We arrived at the Lorton Station at around 1:15 after staying overnight in Alexandria and driving from Cape Cod the night before. The greeter checked us in and directed us to pull up to the station. A lady was there with a camcorder recording each car as it came in with its scratches and dents so that no one can make false claims against the company, a very good idea in my opinion.
Jon and I headed inside and checked in and got our boarding pass and Dinner Tickets for 7:00. We sat and waited for boarding which happened at 2:30. We walked outside and made our way to the 5342 car and went upstairs to our room 10 on the right side. This car had been overhauled to some degree as each room had the new Blue Triangle Cushions.
We got setup and pulled down to attach the carriers on the rear. We pulled at 3:50 (reported clear at 3:54) with 2 engines, 17 carriers on the bottom, and the following passenger consist:
Amtrak P-42 Locomotive 138
Amtrak P-42 Locomotive 174
Superliner II Diner 38067
Superliner II Diner 38052
Superliner I Auto Train Lounge 33103
Superliner II Coach 5313 34128
Superliner II Coach 5312 34131
Superliner II Coach 5311 34132
Superliner II Coach 5310 34124
Superliner II Sleeper 5344 32114-Virginia
Superliner II Sleeper 5342 32092-Mississippi
Superliner II Sleeper 5340 32505-Palm Springs
Superliner II Diner 38047
Superliner I Auto Train Lounge 33102
Superliner II Sleeper 5341 32504-Palm Harbor
Superliner II Sleeper 5343 32108-South Carolina
Superliner II Transition Slpr 39001
Our attendant Wray came by and introduced himself and gave us the Veteran spiel. Jon and I hit up the lounge for free snacks and relaxed in the room.
We had a rolling meet with 80 on the RF&P, and we rolled through Richmond around 5:40 and passed 90 with the AMTK 150 and AMTK 56. We approached the North Carolina border around 7 PM at which time the 7:00 dinner was called. Jon and I headed back to the Diner and were seated with a younger guy and an older lady. I had a good conversation with the younger guy, but the lady tended to take us off on tangents a lot.
We wrapped up around 8:00 and headed back to the room. I took a shower around 9:15, which is always better in a Superliner than a Viewliner, the room is just setup better. I headed back upstairs and Jon headed for the shower. Wray came in and made up the room for us. I passed out around 10:30 and slept like a rock til wake up at 7 AM.
We headed down to the Dining Car for breakfast. Now Auto Train advertises breakfast as being a Continental Breakfast, but (for the sleeping car passengers anyway) they have a very nice spread. By the time we finished up Wray had made up the room for us. We passed through Palatka just before 8 AM, making us a little over an hour late.