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Old 06-18-2009, 12:52 PM
 
11 posts, read 69,287 times
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Hello, I am thinking about taking the Amtrak train from Atlanta to Alexandria, VA for a trip I am planning in September. I would like to know if anyone in the forum can share their experience with the Atlanta train station and/or traveling on an Amtrak train. I've only traveled by plane or car.

Also, I currently live in Alabama and will have to drive to ATL; the station's hours are more convenient than the AL stations and I would have to drive just as far to get to one of those stations, so I'd like to know if there are any secure parking facilities near the train station; I was hoping I could drive up and pay to park my car for so many days and of course pick it up and drive home.

I appreciate any information you can provide. Amtrak provided the following names for parking service:

Elite Parking
AAA Parking

**Has anyone ever used these?


Thank you.
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:25 PM
 
269 posts, read 962,418 times
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I've actually taken the Southern Crescent from Atlanta to Charlottesville. I wouldn't do it, to tell you the truth. The time and expense, as opposed to flying, are just too much.

I don't remember anything about parking. The little train station is in a fairly nice neighborhood, though, so your car should at least be safe.

And on a personal note, the Alexandria train station brings back old memories. I used to take the train home from prep school in Virginia in the 1960s, and I'd change trains in Alexandria, which would always involve a wait. There's a cool looking Masonic Temple right across the street, and being a kid, I walked over and told them my name was Mason and asked if I could come in They said "no" but they got a good laugh.

Hmm, the Atlanta station is also next to a Masonic Lodge.
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:49 PM
 
11 posts, read 69,287 times
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Thank you Masonbarge, I know I will save time and it looks like about $80.00 or so if I fly instead. The thing is I have a slight fear of flying, I will fly if I have to and I have flown before. I know the statistics say that flying is one of the safest methods of travel but I have to go through all sorts of mental preparation to board that plan! I have to remove the whole crash=instant death from my mind.



P.S. Your story was cute, my grandfather was a Mason and so is one of my brothers.
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:12 AM
 
593 posts, read 2,567,133 times
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So why don't you just drive there?
I dont know how far you have to go from alabama but that area is only about 8 hours from my part of atlanta, having just done the drive a week ago. Of course it cost about $80 in fuel to get there so....
I travel a lot by car not so much because of a fear of flying but a fear of airports, the hassels, security, parking, delays, and worry of missing the flight. Then you have to worry about transportation at the destination. I also have to deal with boarding pets. So I don't blame you. I'm starting to try to figure out how to take advantage of the relatively low fares this year but the amount of time it takes to plan, you could have driven there. To make matters worse there are fewer flights.
I don't think I'd fly anywhere that was under a 10 hour drive because I have to spend 2 hours to get to the airport, show up 2 hours early at the airport, takes about 2 hours to get that distance. That's 6 hours. At that point what's another 4 hours for the convenience of taking as much luggage as you want, not having to walk bare foot through the metal detectors, be crammed into a crowded plane with a bunch of screaming babies. OK that's more than you wanted to know.
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:44 AM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,075,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masonbarge View Post
I've actually taken the Southern Crescent from Atlanta to Charlottesville. I wouldn't do it, to tell you the truth. The time and expense, as opposed to flying, are just too much.
The name of the route was changed from Southern Crescent to simply Crescent when Amtrak took it over from Norfolk Southern in 1979. So mason's reminiscences,while charming, probably aren't too current.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbark Hickory View Post
So why don't you just drive there?
I dont know how far you have to go from alabama but that area is only about 8 hours from my part of atlanta, having just done the drive a week ago. Of course it cost about $80 in fuel to get there so....
I travel a lot by car not so much because of a fear of flying but a fear of airports, the hassels, security, parking, delays, and worry of missing the flight. Then you have to worry about transportation at the destination. I also have to deal with boarding pets. So I don't blame you. I'm starting to try to figure out how to take advantage of the relatively low fares this year but the amount of time it takes to plan, you could have driven there. To make matters worse there are fewer flights.
I don't think I'd fly anywhere that was under a 10 hour drive because I have to spend 2 hours to get to the airport, show up 2 hours early at the airport, takes about 2 hours to get that distance. That's 6 hours. At that point what's another 4 hours for the convenience of taking as much luggage as you want, not having to walk bare foot through the metal detectors, be crammed into a crowded plane with a bunch of screaming babies. OK that's more than you wanted to know.
Huh, the OP wants to know about using Amtrak from Atlanta. Wouldn't it be better to offer something relevant, rather than advice that (a) flying is better than train travel, or (b) driving is better because flying is horrible?

