Virginia to Florida by train

There are three Amtrak routes to choose from if you want to travel from Virginia to Florida by train: Auto Train, Silver Meteor and Silver Star. All three routes have coach seats and sleeper cars with private accommodations. Meals are included for sleeper car passengers on all three routes and the Auto Train uniquely has a dining car with table service and the ability to transport vehicles.

Here are the other things you need to know when planning your trip to Florida.

Which route should I ride?

Your start and end destinations and preferred travel times will be the biggest deciding factors in choosing the Amtrak route that is best for you. For instance, the Auto Train only departs from Lorton, so you’ll need to drive your car there to start the trip and pay the related fees to transport your car or other qualifying vehicle.

The other key thing to know that the Auto Train travels non-stop trip to Sanford, Florida, which is near Orlando and Daytona Beach. Sanford is the only Florida stop, so if that location isn’t near your final destination, book tickets on the Silver Meteor or Silver Star.

The Silver Meteor and Silver trains offer more flexibility. Trains stops in Washington D.C, Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Richmond and Petersburg then travel to many stations in Florida. There are two major differences between the routes: the Silver Meteor travels to Florida faster, and only the Silver Star stops in Lakeland, Tampa and Okeechobee. If you aren’t traveling to one of those three cities, you can choose either train when booking your tickets.

How long is the Amtrak trip from Virginia to Florida?

Because the Auto Train travels non-stop, it travels to Florida faster than the other trains. Travel time is 17 hours from Lorton to Sanford. In comparison, drive time is about 12 hours.

On the Silver Meteor and Silver Star, the first Florida stop is Jacksonville and travel time from Washington D.C. is 14 hours on the Silver Meteor and 16 hours on the Silver Star. Orlando is the next most popular stop. Travel time is 17.5 hours on the Silver Meteor and 19.5 hours on the Silver Star.

If Tampa is your destination, only the Silver Star travels to that city. Travel time is about 22 hours.

Or if you travel from Washington D.C. all the way to Miami on the train, travel time is 23.5 hours on the Silver Meteor and 27.5 hours on the Silver Star.

How much do tickets cost?

Ticket prices vary based on how far in advance you buy your tickets, how many seats are open, type of seat and distance traveled. Aim to buy tickets at least three weeks in advance to get the best deal. You’ll also have the option to choose a coach seat, roomette or bedroom.

Coach seats are the cheapest option. Expect to pay between $100 and $200 for a one-way ticket. For this price, you will have to sleep in your seat and purchase small meals and snacks in the café car (we highly recommend bringing food on the train).

Roomettes and bedrooms are more expensive, but include private sleeping accommodations and meals. Expect to pay over $450, and in some cases, more than $800, for a roomette (one way). Bedrooms cost over $1,000 and include a private toilet, sink and shower.

For cheaper ticket prices, learn about how to earn and use Amtrak Points.

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