doesn’t have the checked bag service.
Shipping a car by train is an affordable alternative to other methods of car shipping. That’s because trains require less fuel to run and are thus more impervious to variances in fuel costs. While you’ll need to do your research to get an exact quote, expect to spend less than the standard cost for auto transport by truck, which, according to Get Auto Transportation, is $600 to $1,000 for coast to coast shipping of a sedan, and $800 to $1,070 if you’re shipping an SUV, small van or pickup truck. Get Auto Transportation’s estimates are higher, estimating that the average cost to ship a car is anywhere from $700 to $1,200. It’s best to err on the higher side of the estimates.
The overall price that you end up paying will depend on these factors:
Shipping your car by truck or Auto transport by rail is similar, but it’s often cheaper. It’s not the most common auto transport option, but it could be the most cost-effective option under certain circumstances. Plus, if you need to transport more than one car, you might want to select to drive one and ship the other.
Few people prefer to ship by train because moving a vehicle is more eco-friendly. Others like this option because not driving their car themselves lets them avoid toll fees, save on the cost of fuel, minimise the risk of accidents, and just relax en route.
Additionally, with a cheaper price tag, some choose this method because auto transport by rail allows you to fill up your car with boxes and other items. As a result, you might save extra money in shipping costs for your belongings and even spare yourself the expense of a truck rental, provided you’re not shipping furniture or anything else that won’t fit in a car.