In General
Getting Here
Amtrak's Auto-Train
the Lorton VRE Station


In General

Lorton is one of only two places in the United States you can catch the Amtrak Autotrain at rest.  The other is near Orlando Florida.

The Auto-Train started in 1971 (December 6th from Lorton) as a private undertaking and lasted till April 1981 when it felt the financial crunch and stopped running.  After 22 months, Amtrak picked up the service and facilities and started running the train once more on October 30th, 1983.

More info and pictures are here:

Lorton also sports a VRE stop, my schedules for the Fredericksburg line can be found here, or you can check the VRE website here.

Commercial maps and pictures from and Google Maps, and aerial shots were "snagged" using Techsmith's Snagit, a great program!

  Getting Here

Both railroad attractions in Lorton are easy to get to, and they are both conveniently located to the east of I-95 at exit 163.  Refer to the map below.


Amtrak's Auto-Train

GPS Coordinates: 38.708440, -77.220625
For a great page that covers all of the engines and equipment the original Auto-Train, check this out:

The picture below is almost 40 years old!  Photo by Stan Jackowski.

The train leaves daily at 4pm, making picture taking pretty easy except for high winter, especially if you want to catch in say, Doswell (around 4:30).

The whole Amtrak schedule serving Virginia is here or here

  The main building

   Car loading

  End of the yard and turntable

  Maintenance building

  Auto-rack tracks

  Main building and driveway

  Main entrance off Lorton Road, showing close proximity to I-95

Below, original Auto-Train postcard, with the center photo being taken over the James River in Richmond VA.

  Hostess during the original years in Sanford FL

  On the other side of the tracks, across from a shopping center, is this "tower", a little further down the road is a pretty nice spot to catch passing trains.

Lorton VRE Station

  SB VRE train



  Here we have fellow railfan Denver Todd taking a break in between trains.

  Sign guiding you to the railroad station.

            The station is frequented by busses A LOT!

  Caught on the way home, June 2016.

doa2005-0607, dob2007-0414c, do2007-0414b, doc2005-1016atl1

New: 08-27-2012
Last Modified: 17-Sep-2017