Reading : 3 minutes
Jan 16, 2024

There is a lot to consider when transporting your vehicle across a long distance. After all, your vehicle is one of your most valuable assets so you want to be sure it is in good hands. Furthermore, you have to consider things like delivery time, cost, and shipping preferences that can help you determine which mode of transport is best for your needs. It’s possible to have your car transported by rail or truck and each have their advantages and disadvantages. However, while it might seem more cost-effective to have your car shipped by train, there are several reasons why this is a much less favorable option than using a reliable carrier. 

1. You Have Fewer Delivery Location Options

One of the biggest drawbacks to shipping your car via train is the fact that trains follow an unchangeable route. This means you have far fewer options on where you can have your car delivered. For example, if you want to have your car shipped from Pennsylvania to Florida but the train does not have a direct route to Florida, this could be very problematic. This could mean several weeks of delays and additional costs to get your car to its destination. Carriers, on the other hand, can conveniently transport your vehicle to a number of terminals located across the country and they can even provide door-to-door shipping. 

2. There Are Limited Options for Privately Owned Vehicles

Another reason many people don’t choose to ship a car by train is the fact that there are far fewer rail options available than carriers. Since most trains do not routinely ship privately owned vehicles, you are limited in the number of train options available that can ship your vehicle to its destination. Unlike the railroad, there are dozens and dozens of auto shipment companies available so you are more likely to find a solution that fits your needs. 

3. It Takes Much Longer

There is no question that auto shipment by truck is much faster and more efficient than shipping via train. An auto transport company can often arrange a pickup in a matter of days whereas a train could take several weeks. Also,  once the car is loaded onto a train, trains are required to make multiple stops along the route which could prolong the transit time. You also have to factor that the train can only get as close to the final destination as its train route will allow so you might have to spend another day driving to pick it up. 

4. Train Transport Might Still Require a Carrier

Since trains can only travel to and from a set destination, your vehicle might still require a carrier to deliver it to you. For instance if the train stop is located far away from your destination, your car will have to be loaded onto a carrier so it can be delivered to a nearby terminal or delivered directly to you. In addition to taking a longer time, you could end up paying more than you would have if you had used an auto transport company. 

5. Uncertainty About Departure and Arrival Dates

While there is no way to guarantee auto shipment with either truck or train, it is much easier to estimate these times with an auto shipping company. Auto shipping companies have the ability to find a carrier located close to your location so it’s easier to gauge a pickup and delivery time. Trains, on the other hand, have unpredictable schedule changes that could delay transit. There is the possibility for weather delays or problems and incidents on the railroad network. Trains are also required to make multiple stops along the route, which can make it difficult to plan for an exact delivery time. 

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