I took the Crescent from Atlanta to New Orleans and back at spring break, this year. My husband and daughter took it from New York City to Atlanta in January. We thought it was fine.

The train is relaxing and it's a more environmentally friendly form of transportation than flying or driving. I think train travel is to be encouraged, not discouraged.

Unfortunately, I don't know anything about long-term parking. We had a friend drop us off and pick us up.

If you want to check any bags, you need to be at the station fairly early. They cut off the bag check-in a while before boarding. I suggest you call the station and ask for current information, if this could be a concern for you. Also, they take ages to get the checked baggage back to you when you deboard at Atlanta. It's because the station (originally just a commuter station) was not built for handling luggage. They bring it up from track level into the station by hand-loading and unloading an elevator. It's practically a comedy of inefficiency.

Despite these baggage handling annoyances - which seem to be unique to Atlanta, because of our unusual station - we enjoyed our trips. I recommend it.

Last edited by RainyRainyDay; 06-21-2009 at 08:49 AM.. Reason: fix typo
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:25 AM
 
593 posts, read 2,567,133 times
Reputation: 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyRainyDay View Post

Huh, the OP wants to know about using Amtrak from Atlanta. Wouldn't it be better to offer something relevant, rather than advice that (a) flying is better than train travel, or (b) driving is better because flying is horrible?
I did go off on a tangent a little but I'm making conversation. I figured I could offer a little bit of compassion and understanding for the OP's fear of flying. And to offer another idea. Perhaps they didn't know the drive is considerably shorter than the train ride. Sorry my reply wasn't to your liking.
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:36 AM
 
188 posts, read 608,904 times
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There is a direct bus from Arts Center MARTA station to Amtrak Station.

Either you could park at any of the MARTA parking lots and take train/bus or Park at one of parking centers near Arts Center station and take the bus. I think later is easier and former is more economical.

I agree with RainyRainyDay. People should use more trains. Do you know that average mileage of a train is 420 miles !!!

Good luck OP.
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:49 PM
 
11 posts, read 69,287 times
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Thank you Shagbark, Pellur and RainyRainy, I appreciate all of your input. Especially the details about how your ride on the train was. I will look into parking at one of the parking centers near the Marta station and taking a bus to the Amtrak station, that sounds good. I am about 4 hours away from Atlanta I was there recently one weekend. I'll have to get more info on this particular MARTA station. Thanks again.
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:36 PM
 
2 posts, read 18,914 times
Reputation: 16
Elite Parking Corporation has been in business for over 13 years.
[url]www.eliteparking.com[/url]

We offer Amtrak Extended Parking and are located 3.5 blocks away from Amtrak. Please call 404.892.1234 to make a reservation. Have your plate, make, model and color of your car along with a credit card (Visa/Mastercard) to make a reservation today. We offer a competitive rate of $10/day to park and are located at 1875 Peachtree Rd. Atlanta, GA 30309 If you have any questions feel free to email me at [email]pmann@eliteparking.com[/email] or feel free to give me a call.
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:02 PM
 
1 posts, read 9,613 times
Reputation: 10
I am a retired airline employee. However, I am so excited about my next trip on Amtrak with my best friends. We are looking for the trip to New Orleans to be an adventure while we catch up with all the news in our lives. We purchased bedrooms each way and hope to sit back, relax and have fun. I fly all the time and enjoy it but this, hopefully, will be something that will make our previous trips different. Thanks for the info on parking. This was our major concern.
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